10 Fun Games for Sunny Summer Days
Schools out, kids are bored, and you've now become the primary entertainer. These are my top ten picks for games to play that are not only fun but will pass the time and get everyone worn out.
Capture the flag
This is an oldie but a goodie. Split your group into two teams. If you have an extra-large group, it's OK to have more teams. Give each group an item to be their flag (i.e., cloth napkins, a t-shirt, bandanna/scarf, etc.) - but make them all the same. You'll start each team with a home base, and they are to put their flag in a visible spot, such as a tree branch or partially under a rock. The objective is to steal the other teams' flag to get them out of the game. Depending upon strategy, each team will decide how many players to set out to steal the flag(s) and how many stay behind to defend their team's flag. To defend, you can give the teams water balloons, which are great on a hot day, stickers to stick on the back of the opposing team's shirts, or do a two-hand tag (albeit this one could lead to debates). The winning team is the last one to have their flag.
Keep it up
This takes one balloon and a group of people - that's it. When you say go, the oldest person hits the balloon into the air. The next oldest is to hit the balloon before it touches the floor. Each player can only hit the balloon one time when it is their turn. After it is hit upward, the next player is responsible for the balloon not touching the floor. Whoever lets the balloon touch the ground is out, and play resumes with the oldest person left in the group hitting it upward once again. The winner is the last one standing. You cannot allow the balloon to hit any surface. If it does, whoever hit it into that surface is out.
Grab a penny or other coin for each player and select an open wall - may be on the porch against the house, or you can use a deck box, grill, or another object. The players are to stand six feet away from the wall or object. One at a time, the players will toss their penny toward the object/wall. The penny must be thrown, not rolled. Whoever gets the penny the closest is the winner.
Choose a player to be Mr. or Ms. Freeze. They are 'it.' When you say go, Mr. or Ms. Freeze's objective is to freeze all players by touching them and shouting frozen. When a player is touched - i.e., tagged - they cannot move. They can blink their eyes but not speak or move any of the voluntary muscles. Others can unfreeze players by tagging them and shouting melted. You should put a time limit on the game, as it could be never-ending, and your Mr. or Ms. Freeze will get tired of being 'it.' At the end of the time, if there are still melted players, it switches to another person being Mr. or Ms. Freeze.
Each player is assigned a number. One player will stand in the center of the group and toss a nerf ball up in the air, calling a random number as they throw it. Players will run from the center of the group except the player assigned that number. The player will catch the ball and shout stop - and upon hearing that word, players must freeze. The player who caught the ball will choose another player and roll or toss the ball at them. The player may try to dodge the ball, but they are not allowed to move their feet. If the ball hits them, they are out. Play continues until one player is left.
Pickle in the Middle
Depending upon how many are in your group, they will attempt to circle the person who is chosen to be the 'pickle.' The pickle stands in the center of the group. Using a basketball or other type of ball, the players will throw the ball back and forth to each other, trying to avoid the 'pickle.' If the pickle intercepts the ball, the person who threw the ball is now the pickle.
Give each player a long sock to tuck into their pants like a tail. When you say go, the objective is to be the last dog with their 'tail.' This is a fun twist on the game of tag. Maybe make the players play the role and only bark while the game is active?
The Great American Bucket Toss
Gather containers of all sizes - buckets are great, but bowls, Tupperware, etc., will work. Ping Pong balls are best, but you can use anything that you can throw into these containers. Set out the containers at various lengths from your designated start line. Let the players take turns tossing the items into the containers, earning a point for each. Or, you can place prizes into each container and whoever makes it - wins the item!
Using a long string/cord, string a donut for each player. This is optimal for five or fewer players at once, so if your group is larger, let them do five at a time. You'll need a person to hold the string/cord on either end, so the donuts are suspended mouth-high for the players. Each competitor will stand beside their assigned donut. When you say go, they eat their donut, but they cannot touch the donut with their hands. Whoever finishes their donut first is declared the winner.
Tug o' war
Grab a long rope - about 35' should do it. Divide your players into two equal-in-strength teams. If you have a hose with a sprinkler, set it in the middle of the rope with the teams on either side holding on to their side of the rope. When you say go, they are to pull the other team across the center line that you have designated (i.e., sprinkler or other designation in the rope center. This is a great way to get some energy out and have fun in the sun.