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Summer games to play with the kiddos

Time for fun in the sun!

Human wheelbarrow image
The author’s sons, Joel (left) and Henry, think “human wheelbarrow” races on grass are super fun!

If you are looking for outdoor activities as warmer weather approaches, here are a few staples that I've done with my kids, friends and bootcamp clients throughout the years.  

Water Balloons 

My kids are enthusiastic about the sport of water balloons-they don't even wait for an appropriate temperature. Water balloon technology has improved over the years. You no longer have to do one balloon at a time, you can do 20-30 at once! I usually buy the 400 pack and it disappears quickly. We fill up a few buckets each time with balloons, which are hurled at each other with laughter and modest rage.  


While some schools have banned dodgeball, the sport is alive at my house. With a quick glance online, you can buy eight balls for around $20-$60. The more expensive ones are generally softer and are also great for playing catch, teaching kids to squeeze the ball as they catch, which helps with other sports.  Our house has rules: head shots don't count, and each player gets three outs before they are officially out of the game. One recommendation, don't play this near a hill, or you might get more exercise than you really wanted.  


Whenever I attend a kid's camp day, we always play kickball, and everyone loves it. It's fun and has similar rules to baseball. You can even use one of the dodgeballs you just bought. We often just take turns, hitting and pitching when there's just two of us home.  

Tennis Baseball 

My oldest loves this game! He and his friends grab a tennis racket and a few tennis balls and it's hours of fun. The pitcher tosses the ball to someone at home plate, who uses a racket to hit the ball. I think kids like it because the ball really soars. When we play it as a family, one person gets three hits, another person pitches, and the other two run and get the ball.  

Park Hide and Go Seek 

Whenever we visit a park on a warm day, there's someone playing hide and go seek, since there are slides, treehouse, and other places to hide. When my youngest was 3, he liked to pretend someone was looking for us, and we would just find a place to hide, wait a few seconds and run to another remote location. It was fun and a wonderful way to get exercise.  

Frisbee Golf 

Some people love to golf; I am not one of them. I do love frisbee golf, though. Some people have different types of frisbees, like a driver or putter, but you can make do with a simple store-bought one. You can buy a set for $12-$25 and then Google, "frisbee golf near me" and there's bound to be a park in your area with the set up. My only tip: Watch out for parks with a lot of trees. I lost two frisbees at Danny Cunniff park. If you have children 7 and under, it will take them several throws to get close to the goal/hole. We also love to just play catch with an Aerobie Superdisc, which is easy to catch because there's soft rubber around the outside.  


Tag is probably the simplest game to play. Best part, it requires no equipment. Before COVID I would have my younger clients play a version where you freeze when you are tagged, but if someone crawls under you, you are back in the game. 

Take advantage of the warmer weather and get some vitamin D (don't forget sunscreen). Whether it's biking, hiking, or one of my games, get moving and enjoy the outdoors! 


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