Play until the streetlights come on
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Outdoor Summer Games
Classic Backyard Summer Games

There is something magical about long summer days and evenings full of twilight and the potential for play. We’ve delved back into our childhoods for our favourite playground, camp, Girl Guide and Scout games—the kind that need little to no equipment and produce maximum fun. So round up a bunch of kids and play until the streetlights come on!

Rock Quest

Rock Quest 
We developed this game one sunny cottage afternoon when the kids were hyper and the adults didn’t feel like leaving the dock. Get a kitchen scale and send the kids to find a rock that is exactly a certain weight (e.g. 1,200 grams). It’s harder than it sounds and the kids have a blast running around and finding rocks, while all the adults have to do is monitor the scale. (Play More Games)

Fainting goat tag

Fainting Goat Tag  
This game is hilarious. The person who is ‘It’ is the shepherd. The rest of the players can avoid being tagged by falling down like fainting goats if the shepherd is within 10 feet—but they can only stay down for 10 seconds. (Play More Games)

Night eyes

Night Eyes 
This is a favourite at the cottage—note that it does need to be played in the dark. Kids make animal ‘eyes’ out of foil pasted onto a card—the eyes will reflect the light from a flashlight. Write a letter on each card so that all the faces spell out a secret message, then head out during the day to hang the animal faces from trees and in bushes along a trail. Have the kids try to find the reflective eyes with their flashlights, gather the cards and unscramble the letters to solve the secret message. (Play More Games)

Don't stop—you've got to squeeze every last moment of fun out of summer. That's why we've got 11 more Outdoor Family Games picked out for you.

play time >

Tested by Janice Q., Toronto

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