9 Kids Games for Picnic Fun

Featured image of happy parents and boy in park on picnic

Whether on a beach or in the park, spending time with your family should always be a fun experience, especially for the little ones. But expecting that your kids stay in one place when you’re out on a picnic is, to say the least unrealistic. Unless you know a couple of picnic games that will keep them occupied and entertained. 

Playing fun picnic games with them or letting them play by themselves benefits you both. They’ll spend their energy playing safe and fun games, and you’ll strengthen your bond while keeping them in check. So if you ran out of ideas for kids picnic games, here’s a couple of them to refresh your memory or inspire you to create your own picnic activity for kids.

Building a Castle

Playing in the sand is relaxing, soothing for the mind and body and lets you explore your creative side. And kids love playing in the sand, especially when they have a chance to build a something with their parents. To start you’ll need some basic sand toys like a plastic shovel, cups, etc. 

Start by piling the sand on one spot. From there continue on to creating a simple shape and defining the base of your castle. Explain everything your do to your child as they will absorb every drop of information you spill. Once you’ve made the base of your castle, tap the surface with a flat object (toy shovel is the best) to create a compact structure that you’ll transform in a castle. Make a hole in the middle and tap those walls to shape them. Now that the base is done, you can work on the details. Create stairs by pulling layers one by one, create holes to act as windows and draw lines on the castle walls to make it look realistic. Your little one will definitely cherish this moment and be grateful for each second spent with you, as this is exactly the type of activity that will make you closer with your kids.

Red Light, Green Light

For this particular game, you don’t need any toys and accessories. The goal of the game is to follow the traffic light instructions. Whoever fails to do so is disqualified. This game is great for expanding their attention span and focus but it’s also quite fun.

Gather the contestants around and choose one person to be a traffic light. That can be you as well as anyone else. The role of a person doing traffic light is pretty simple and straightforward. When the traffic light says green light the other contestants should dance, run and jump or move in any way. When they hear red light they need to stop what they’re doing and maintain the pose until the green light goes again. Whoever fails to follow the instructions should be disqualified until only one person remains.

Twister

It’s a classic and everyone loves playing it. It’s great for both indoor and outdoor and you can play it anytime. Place the twister on a flat surface and put the board next to it. Up to four players can play this game. 

The goal is to touch the color for your team with your hands and feet without touching the ground with your entire body. Kids will love it and when they run out of space to position themselves to touch the designated color things will get even more interesting. The last person standing is the winner. You can place a blanket and then put twister on it to ensure there’s a flat surface. Kids will improve their balance and learn fair play with this timeless classic of a game.

Image of two girls playing in autumn park

Wheelbarrow Race

This is a perfect game for kids with extra energy. It’s pretty competitive and challenging. You play it in pairs by holding the other person you’re playing with by their feet so that they are facing the ground. Mark the starting line and the finish line and the wheelbarrow race can begin. 

Steer your “wheelbarrow” partner towards the goal and watch the speed. They need to balance and maintain the speed that suits their stamina the most. The first pair to reach the finish line wins. The game will exhaust your little ones so be sure to prepare some snacks and refreshments. The game is best played on sand, grass or otherwise soft surface to avoid injuries.

Hide & Seek

Everyone loves hide and seek and if your kids haven’t played it for a while now’s the time to remind the how fun this game can actually be. Being that your outdoor, they’ll have plenty of places to hide which makes it interesting for everyone. 

Place first seeker standing against a wall or a three and tell them to count backwards starting from 10. While the seeker counts the other contestants try to find the perfect hiding spot. The game doesn’t finish until all the contestants are found or the seeker gives up. Be sure to restrict the playing area with pebbles or rocks. This way there won’t be any uncertainties about the limits or playing area and there won’t be any cheaters as the line is marked and obvious.

Musical Chairs

Musical chair is a game of patience, focus and speed. It’s a great game for preschoolers a kids of similar age. All you’ll need is a couple of chairs and a couple of eager-to-play kids. Place the chair so they for a circle with each seat facing outwards. Find some fun music toys or play the music from your phone. 

You can sing a song or play it. While the song is playing kids are circling around the chairs waiting for a signal. When you stop the music the kids will try to sit on the closest chair. The catch is that the number of chairs does not match the number of players. This way when the music stops, one player won’t have a chair to sit on and therefore will get eliminated. The game lasts until only one chair remain and the final player gets eliminated and the winner is declared.

Image of boy playing with water gun in garden

Sand Drawing

Spending time on the beach with your family is great, that is until the kids get bored. That’s where you come in with your ideas for picnic games for kids. If they don’t feel like playing actual games, run and chase the ball, you can show them how to draw in the sand.

Get a stick for both of you as well as other accessories you can find that will help you draw shapes. Choose and object or anything else for that matter as a subject and the drawing contest can begin. There are no limits to the number of players that can participate. To make the game even more interesting, find something that will act as a prize for the winner. And the winner is of course anyone who gets the subject right.

Water Gun Shooting Range

During those hot summer days it seems that there’s nothing better than playing with water guns. And if your boys got their gear for this summer now’s the time to put those skills to the test. Picnic’s can get boring for the little ones, but not if they have games to play. 

To play this game, get a bunch of plastic cups and make a tower out of them. Be sure to place them on a solid surface. Arrange them so that they are facing towards the contestants. The goal is to shoot cups until there’s not a single one standing. The first player to do that is appointed the winner. You can make the game interesting by increasing the distance or changing the stances after each shot. This way they can shoot lying on their bellies, standing or kneeling. Boys will love the fact that the game is pretty comparative and that they’ll learn some shooting stances.

Sponge Race

Have your kids played a sponge race before? If not, now is the time to teach them how to play it. Kids will get tired of being in the outdoor pretty fast unless they have a game to play to have fun and pass the time. 

The rules of this particular game are simple. Divide players into teams and mark the playing area. You can use sticks and tapes, rocks and pebbles. You will need a couple of bowls or large cups and a bunch of sponges. Place the contestants in separate rows facing the playing area. Take two cups and place the on one end, then take the sponges and bowls filled with water and place them on the opposite end. Each player must take the sponge from the bowl filled with water and carry it to the cup. Once they reach the cup, players must the water from the sponge until the sponge is dry. As one player fills the cup squeezing the sponge, the other player from his team grabs the sponge and runs towards the cup. The team that fills their cup first wins!

We all have a favorite place to spend time with our dearest and organize a picnic. And to make it fun and exciting for everyone, you should have a couple of ideas about the games your kids can play to pass the time. This way, they’ll have fun and spend the extra energy and you’ll be able to enjoy watching them play.

Author: Mary Lynn Holden
Author: Mary Lynn Holden

Proud mom and stepmom to an adorable bunch of kids aged 7 and up. Deeply appreciates three things in life: the help of older siblings in the house, texts on parenting, and strong coffee. Shares her stories and experiences in order to help others navigate the unpredictable waters of parenting.

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