Are you looking for outdoor fun games to play with your family? You’ve come to the right place! Here are 21 outdoor group games around the world. We’ll start in Asia and move our way across the globe, finishing up in Australasia.
Along the way, we’ll talk about games from around the world – 3-4 games from each of seven continents. Focusing on countries like Bangladesh (folk games), India, China, Japan, Scotland, Spain, Canada, USA, Brazil, New Zealand, and many other countries.
Finally, by learning about the history and cultural importance of these fun games, as well as the skills they teach, you’ll be able to choose the perfect one for some backyard fun.
Satchada – Bangladesh
The participants in this game are vying to be the first to knock down a structure with seven flat stones. It’s called Satchada, and it originated in Bangladesh!
It’s a challenging game that demands planning, technique and quick thinking. One person from each side stands ten feet away, facing off against one another to see who can knock down the seven stones with just one shot!
In an effort to re-setup the seven stones, the other team’s players are on their toes while the pitcher attempts to strike the opposing team’s players with his hurl. A player gets eliminated from the game if they are struck.
Click on this link to a wonderful Bangladesh PDF document to learn about many other games, including Phul Tokka and Kabaddi.
This game is a win-win situation for all of us. The best part? You can make it fun by using recycled materials or anything in your backyard!
Hanetsuki – Japan
The game of Hanetsuki is an outdoor game that can be simple and fun to play with your family. It’s one of many different Japanese Culture activities, like badminton- it mimics some aspects of this other traditional pastime! Hanetsuki was played during ancient rituals before it became an activity for women in the Muromachi Dynasty.
A rectangular-shaped racket dubbed Hagoita is also used, along with brightly coloured shuttles fashioned from soapberries and feathers – collectively called “Hane” (a Japanese word meaning ‘fan’). The aim here is simple: try not to let your shuttlecock fall onto the ground while playing this game! The defeated Graceless has their face stained with black paint. You know that the longer they can sustain Hane airborne, the happier next year will be!
So use badminton gear if you don’t have any other props at hand because this backyard fun game is easy to play and even more enjoyable with your friends.
Gilli Danda -India
The origin of this outdoor game dates back to pre-historic times, but it’s still one of many traditional Indian games children play today!
Gilli Danda is a pre-historic outdoor game still played by children in India. Played with two sticks, one shorter and one taller, it resembles baseball and cricket and is a forerunner of those outdoor game kids’ games.
- The goal of Gilli Danda is for the player to use the tall stick or “danda” to hit the shorter stick or “Gilli” as far as they can go.
- “Gilli” itself is thrown as it flies off of the danda, and as soon as they hit it, players must dash off to another designated point before their opponent can capture the “Gilli”.
Gilli Danda is also called Pachisi in some facets of India’s culture and is one of those unique fun games that’s easy to play with your family. Enjoy it by yourself or invite several friends over for a big group of fun!
Tinikling – Philippines
Twirling around in perfect harmony, the bamboo poles make for an art form passed down through generations. After all, this Philippine tradition of dancing to music is based on bird movement!
The 3-person game requires two to hold both ends of poles and one who must leap in and out of space. The kids keep the rhythm, making them laugh as they go about their business!
Tingling is so much more entertaining to watch than just tapping your toes by yourself or with a friend who doesn’t know how this goes down.
A Game from Ethiopia, this outdoor game of two teams of 10 players each takes on the task to keep a wooden ball (made from a root) out of their home town (like a goal area) with just your crook or curved shepherds staff!
Genna is similar to hockey in that both utilize a stick to move the ball, but Genna is more on endurance than speed. Animals grazing on the land must be avoided by Genna players, and it may be challenging to move them away from the area at times.
The outdoor game goes back to pre-historic times when joyful shepherds were so excited hearing about Christ’s birth that they began playing this game. Yet, it is still one of the traditional outdoor games played by Ethiopian farmers today!
Watch out for Genna, a tricky game played with the shepherd’s staff known as a crook. You’ll need to run from one end of your arc path and smash that ball into their side while avoiding opponents! It can be challenging yet rewarding if you practice specific skills like chopping wood or weaving baskets – just sayin’.
Another classic story bizarrely portrays this outdoor game. The three kings returning from Christ’s birth encountered a man who denied the majesty of Jesus, so they beheaded him and played Genna with his head instead.
In Ethiopia, Genna is another word for Christmas, which illustrates why the game is so significant to the Ethiopian people.
You might customize Genna turning it into one of those go-to backyard games by utilizing the available area and resources for some great fun!
Archery – Egypt
Egyptian past time? Yes, indeed. So are wrestling and javelin throwing, among the many well-known fun things in ancient Egypt!
But what about Archery practised in different countries and different cultures; Archery included as a sport during summer Olympics Games tournaments centuries ago – just like it is today?
I mention this because it is a tremendous one-player activity.
As a group, you can create targets for your backyard shootouts using everyday household items like bows or arrows made from materials found at home players who hit the targets get the most points.
Tug of War – Egypt
Egyptian tablets from the Marorika tomb depict competing individuals, indicating a contrasting ancient world existence.
A group on either side of this line clasp arms and yank each other backwards to win–a clear indication that people played tug o’ war throughout Cambodia up into India!
Other cultures have also utilized it as a fun pastime for family get-togethers or barbeques.
Just look no further than Viking sagas, where they are constantly engaging with one another through various forms, including “tug-o’-war,” which is when two teams face off against each other by grasping onto ropes.
