Outdoor Party Games

An outdoor party is incomplete without a few games to spice things up!

Pass the Sand
  • Containers
  • Sand
To Play
  • Divide the group into two teams and line them up.
  • Have the person in each line grab a handful of sand from a container. They must pass the sand to the next player, who passes it to the next, and so on down the line.
  • When the sand reaches the last player, he/she pours what is left of it on a plate. The team with the most sand wins the game. (You may have to weigh the sand on a food scale if it's close.)

Tug of Water
  • Sprinkler
  • Garden Hose or rope
To Play
  • Set up the sprinkler in the middle of the lawn and turn it on.
  • Divide the group into two teams and have each team hold an end of the garden hose or a rope.
  • On the word "Go!" have the teams try to pull their opponents into the sprinkler.
Pop the Piranha
  • Balloons
  • Felt-Tip Permanent Markers
  • Kiddy Pools
To Play
  • Inflate balloons and tie them off.
  • Using black felt-tip permanent markers, draw fish faces on the balloons.
  • Toss balloons into the kiddy pool, one for each child.
  • On the word "Go!" have the kids jump into the pool and try to grab/pop a wet and slippery balloon.

Go Fishing
  • Plastic toys
  • Magnetic Tape
  • Kiddy Pool
  • Sticks and String
To Play
  • Buy some plastic toys and attach a piece of magnetic tape to each one.
  • Make fishing poles out of sticks and string with magnets tied to the bottom of the string.
  • Drop the toys into the bottom of the pool. Give the kids the fishing poles.
  • Let the kids fish for their "prize" in the kiddy pool.

Toss n' Soak
  • Plastic Pool
  • Water
  • Rubber Ball
To Play
  • Fill up a plastic pool with water and have kids stand around the outside of the pool.
  • They must toss the ball back and forth to one another and try to catch it.
  • If the ball hits the water, the child who failed to catch the ball is "out." Whomever is left standing last wins.

This is a game where there is one lucky person who is "it."

  • 2 Bases
  • Dodge Ball
To Play
  • Someone stands between two bases. In our backyard we made the "bases" a fence at one end of the yard and a brick wall at the other end of the yard. The player is allowed to move anywhere between those 2 bases.
  • He is given a ball, and his goal is to try to hit at least one of the people while they are running from base to base.
  • Obviously, once people are on the base they are "safe." Once he hits someone else with the ball, that person becomes "it."
  • There is no actual winner of this game, but it is action packed and it can go on for hours until the players get tired.

What Time is it Mr. Fox?
  • Base
To Play
  • There is one person who is "Mr. Fox", and everyone else is trying to stay away from him or her. We used to play this from the top to the bottom of a driveway, but it can be played anywhere as long as there is enough room to run. Mr. Fox usually stands at the part of the driveway closest to the house.
  • Everyone else stands on the designated base and asks in unison, "What time is it Mr. Fox?" As Mr. Fox responds with the time, it can be any time that Mr. Fox would like it to be.
  • Each person needs to take the number of steps that correspond with the time toward Mr. Fox. For example, if Mr. Fox says it's 4 o'clock, everyone takes 4 steps toward him. It is up to the individual how large they make each step.
  • The group continues to ask the same question, while Mr. Fox replies with different answers as to "what time it is." Before the players reach Mr. Fox he or she answers the question "What time is it Mr. Fox," he turns around and answers, "It's time to eat you!"
  • He chases everyone until he catches someone, or everyone makes it back to the base safely. If anyone is caught, then they become "Mr. Fox." (There is no winner to this game either.)

Scavenger Hunt
This is a game that is usually relatively inexpensive and time-consuming, good for both kids and parents.

  • Index Cards
To Play
  • Write out clues on index cards.
  • Give the party-goers clues that take them from place to place. Perhaps this game could begin at the house of the party host/hostess, and the final clue could lead to the party destination.
  • The team that arrives at the final destination first wins! Or instead of a Scavenger Hunt have kids solve a Detective's Case.
  • Set out clues all over the yard and have kids collect them. Then the kids have to figure out what the clues mean.
  • You might have them find clues to making a pizza, building a scarecrow, or solving a puzzle.

Keep it Dry
A fun swimming pool game!

  • Stone
  • Cotton Ball
  • Marshmallow
  • Pool
To Play
  • Give each player a small object that changes when it gets wet, such as a stone, cotton ball, or a marshmallow.
  • Players must try to swim from one end of the pool to the other without getting their object wet. The swimmer with the driest object wins.

Butterfingers Ball
  • Ball
  • Pool
To Play
  • As one player jumps off the diving board or platform, another player stands in the shallow end (or on the side) and throws the ball to the jumper, who tries to catch the ball and hold it until he/she hits the water.

  • Inflatable Pool Toys
  • Water Guns
  • Summer Fun Gift Basket: Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Beach Towel
  • Goldfish