In a simpler time, kids played outdoors all the time. As Adair Lara says, they "were set out in the yard in the morning and brought in at night, like cats." To stave off boredom, they played every game they had ever heard of, and invented hundreds of variations. Today, children tend to get more screen time and less scream time. Concern about physical fitness has led to a myriad of experts recommending more outdoor play. These classic kids outdoor games are just what the doctor ordered, and besides that, they're a lot of fun. If the weather isn't suitable for outdoor play, try these other old-fashioned games.
Hopscotch may be the oldest of these classic kids outdoor games, as tradition has it that Roman soldiers played it in ancient Britain. Medieval hopscotch courts courts could be a hundred feet long, but a lot of fun can be had with a course a tenth of that.
A favorite game of the fifties and sixties, Swing the Statue will still be enjoyed by children today. It's fun to try to hold a pose, but even more fun to watch others in their strange positions.
If there's a basketball goal and basketball in the vicinity, you have everything you need for a game of Horse. A game of shooting skill, Horse is fun for young and old.
Kids of all ages can enjoy Red Light, Green Light, a classic kids game that is played all over the globe, in slightly different variations.
A tracking game played by Boy Scouts for many years, Shadowing can be played by groups both large and small. Powers of observation are important for successful shadowing.
What kid doesn't love a flashlight? And if it can be used in a lively game of Flashlight Tag, so much the better! It's like hide-and-seek but played at night, when the darkness lends an air of mystery and suspense.
9. Red Rover
There's hardly an adult alive who doesn't have fond memories of playing Red Rover. Although banned in some areas for being too rough, with proper supervision Red Rover can still supply hours of fun.
A playground ball, an open space, and eight or more kids, and you have the makings of a classic neighborhood game of kickball. All ages can play, with a few accommodations, and the neighborhood windows are safe.