When the weather warms up and the Holiday season
is nearly upon us, the family picnics, the corporate fun days,
the end of school year picnics all become a feature in our weekend plans. If you need help planning an event such as these, don't fear - help is here!
Here are some of my favourite outdoor picnic games that all ages will enjoy.
Potato Sack Race - You will need large sacks for each participant, a start line and a finish line. On the word go, players must successfully cross the finish line. The trick is to jump holding the sack like the player in the blue t-shirt shown above.
Tug of war
Tug of War Find a level ground space for the game to be played. Draw a line on the ground. Mark the middle of the rope with tape (say 120 ft long rope). Measure say 15ft from this centre point from each side and tape again. The team which has this tape cross the line on the ground, have lost. Form two teams with equal number of team members. It is handy if the largest person on the team to be the person holding on to the end of the rope (ie: anchor). Line both teams up on their ends of the rope. Position each person so that one is to the right of the rope and the next is to the left. Have team members pick up the rope and hold it tight, taking up the slack between the two teams. The judge can now line up the center tape over the line. When the judge yells Pull!, each team pulls until one side's tape crosses the line.
Hula Hoop Competition Each entrant has a hula hoop. On the sound of go, entrants must hula hoop until they are the last player standing.
Ladders Players form single lines, facing each other. The person they are facing is their partner. Players must sit on the ground, legs out in front with feet against their partner's feet. Give each pair of players a number. When a number is called, the pair must race each other down the ladder of legs, around to the start of the ladder and back down the ladder to where they were sitting.
Giant Twister This is a great outdoor game. You can hire an inflatable giant twister for the day or alternatively, paint your own twister coloured dots onto a king size flat sheet or coloured dots on the ground (evenly spaced - use a Twister set to copy)
Egg and Spoon Race An oldie but a goddie. I would use uncooked eggs with table spoons rather than bean bags...your here to have fun and laugh.
Pass the Banana Teams line up and sit on the floor. A peeled banana must be passed down the line and back again using only your feet
Watermelon eating competition
Watermelon Eating Comp This was played at a corporate fun day we hosted last summer. It was the hit of the day! Players should not touch the watermelon during this competition.
Three Legged Race Again we have all played this picnic game in the past. Players must pair up and have their legs bound in two places using stockings. Players line up at the start line and race together in pairs to finish first across the finish line.
Downward facing dog
Downward Facing Dog Players must hold this well know yogo position for as long as they can. Female players always feel they have the upper hand at this game.
Picnic Basket Relay Teams are split into pairs and they race in pairs against each other to successfully run up to the picnic basket (at least 10 meters away from the start line), unpack the blanket, set up plates, drinks, place sun hatrs on their heads etc... Once they have had a signal from the judge that they have successfully unpacked the basket, they must then pack the picnic basket and run back to their team and tag the next pair of players. First team to have all players complete the picnic basket relay wins.
Dog and Bone I played this every week at Brownies (shh don't tell anyone) and loved it. Split players into two teams and line them up facing each other. Number the team players starting from opposite ends of the line. We used a rolled up newspaper as the "bone" but use anything that is handy. This bone is placed on the ground in the middle between the two lines. Judge will call a number. The players with that number run to the middle and try and get the bone back to their team line. When a player successfully get the bone back to his/her team, the team gets a point. If a player is touched by the other player when he is holding the bone, he has to drop the bone there and players then keep playing. Sometimes it is easier to "tap" the bone across your team's line direction. Play for say 20 points.
Cricket Game I ask - would a picnic be a picnic without a cricket set? Maybe for our American readers - baseball?
Balloon Choo Choo Divide into two teams of at least five or more players. Choose a starting line and finish line at least 20 feet apart or more. Each person on each team is given a balloon (9 inch diameter or more). All players inflate their balloon and place it against the back of the team member standing in front of them. They press their bellies against the balloon to hold it against the back side of the next team member. Now you have a line of team members all holding their balloons firmly against the backs of the person in front of them. The front person will not be able to press their body against anyone since they are first. After both teams are in place at the starting line, instruct them that collectively, they are to move from the start line to the finish line. Once their team arrives at the designated location, the first person needs to pop their balloon. When the person behind the first person hears the balloon pop, they are to squeeze their body against the first person and pop their balloon. It's okay to use their hands as they squeeze this balloon. The first team to arrive at the finish line and pop all balloons is the winner.
