25 Outdoor Games Without Equipment

Outdoor Games Without Equipment

One of the best sources for fun are outdoor games without equipment. You don’t need to have equipment to have a good time as these 25 fun outdoor activities will show you.

While having equipment does open the doors for a number of fun outdoor activities, it is not the only way to have a good time. There are many outdoor games that will keep you entertained and laughing all day. 

And there is no equipment to worry about setting up or putting away. All you need is a few friends or the family, and the fun can begin.

You can find yourself in situations where you need some games to play, but don’t have any equipment. 

Camping or spending the day at a park are great times for games, but you don’t want to lug around a bunch of equipment. With our guide to the top outdoor games without equipment, you can still have a great time. 

Our games can be for large or small groups and all ages and the only thing you need is a sense of fun.

5 Outdoor Games For Adults Without Equipment

Whether it is a birthday celebration, a family barbecue, or an adult-only getaway, it is a good idea to have activities on hand. 

Outdoor games are a great way to keep a group of adults amused for hours and with these games, you don’t have to worry about spending hours setting them up or taking them down. All you need is participants.

1. Hide-N-Seek

A classic game that everybody loves. Kids love it and adults will too. Adults can hide in covert places that kids may not think of, so it will be a little more challenging than the classic kid version. 

Pick an adult to start counting while everyone else hides. Designate a spot for home base, so players can run home to be safe once they are found. The last person to be found will be the person to search for the next round.

2. Red Rover

Divide the group into two teams. Each group forms a line, all players holding hands. Lines need to be facing each other, close to twenty feet apart. 

The teams take turns yelling out “Red Rover, Red Rover, let (name of person on opposite team) come over”. The person whose name is called, needs to run towards the other line and try to break through the hands. 

If they break through, they get to take someone back to join their team, but if they do not they have to stay and join that team. Play continues until one team has only one person and they are not able to break through.

3. Wheelbarrow Races

Divide the group into pairs and everyone lines up. Select a point in the distance to serve as the finish line. The pairs all need to form wheelbarrows. 

One player gets on their hands and knees, then lifts their legs to the other player. Holding their legs up they race to the finish line. 

One player walking or running while the other has to walk on their hands. Kids can play this game with ease, but it is very entertaining for adults too.

4. Relay Races

Divide the group into teams of three or four. Each team needs to have the same number of people. Mark out a race area and have the teams line up at the starting point. 

The first player then runs to a certain point and back to tag the next person in their team. This continues until the last player crosses back over the start line. 

That team is the winner. You can change things up by walking backwards, skipping, or hopping instead of running.

5. Entertainment Charades

The group can be divided up into two teams or smaller groups. Every player in the team takes a turn to act out a movie, television show, song, or book for the others on their team to guess. The team with the most correct guesses after a specified time wins.

5 Outdoor Kids Games Without Equipment

Any time you have a gathering of kids, it is a good idea to have some games planned. But what about if you do not have any equipment with you? Have no fear, there are several games kids can play without equipment and they will have all the fun they can handle.

1. Red Light Green Light

One child is the traffic light and the others line up at the opposite end of the yard or play area. The traffic light yells out light colors. Turning with their back to the group, they yell “Green Light” and the group runs or walks towards the traffic light. 

The goal is to get as close as possible before the light changes. The traffic light then turns yelling “Red Light”, and everyone needs to freeze. 

Anyone that is spotted moving has to go back to the start. The first person to tag the traffic light is the winner and will be the traffic light for the next game.

2. Crack The Whip

All the kids line up and hold hands. One child at the end is chosen to be the leader and they begin to run. The goal is to run quickly and change directions frequently. 

The tail of the line, or “whip” gets moved with more force than the others in the line making it harder to hold on. If the child at the end falls off the whip, they can try and get back in the line, aiming to get somewhere closer to the middle so there is a new whip at the end.

3. Shadow Tag

This is a creative version of the classic game, tag. You don’t need equipment, but you do need the sun. 

On a sunny day, you play tag as regular, only you must tag the shadows of a person using your feet. Because the position of shadows change during the day, this game is a little more challenging the closer to noon that you play.

4. Sharks and Minnows

This is another variation of tag that kids love to play. One person is the shark and everyone else is a minnow. There needs to be a set playing area to run within and the shark stands in the middle. 

The minnows start on one side and the opposite side is the base. Minnows all start walking toward the shark and at any point, the shark can yell out “Shark Attack”. 

When this happens, the minnows can run to the base, trying to avoid getting caught. If a minnow is caught, they become the shark.

