15 Fun Picnic Games and Outdoor Activities for Kids - Ideas For a Perfect Day Out

There are so many fun things to do during a picnic. One of the best is playing games.

There's plenty of different types, and you don't need any special equipment or materials for most activities.

The following list contains 15 fantastic options that will keep kids entertained.

We also have game suggestions for adults and seniors in these articles.

What Games Can You Play at a Picnic with Kids?

Cornhole Game

The cornhole is a great picnic game for kids. They will need to bring their bean bags, but the adults might want to provide some snacks and drinks! 

How to play

  • Place two cornhole boards 27 feet apart from front to front.
  • Stand at the side of the board. Flip a coin to see which team goes first.
  • Throw the first bean bag toward the opposite board, tossing underhand.
  • Alternate throws between the opponents standing at each board.
  • The team with the most points earned in a round throws first in the next game.
  • Win the game by being the first team to score 21 points.

Tug-of-War

The Tug-of-War is a fun game for kids to play on a picnic. This game is for pre-schoolers or older kids, making it more interesting for everyone involved.

How to play

  • Just lay the rope out on the ground straight in a straight line to get started.
  • Place a flag in the centre of the rope.
  • Have an equal number of players on either side of the rope. 
  • All of the players pick up the rope and grip it tightly with both hands.
  • Sound a whistle, and the game has officially started.
  • Keep pulling until there is a victor.

Water Balloon Fight

Kids will love this water balloon fight game at the picnic because it's fun and easy to set up!

water balloon fight during picnic

How to Play

  • Split the kids evenly into two groups.
  • Give both teams water balloons in a bucket.
  • The kids should use the water balloons to attack the opponent team.
  • Those teams that have more dry members will be deemed the winners.

Squeak, Piggy, Squeak

Several games work as great picnic activities for kids. One old favourite is this one, which has withstood the tests of time and continues to be popular among young children.

How to play

  • The blindfolded kid will walk around the circle, sit on someone's lap, then say, "squeak piggy, squeak." 
  • The person whose lap it is, referred to as the "piggy,” then squeaks, and the blindfolded player must guess who it is. 
  • If he or she is correct, the blindfolded kid trades with the piggy, who starts the game over. 
  • The blindfolded kid will spin around again to sit on someone else's lap if the guess is incorrect.

Ring Toss

Ring toss is a game that's fun for the whole family. You'll have to use your skill and aim, but it's still easy enough for kids to play!

How to play

  • Six to eight feet apart is the ideal distance between the stakes. To determine who goes first, flip a coin. The kids stand behind each stake by half.
  • The kids/teams choose a colour of rings and throw them at the opposite stake.
  • The players/teams alternate throwing rings until all rings are thrown.
  • Continue playing until one team or player reaches the target score.

Hide and Seek

Playing hide-and-seek is the perfect game for a picnic in the park. It's fun and exciting, and everyone will have a great time!

How to play

  • Decide who will be "IT" first.
  • While "IT" covers his/her eyes, all the kids run and hide.
  • The “IT” shouts: “Get ready or not, I am here!”.”
  • Kids stay hidden until the “IT” friend locates them.
  • The following "IT" player is the last to be discovered.

Balloon Emoji

Balloon Emoji is very entertaining for kids on a picnic. You can also use a colourful balloon as decoration for your next outdoor party! 

How to Play

  • Give each child a balloon and a few sketch pens.
  • They can draw a range of different faces on their balloons, such as happy, sad, excited, etc.
  • When children draw on a balloon, they might burst if they're not careful. So, keep a few spares handy.

Freeze Tag

The classic kid’s game of tag is updated to be a fun, fast game called freeze tag. It's easy to play with and perfect for a picnic with friends or family.

How to play:

  • Choose two kids to be "It.”
  • As soon as the game begins, these kids chase the other players who are not "it.”
  • When the "it" kid tags another player, they tap them and say, "FREEZE!"."
  • Those not playing as "it" need to run, hide and dodge the threat. Also, kids can unfreeze other players who have been frozen by touching them and saying "UNFREEZE!".”
  • If 3 minutes have expired with at least one player still unfrozen, the winners are the “not it” kids. 

Duck Duck Goose

Duck Duck Goose is one of the most popular games at picnics. It's a simple game that involves rapidly changing positions, which makes it challenging to win!

kids playing during a picnic in a park

How to Play

  • Set up a circle for the ducklings.
  • One kid walks around the circle, tapping everyone on the head and saying “duck.”
  • When the player desires, she/he can declare someone as "goose."
  • Then, the kid should run away from the "goose" and take his/her seat without being tagged.
  • The “goose” then repeats the game.

Red Light/Green Light

Playing Red Light/Green Light is such a blast at picnics because the whole family can play. It's a lot of fun, especially for kids.

How to Play

  • Begin with everyone along the starting line, then select one kid to lead.
  • As soon as the kid says 'Green Light,’ other kids will head toward the finish  line,
  • When the lead kid says 'Red Light,' all the other kids have to stop.
  • Players who are still moving when "Red Light" is called must return to the starting line.
  • Restart the round when everyone or most players cross the finish line.

Water Balloon Spoon Race

Water balloon fun and games are a lot of fun at a picnic. Remember when we used to race eggs and spoons? An excellent take on a classic.

How to Play

  • Set up a start and finish line
  • During the race, the kids must keep their balloons on their spoons without using the other hand.
  • The players must pick up the balloon if it falls but does not burst and go back to the beginning.
  • This kid will be out of the game if the balloon bursts

Hot and Cold

One of the best games for a picnic is hot and cold because it's easy to set up, gets kids moving around, and makes for an enjoyable day.

How to Play

  • Choose one kid to be the Hunter, and have that kid move away from the group.
  • Hide a small object or prize somewhere in the picnic space. Make the game easier by showing the Hunter what the thing is before sending them out of the room.
  • Bring the Hunter back into the playing space, and have the kid look for the hidden object by moving around the area. Hide a piece of candy or a small toy that the Hunter can keep as a prize when he/she finds the hidden object.
  • Indicate to the Hunter that he/she is moving away from the hidden object by saying "colder." If they keep moving in the wrong direction, words that indicate degrees of cold, such as "freezing" or "icy."
  • Tell the Hunter that he/she is getting closer to the hidden object by saying "hotter.” As they move closer, say "burning" or "scorching."
  • Continue giving clues until the Hunter finds the hidden object. Keep playing the game until all of the kids get a chance to hunt.

Slipper Kick

Slipper kick is a fun game to play at a picnic. It is a game where they try to kick their shoes off into the air as far as possible. It's fun for everyone!

How To Play

  • Select a location where there is ample space to play. Ensure that nobody is nearby.
  • Then, the kids start to throw their slippers as far as they can using only their feet.
  • Find out who can throw it the farthest with a measuring tape.

Pass the Water

One of the best games for a family picnic is Pass the Water. It's easy to play, and it helps children get better at teamwork and communication.

How To Play

  • Make the kids form teams and have them stand so that their shoulders are touching.
  • The goal of this game is to transfer water between buckets. The catch is that they must move the water using only their hands.
  • Each team member has to pass the water hand-to-hand to reach the second bucket. All team members disqualify themselves if one does not help.

Balloon Dance

Many kids love to play with balloons at the park, and one of the most fun things is balloon dance. It's so exciting that sometimes they want it all day!

How to Play

  • Attach balloons to the legs of every kid.
  • Get the music going and tell the crowd to dance.
  • It's a game in which kids burst balloons of their friends
  • The kid who has the last intact balloon wins
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