Water Balloon Toss
Water Games If you have access to water at your picnic function then use it to play these games. I promise it is worth carting the water!
Over/Under Game Each team forms a single file line facing the persons head next to them. At the head of each line put a bucket of water. At the other end put a pitcher with a line drawn on it. Give a sponge to the person at the head of the line where the water bucket is. That person has to dip the sponge in the water to soak in as much water as they can. They then have to then pass the soaking wet sponge over their head to the person behind who then passes the sponge to the person behind them through their legs.
The sponge makes its way back over the head of one person and between the legs of the next till it gets to the person standing next to the pitcher. That person must squeeze whatever water is left into the pitcher and run the sponge back up to the head of the line. When this occurs, everybody moves back one position and the person who was at the back of the line now is at the head of the line.
Continue process till the pitcher is filled to line.
Catch the Water Bombs
Attach a colander to a bike helmet using string and have one helmet per team. Have team members stand behind a throwing line and see how many successful catches are made by the "team catcher"
Catch the water bombs
Fill the Bottle
On each team, one person lays on the ground while holding a plastic bottle on their forehead. Team mates run to the bucket to fill up their cup then they attempt to pour it into their team mate’s bottle while standing over head. Then the next team mate will do the same until the 2 Litre bottle is filled. Once the 2 Litre bottle is filled, the bottle person should run to the finish line without spilling.
Give each child a plastic cup full of water. While two players twirl a large jump rope, jumpers one by one are to attempt three consecutive jumps. They are to do this whilst holding onto their cup of water and trying to not let any water spill. The child that has the most water left is the winner. You can keep playing until only one person has water left in their cup.
Each team forms a line with teammates a little more than an arms length away from each other. At one end of the line is a large container of water with large sponges in it. The other end has a small bucket, which you could mark with a fill line where you want the finish point to be or just fill to the top. When signaled to start, teams are to race. The person at the large container is to throw a sponge to next teammate and that person to the next until it reaches the end of the line. The last person is to squeeze the sponge out and then run to the start of the line, dip the sponge in the large container and pass to next person. If sponge is dropped while being passed, it is to be thrown back to the start of the line and you are to continue again. After full rotation of line, meaning everyone has taken sponge out of large container and passed, the team with the most collected water is the winner.
Water Balloon Relay Race
Set up a chair for each team with a water balloon in the seat. Each player must run to the chair, sit on the balloon till it pops, then run and tag the next player. You will need to put a new balloon in after each one is popped. First team to pop all balloons and cross the finish line wins.
Water Balloon Toss
In pairs they start in close and each throw back and forward. Back and forth is counted as 1, and then they have to take a step back. They keep going till it drops or pops. The team that has the pair with the highest number wins.
Alternatively you could throw the water balloons up; if they catch one, put it back in the bucket and the successful catcher is awarded a point for their team. Make sure there is no rough play or "up the Cazaly" marks. Again the team that catches the most wins.
Drip, drip, dunk
Play like duck, duck, goose, however one child walks around the circle with a cup of water, dripping on all in the circle (saying drip, drip, drip), then the chosen person has it poured over their head (dunk). They must then chase this person around the circle, trying to tag them. Handy to have a bucket of water next to the circle so children can fill up the cup when it’s their turn.
Water Bottle Relay - There's a hole in my bucket
There's a Hole in my Bucket!
Drill holes in the bottom of 2 household buckets. Have teams line up single file behind the start line and have an empty bin for each team located approximately 20 metres from start line. At the start line, there is another large bin full of water. On the word go, each team member must fill the bucket with water from the start line bin and place it on their head. They run down to the empty bin in front of them and tip what remaining water is left in their bucket into the collection bin. They run quickly back to their next team member and hand them the bucket to repeat the process. The first team to fill their collection bin wins.