Outdoor Games for Preschool Children

Outdoor games are not for just fun, but they are also essential for improving your child’s cognitive abilities and physical strength. Young kids love to move, so make sure that you go for those outdoor games that can build large motor development along with cognitive skills. 

In this article, we have compiled a list of best outdoor games for preschool children that are fun, exciting, and healthy. You would also recognize some of these games as your own childhood games. Let’s get started.

Doggy, Doggy, Where’s Your Bone

This is an interesting game where you don’t need anything but a toy bone along with a group of smaller kids. This is also easy to play – your little champ or one of the kids has to become the Doggy and turn around while someone steals his/her bone. Other kids in the game attempt to look guilty while the Doggy guesses who has stolen the bone. 

If your child is little, let him/her guess until he/she picks the kid who actually has the bone. For more fun, you can also add a limit to guesses. 

Digging for Dinosaurs

All you need to have is a set of toy dinosaur bones. Bury the bones in different parts of your backyard (within a circle) and let your kids dig them out. To make the game more interesting, you can even add some clues as well. It teaches them to explore things, but only after doing some hard work (digging). 

Sidewalk Picasso

Do your kids love drawing? Get them some Sidewalk Chalk and let their inner artist take over. You can start this activity on your own and wait for your children to join you. While they are busy drawing some random shapes or “art”, you can sneak off to get some homework done. The sidewalk chalks are washable, so you don’t have to worry about your little ones messing the sidewalk/floor. 

Simon Says

You must have had played this classic game in your childhood. If you haven’t or forgot how to play, then here’s how to play it: Simon is the boss who tells the other players what to do after the phrase “Simon Says”. If he doesn’t use this phrase and the player does what he says, they are out of the game. The last person standing is the next Simon. The game is interesting; it can also be played all the way to teenage or even adulthood by making the difficulty of the tasks harder. 

It is a great way to teach preschool kids how to follow directions. 

Races (of every kind)

There are lots of races that your kids can do from one side of the yard to another. Some of them are:

  • Backwards
  • Crab walk
  • One-legged
  • Three-legged
  • Fastest
  • Slowest
  • Sack race

To add more fun and interest, you can also purchase leg bands and awards for your kids. 

Angry Birds

Have you played Angry Birds game on your phone? You can simulate this phone-based game in your backyard as well. All you have to do is build a tower (either of rocks or blocks) and hide a toy pig behind it. Your kids have to try and knock down the tower with a softball. 

Color Golf 

If you want to teach your kids color recognition through interesting outdoor games, Color Golf is a great choice. You need a board with holes of different colors. Your kid needs to hit the colored balls into the matching hole in order to score a point. 

Balloon Tennis

This is a fun outdoor activity that your kids (of all ages) can play together. The rackets take only a couple of supplies to get prepared. You can use paper plates, and self-adhesive tipped craft sticks. For creativity, give your kids sports themed stickers and crayons so they can use them to decorate their rackets. Make sure to attach the self-adhesive tipped craft stick high enough so it can hold up strong. 

Once the rackets are ready, blow a balloon in the air, and your little munchkins are ready to play some balloon tennis! This is not just a simple game, but it combines being active and creative into one activity. 

Magnetic Fishing 

For this game, you can cut the fish out of various colors of craft foam and then attach little round magnets to each fish (on the side, so it looks like an eye). To make the rod, you can glue and tie a piece of yarn to a chopstick. The other end of the yarn can be glued through a bead so you can easily attach magnetic tape on it. 

Next, put all the fish in a small tub of water and put the rod next to it. Ask your children to catch the fish. In the beginning, you can show him how to do so, and once they know how to catch the fish, see them trying and have fun!

Hide and Seek

This one’s a classic game that everyone knows how to play. We don’t even need to tell you the instructions to play the game because you already know. However, there are several variations you can do in the game to make it more interesting. For example, some hide and seek games have a home base where one can run to and tag, becoming safe. The basic idea is that one person is “IT” who closes his/her eyes and count to a certain number until everyone has found their perfect hiding spot. Then the IT will try to find others. 


It is an easy game that requires a jump rope or two. This game is loved, especially by the girls. Your kid can either jump by himself/herself or jump with a couple of friends or cousins. The game promotes good health and is also a fun outdoor activity to keep your kid entertained. 


Marbles is an interesting game that is played by kids of all ages. The general rules are that you should draw a circle in the sand or on the sidewalk and then knock other player’s marbles out with your marble. There are many variations of this game, but we like this one the most as it is easy to play and entertaining as well. 


Just like hide and seek, tag is also a classic game that everyone knows how to play. There are hundreds of variations of this game. A group of kids decide who will start as being “IT”. The person who is IT, chases other people around, trying to tag everyone with their hand. The newly tagged person then becomes IT. 

In some tag games, there is the rule of “no tag-backs” which means you can’t tag the person who just tagged you. You can let your kids know this rule to your kids so the game can get more entertaining. The best or worst (for some) thing about the game is that it only ends when everyone is tired of playing it. 

Freeze Tag

This one’s a variation of tag where a person who is “IT” tags another person and that tagged person has to freeze wherever he/she is. To unfreeze, he/she needs another participant to tag him/her. If the classic tag game doesn’t seem fun to your kids, you can give this variation of tag a try and see if they like it. 

Musical Chairs

You must be familiar with this game as well. To play this game, you can arrange chairs facing outwards (one less than the total number of players). One person should play and pause the music at certain times. When the music stops, everyone needs to sit down to the nearest chair. The one who doesn’t get a chair is out of the game. In the next iteration, one chair is removed, and the game is played in the same way as before. 

It is played until one player sits in the final chair and then he/she becomes the winner. 

Duck, Duck, Goose 

This one is an excellent game to teach your children strategic thinking. Participants of the game sit in a circle, and one child walks around them saying “Duck, Duck, Duck…” Eventually, he/she taps slowly on a participant, choosing him/her to be the “Goose” and then runs around the circle to try to take the child’s place before the goose catches him/her. 

As they play the game, they will start thinking about which one to pick as a goose. This game teaches your kids how to plan ahead of the time and also gives immediate feedback on their decision. 


Both indoor and outdoor games teach great things to kids of all ages. Outdoor games are a great way to take children out of the boring routine and do something productive and healthy outside. All the outdoor games we have listed in the article above are best for preschool children, and some may also teach them different skills before they start going to school. Have Fun!