Looking for games for kids that don’t require any special equipment? That don’t need internet? Just plain and simple outdoor field day games that they can just play?
My kids laugh anytime I say, “Back in my day…”But, can we agree that things have definitely changed since we were kids, and technology plays a huge part in that.
Believe me, I’m guilty of it too. This cell phone generation is just different. But, it doesn’t mean I haven’t taught my kids the games we used to play.
The easy backyard games that take nothing more than you and a few siblings/friends/neighbors to enjoy.
Field Day Games Without Equipment
Whether you’re camping, enjoying an outing at a park, or sitting in your own backyard, these games take nothing more to play besides a bit of energy.
Classic Games Kids Can Play Without Equipment
Pick one person to be “it” and have them start counting while everyone else hides. The counting spot can also be designated as base where players can run to be safe anytime during play. The last person found will be it for the next round.
Think hide-and-seek, but reversed. The larger group hides their eyes, counting and then searching for one player. Once found, the group joins the hidden in their hiding spot and they lie close together like sardines.
- Red Light, Green Light
Designate one person to be the light while everyone else lines up at the opposite end of the field. The light will begin the game by yelling, “Green light!” and turning their back to the others. Everyone else is to run/walk towards the light before it “turns red“.
When the light yells, “Red light,” and turns around, everyone must freeze in place. Anyone caught still moving will have to go back to the starting line to begin again. The first person to make it to the light will become the traffic light for the next round.
- Duck, Duck, Goose
This classic game couldn’t be more simple. Everyone sits in a circle with one person designated as “it.” That player then walks around the circle gently touching each player on the head as they pass calling out, “duck.”
But, if “it” touches a player’s head and calls out. “goose,” that person must get up and chase the player around the circle. If tagged before getting back to the empty seat in the circle, the goose then becomes it. Otherwise, the game resumes until another player successfully tags “it.”
- Simon Says
This games requires good listening skills. One person is “Simon” and gets to give the others tasks to do. They simply say, “Simon says… touch your nose (for example).” If a player does something without Simon saying it, they are out. The last person standing becomes the next Simon.
- Red Rover
This games requires a number of players, divided into two teams. Once teams are designated, they stand parallel from each other with at least 10 yards between them. The teams hold hands in their line and take turns yelling out, “Red Rover, Red Rover, let (name of person on opposite team) come over.”
The person whose name is called then runs toward the other line in an attempt to break through the line. If successful, they grab a player and take them back to join their team.. If unsuccessful, they join the new team. Play continues until one team has only one person and they are not able to break through.
Tag You’re It
There is probably no other easier game to play without equipment than the classic game of tag.
Tag is as simple as one person being “it” and chasing the other players in an attempt to tag them. The tagged person then becomes “it.”
- Shadow Tag
In this variation, one person is designated “it” and has to tag the shadow of other players. The last player left untagged is “it” for the next round.
- Freeze Tag
As in classic tag, one person is “it” and tries to tag the other players. In Freeze Tag, there is an additional element where the player tagged must freeze in position. They then have to wait to be unfrozen by another player. The last person left frozen is it for the next round.
- Cartoon Tag
This version of tag offers a unique defense mechanism for players. To avoid being tagged, player can yell out a cartoon character in order to avoid the tag. The first person tagged is the next “it.”
- Blind Man’s Bluff
As the name suggests, in this variation of tag the person who is “it” is blindfolded. Once blindfolded, the person is spun around and listens for the other players and tries to tag them. The first person tagged is the next one “it.”
On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!
Stretch those legs and get those feet running with these races and relays that require nothing more than the will to run!
- 100 Yard Dash
Measure out 100 yards (or your preferred distance) and designate a start and finish line. The first runner to the finish line wins.
- Relay Race
Mark out a start and finish line and divide into equal teams. When the race begins, the first player races to a designated point and then tags the next runner. This continues until the last player on each team crosses over the finish line.
- Spider Race
Each team needs two players of comparable height. The players stand back-to-back and link elbows. The pair then (carefully) runs to a designated point before running back towards the initial starting line.
Player two will run backward on the first stretch, and then player one will run backward on the stretch back to the finish line. (Can also be run as a relay tagging in the next “spider” team at the initial starting point)
- Wheelbarrow Race
Once teams are chosen and the race course is set, each team/pair forms a wheelbarrow.
To form the wheelbarrow, one player gets down on their hands and knees before lifting their legs to their teammate. The teammate holds their legs up as they race together towards the finish line.
- Sprint Race
A sprint running race is a short distance race. Therefore, take the distance off the dash race above and shorten it. Runners race as fast as they can the short track to the finish line. The first one across wins.
- Backwards Race
Just as the name portrays, racers will walk or run towards the finish line… backwards!
- Cartwheel Race
Again, easily explanatory with its name. Racers line up (far apart) and do cartwheels to the finish line. The first one to cross wins.
Take a Leap
Get jumping! Whether vertical or horizontal, it’s all about the fun to be had.
- Long Jump
Clear a jumping area free of any debris and nearby hazards. Set a designated starting point for the jumpers. Then, each jumper runs from that point and jumps at the beginning of the jump area. The longest jump wins.
- Vertical Jump
Other than a visual way to measure how high each athlete jumps, this takes little more than leg strength.
Have each jumper stand in position (next to a wall or other height marker, if available) and, using only their body, jump as high as they can with their arms stretched over their heads. The athlete who reaches to highest point wins.
- Leap Frog
Designate a start and finish line and divide into two teams. You can play with 2 or more players on each team (players of comparable size work best). Once you have your teams, line up at the starting line.
When the race begins, one player bends down into a frog position while the next player leap frogs over their back. That player then gets into position for the next player to leap frog. The race continues with players leapfrogging over each other to the finish line.
What can you play outside without equipment?
Are your children saying they’re bored? Just want to get them outside and moving? Perhaps your kids have friends over or met new kids at the park or campground; whatever it may be, these games can be played outdoor without any equipment.
What outside games can we play?
If you have the space outside and the weather to play, why not head out and enjoy the fresh air?! This is a short list of 21 outside games, and we have even more ideas (some requiring equipment of sorts) on this epic list of field day games.
What can I play without a ball?
Fortunately, there are so many outdoor games that can be played without a ball! Beyond the games listed above, there are more outdoor field day games that don’t require a ball for game play.
What games can you play without equipment?
The great thing about each of these games is that you don’t have to worry about spending hours setting them up or taking them down. With no equipment needed, all you need is a few willing participants to have a fun field day!
What games can you play without internet?
Okay, it’s time to unplug and get playing! Once you have rounded up a few teammates and found a spot to play you have no other excuse. Have fun!