5. Poison Frog

Have all the kids form a circle. One child is picked to be the frog and another child will be the detective. The detective sits in the middle of the circle. 

The poison frog, also sitting in the circle, starts “killing” off the players by sticking their tongue out at them. 

The kids can make their deaths as dramatic as possible which distracts the detective who is trying to identify the poison frog. Once identified, a new poison frog and detective are picked.

5 Outdoor Group Games Without Equipment

Family gatherings, birthdays, and camping trips often bring groups together of all ages. Having some planned games and activities to do is a great way to get everyone together for a good time. 

These games are perfect for outdoor fun and can be for all ages. So, bring the group together and try out these equipment-free games.

1. Everyone’s It

This is a fun version of tag where everybody is it. All players have to put their non-preferred hand on their head. Then all players run around trying to tag people by touching their elbows. 

Play must be within a specific area and the last person playing is the winner. The fun is in trying to keep away from everyone instead of just one person.

2. British Bulldogs

This is one of the most popular games for all ages and is a variation of tag. All players start at one side of the playing area with one person picked to be it. 

They have to wait in the middle of the play area. When they say go, everyone needs to run to the opposite side without being tagged. If a player is tagged, they join the bulldog in the middle. The winner is the last player to be tagged.

3. Wink Murder

You need at least 6 players for this game and the object is to “murder” as many people as you can before being caught. 

Get everybody to sit in a circle with one person sitting out to be the selector. Everyone in the circle closes their eyes as the selector walks around twice. 

During this time, they select the “murderer” by tapping them on the head. Everyone opens their eyes, stands up and the game begins.

Within a specific area, the players all walk around looking at each other, and the murderer “kills” people by winking at them. Once “killed” players need to count silently to 5 and then lie down on the ground. 

Players cannot talk to each other about who the murderer could be. If you have a suspect, you are to yell out “I accuse” and then name a player. If they are right, they win and if they are wrong, the selector will tell them, and they have to leave the area of play.

4. Light The Dynamite

Split the group into teams that are the same size, with each team having a minimum of 4 players. 

If there are less players in the teams, then you can change the repetitions of exercise that are performed to keep things fair. Each team needs to sit in a straight line with an arm’s length between each player. Designate each player in the team as either a “fuse” or “dynamite”.

All players get into a plank position and a non-player yells “Light the Dynamite”. The first player in each line is activated. If they are a fuse, they roll over, do 10 sit-ups and tag the next person. 

If the next player is a fuse, they do the same thing. If the player is dynamite, all players in the team have to jump up and do 10 jumping jacks. The first team to get through the chain of fuses and dynamite wins.

5. Captain’s Order

This game is simple and quick to play for a large group. One person is chosen to be the captain and all other players are the crew. You need to prepare a list of commands before the game starts for the captain to yell out to the crew. Popular actions include:

  • Captain On Deck: all players have to salute the captain
  • Bow: players run to a designated spot (the bow of the boat)
  • Clear The Deck: players have to do headstands or handstands and keep their feet of the ground
  • Find North: players get into groups of three and all point in one direction

You can come up with as many commands as you want. Any player that does not follow the order correctly is out. The crew member that completes the order last is also out. Whichever crew member completes all orders correctly without getting out is the next captain.

5 Outdoor Family Games Without Equipment

When you get the family together you will want time for catching up, time for eating, and time for games. Many family gatherings involve a lot of people of all ages, so you need games that are simple and fun for all ages. 

The more that can play, the better. With these outdoor games without equipment, the whole family is in for nothing but laughs and fun.

1. Octopus Tag

Give yourself a lot of room for this game. Pick one player to be the octopus and have them stand in the middle of the play area. Every other player is a fish and they need to line up along the side of the play area. 

The octopus calls out, “I am the octopus, full of black potion. Let’s see if you can cross my ocean!” All the fish run across the ocean. 

Any that are tagged by the octopus become crabs and they have to stay where they get tagged, with one foot planted. Any players tagged by a crab also become crabs. The game continues until only one fish is left as the winner.

2. Duck Duck Goose

This classic kid’s game is perfect for the whole family. The rules are simple, and the game is fun. Have everyone sit in a circle, with one player to be “it”. 

This person walks around the outside of the circle touching each player on the top of the head. They call out either duck or goose to each player. 

If you are a duck, you stay seated, but if you get called goose, you have to get up and chase the person who is “it”. You need to tag the person before they get back to your seat in the circle. 

If the goose tags them, they can rejoin the circle, but if not, they are now “it”.

