How to Play Outside

Summer is here, and the kids need to get outside for exercise, sun, and fresh air, but playing outside seems for many to be a lost art. There is television and video games to compete with, but with some imagination, playing outside can result in hours of fun.


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    Choose games which you enjoy being involved in. There are lots of topics covered in "Backyard Games" here on wikiHow, plus the usual team sports like basketball, baseball, and soccer. Get involved in these, or be creative.
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    Look for a safe and wholesome location to pursue your fun. This may be your own backyard, if you are fortunate enough to have a large one, a local public park, or a church or school grounds if they permit off hours use of their property.
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    Talk to your parents, grandparents, or older relatives like aunts and uncles about the days before video games. They may help you to discover lost games like shooting marbles, mumblety peg, jacks, or even plain old tag. If no one has time to relate the rules and strategies for any of these games or others, search them here at wikiHow, or google them.
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    Choose games that don't require a lot of hardware or a large investment to begin. With a very small space, games like kickball, croquet, and badminton may be out, but if you have room for these, the cost of setting up the basic games is not too expensive, and they can give you a good dose of competition as well as some good exercise.
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    Learn some jump rope rhymes, and maybe learn Chinese jump rope too.
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    Check out the local athletic park and see what is offered. There may be basketball and tennis courts available for public use, and often it is just a matter of bringing your ball or racquet and hanging around a while for a challenger to show up alone to get a game started.
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    Look for "frisbee golf" (Disc Golf) courses, which are becoming more popular in many areas. Many of these are free access, and the rules are posted at the course entrance. There are all types of golf discs to choose from, but one disc is all that is really required to play the game.
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    Try your hand at real golf, or miniature golf. If you don't have clubs and equipment, they can usually be rented, and many communities have "par three" courses with low green fees and no need for a cart. Design a golf course in your backyard, or maybe you can find an unused soccer field and pick up a bucket of range balls and practice driving and chipping without paying any green fees at all. Be polite, though, and don't divot up the grass.
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    Pick up a horseshoe set and build your own horseshoe pits, then let the neighbors know they are welcome to drop by and pitch a game or two.
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    Stay out of the midday heat if you can, and play these, or other games in the evening or early morning when it is cool. Drink lots of cool water, and take frequent breaks.
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    Take the Game Boy or the PSP outdoors. This doesn't give you a lot of exercise, but at least you can get some sun and fresh air, and stay out of your parents' hair for a while. And, while you are sitting outside playing your game, someone may come by and invite you to play other games with them.


  • Turn the TV off, and head outdoors. Lots of times, sitting around being bored indoors can be turned into an exciting outdoor afternoon just by going outside and seeing what is happening.
  • Be prepared for anything that might happen. If your friend, or yourself, gets hurt, make sure you're carrying the right equipment to help them, and know the precautions to take.
  • Bounce on your trampoline. Put spheres on it and pretend they are bombs. Who ever gets hit is out. Enjoy!
  • Young kids should check in with their parents often, and parents should get to know the parents of their kid's friends so that they can be aware of what is going on when the kids are at someone else's home.
  • Set up games like badminton and croquet where you can leave them set up for extended periods, and you can play spur of the moment games whenever a friend or friends drop in.
  • Tell your parents if you are going somewhere so they know you are safe, and so they know where you are in case of an emergency.
  • Take Friends and mostly, have fun!


  • Never let your game take you into the street, chasing balls, etc.
  • Use sunblock to prevent sunburn, and long term effects on your skin.
  • Make sure your parents know where you're going, if you're near the woods, or water. If you own a cell phone, take it with you, and make sure your parents know your number, and your phone is fully charged, possibly with credit.
  • Think about low intensity games like horseshoe or marbles when it is very hot outdoors.
  • Watch out for sudden summer time thunderstorms and seek shelter early if one approaches.
  • Keep plenty of cold water handy, and drink regularly.

Things You'll Need

  • Various games require different articles, like balls, rackets, nets, or other items depending on what you play.

Article Info

Categories: Backyard Games