3. Cops and Robbers

Divide the group into two teams for this game, as evenly as possible. There will be a cop team and a robber team. 

Specify an area of play for the game as well as a space that is going to be jail. Then, let the fun begin. The cops will have to chase the robbers and if tagged, they have to go to “jail”. 

Robbers that have not been tagged can release their partners by sneaking to the jail and tagging them. The game is over when the cops get all the robbers in jail. Players can run around and hide to avoid being tagged.

4. Leap Frog Race

Another children’s classic game that adults can play too. Split your family into groups of two, with the players being ideally the same height. 

Mark out a course for the races and have each team line up at one end. The teams need to race to the other end, leapfrogging over each other. You can also add exercise pit stops to make the race more interesting. 

When you get to certain points in the race, each team has to stop and perform a certain exercise such as 5 jumping jacks.

5. Jockeys Up

Divide your group into pairs, ideally with each person in the pair being similar in weight and height. One person in each pair is a “horse” and the other is a “jockey”. 

The horses stand in a circle in the middle of the jockeys, facing the back of the person in front of them. The jockeys do the same thing in a larger circle around the horses and facing the opposite direction.

A non-player yells out “Horses go” and the horses start galloping around their circle. They then yell “jockeys go” and they do the same. 

When the leader calls out “Jockey’s Up” each jockey has to find their horse and jump on their back. The last team to do this is eliminated and the winners will be the last ones left.

5 Outdoor Games Without Equipment For Two Players

When you have kids, there are many times when a friend is over and the two of them need something to do. Chances are they will be asking for something to do frequently. So, it is a good idea to be prepared. 

Have a few of these outdoor games without equipment ready to go, so they can get outside and have fun. These games are perfect for small groups or when you only have two kids.

1. Funny Running

Each kid takes turns picking an animal. The game is to run across the play area as the animal that is called out. They can choose from monkeys, elephants, lions, turtles, and birds. While kids of all ages can play this, younger children will especially enjoy running in these funny ways.

2. Simon Says

One kid gets to be Simon first and they must tell the other player what to do. They can shout commands such as “touch your nose” or “jump on one foot”. 

The commands will either begin with “Simon says” or not. If they do the other player must obey but if they do not say “Simon says”, the other player should not do the action. 

If they obey without “Simon says” being said, they are out. It is then their turn to be “Simon”. This game is usually played with larger groups, but it is also fun for two kids.

3. Racing War

Set up a racecourse with a start and finish line. Each time the kids race, select a different style for them to do. They can have races by running, hopping, skipping, walking backwards, crab walking, and crawling. 

Keep track of the winner of each individual race and the kid with the most wins overall is the race war winner.  

4. Nature To Nature

One of the players is in charge of the nature guide around the yard or park. They are to locate an item such as a leaf, rock, flower, or twig, anything they can find within the play area. 

They show this to the other player for ten seconds and then hides it away. The other player has until a count of 100 to find another item that is similar to the one the guide showed them. 

Each player gets 5 turns to be the guide and the winner will be the one who had the closest matches after 5 rounds.

5. Playground Olympics

Designate events for the Olympics, including crab walks, long jump, swinging, sliding, jumping jacks, racing, and climbing. You can add any events you can think of to the list for the kids to take part in. 

The goal is for the kids to get as many points as they can and the winner will get to choose the surprise, such as choice of dessert or next game to play.

Helpful Tips For Playing the Best Outdoor Games Without Equipment

When you need to entertain a group of people, the best place to be is outdoors. As you can see from our list, there are many outdoor games you can organize that don’t involve equipment. 

Many of these can be played quickly and simply without spending time setting up and taking down. Before you pick the games to play, there are a few tips to remember.

  • Choose games according to the age of your players. This is important when playing with family as you may have young and older players.
  • Location matters: Make sure you have enough space for the games you choose to play. If a lot of space is needed for running, you may want to consider heading to a park or playing field.
  • Stay hydrated: Most of the games involve physical activity, so make sure you have plenty of water on hand for all players.

Final Thoughts

Whether you have a large group of people or just a few kids, playing outdoors is one of the best ways to spend time. The best part about the outdoors is everything you need is already there. 

With our list of 25 outdoor games without equipment, all you need to bring is yourself, friends, and family. Having fun has never been easier.

Drew Thomas

My name is Drew Thomas and I’m the creator of Fun In the Yard, your one stop site for all your outdoor games, sports, party activities, outdoor gear, and lawn & gardening tips.

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