A game of outdoor cooperative interaction in the wake of chaos, Dinifri is a pastime that harkens back to when the Nomads were warrior culture.
To transfer significant items, individuals must train to fling and strike tiny distant targets, relocate targets, and dash courageously into the core of the resistance.
The game begins by marking out a 1-meter rectangular court.
- Every rectangle corner, including the centre, has a small square drawn
- In the centre square, five slabs of rock or other materials are stacked on top of one another to form a tower.
- A delicate yet solid fabric, such as cardboard, is folded into a compact barrel shape and knotted with thick grass or twine used as a whip or baton.
- From opposite sides of the rectangular pattern, two groups of five congregate.
- Both parties undertake rounds hurling the barrel-shaped device at the five-rock objects in the centre.
- Whenever a crew smashes the stones, bringing them all down, it shifts to a combat state of affairs as the offensive army now becomes side hitting rocks.
As a defensive player, you must knock each opponent off the field one by one with a rod in order to prevent the striker from inserting stones (eradicating the opposition).
The game is interrupted for a short spell once the defence team springs up, cheering Morrocan chant before resuming when the assaulting party inserts all pieces or defenders knock out strikers (barrel/baton).
When assaulting party inserts all five stone chunks into the corners or defending team knocks out all strikers with staff (barrel/baton) then they may claim triumph.
You can get a taste for the other cultures with this easy project, recreating your favourite outdoor game (Dinifri) or even preparing authentic Moroccan meals at home.
Lacrosse – Canada (Indigenous Tribes)
The sport of lacrosse is an intense pursuit played with a long paddle and net cup or pouch.
It’s challenging to get the small rubber ball into your adversary’s goal, but it gets more enjoyable when you use these tools to grab, transport and hurl the ball back and forth between teammates and score a goal!
The lacrosse game is elusive, but its popularity throughout many First Tribes (Mohawks) in eastern North America makes the present form quite possible.
It rose to prominence amongst non-Indigenous groups and formed Canada’s National Lacrosse Association back in 1867. for that very reason – no doubt players were looking forward play some meaningful games without being discriminated against because their tribes had been conquered by other people centuries ago!
The Lacrosse game is a physiological recreational activity requiring awareness and eluding strategies. It’s quite a fascinating sport.
- There are a total of ten individuals permitted for each team on the field, consisting of three attackers, midfielders or defensemen.
- The maximum permissible amount is four long Lacrosse paddles per side, with exceptions made only for goalkeepers who may use an additional one at their disposal as well!
You could quickly adapt by making your own DIY lacrosse net (miniature version) or paddle. Then practice some drills in the backyard to gain basic ball skills like racking up balls, transferring them while trying and catching one at a time before shooting it back out again!
Snow Snake – Iroquois Nations (Haudenosaunee).
Snow Snake is a traditional Haudenosaunee winter pastime conducted when the warriors return from their yearly hunting trip.
They became massive contests. The township functioned like a true community applauding for their beloved side. To the Iroquois, it’s a thrilling test of prowess and group activity.
The concept of the action is to fling the snow serpent as far as feasible along a flat trench carved in the snow.
- Throws: shifted between both parties.
- The snake’s distance flown is credited to that team’s tally or point values, and the side with the longest overall length triumphs.
- Leading up to the event, all competitors carve their personalized “snake,” which might very well be a flattened plank of wood or a salvaged wood scrap, depending on the nature of the competition.
- The snakes were crafted, allowing for an easier throw, one end was angled slightly, and the other was grooved.
They hauled a log through the snow to form a channel or trench. Nowadays, this healing game is fun for interacting and honouring the customs of previous ancestors.
Watch this video from the 2015 Ojibwe Winter Games by Colin Connors, which exhibits the brilliant pastime Snow Snake in action.
Colin Connors. (2016, April 1). Snow Snake – Ojibwe Winter Games 2015 [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piQx9v1gVMY&t=38s
The significant part about this activity is that you can sculpt your own snake out of reclaimed wood in your backyard and involve the kids.
A two-player activity of yesteryear. The Pursuit of Graces was a favourite leisure time for young ladies in the 1800s. Its popularity grew during colonial America when immigrants from France brought their love affair with this game across oceans to North America.
- Each player must have two rods to be a competent participant in this game. One is used to send the hoop into the sky and capture it with their other rod- which they do by forcing apart either side of these hardwood hoops!
- Sending the hoops up into space, grasp both rods and feed them into the circle. Cross your rods like an X shape, then drag them apart as swiftly as possible while keeping a tight grip on those handles!
- The person who catches their own hoop more than ten times initially prevails at the master level–and can call themselves “king” of this game called Graces.
Trundling- American Settlers.
Juggling with rolling hoops and sticks was a favourite trend in early Us heritage. The premise of this outdoor amusement is to move the ring and maintain it moving using the ‘trundling’ T shaped stick.
In South America, outdoor games are known as Juegos Deportivos. Brazilian jujitsu and soccer, or Futbol, are among sports that come to mind when thinking about this global region. However, in this portion of the blog.
I will look into outdoor group games like Argentina’s Tejo and Brazil’s Fescobol and the cultural dimension of sports in Brazil with the initiative Bola Pra Frente. I’ll also add Truco from Chile, which isn’t strictly an outdoor sport but a terrific Barbeque social activity.
Baia’a and Bola Pra Frente- Brazil.
Consider outdoor group sports played with a rubber ball, such as volleyball on an outside court. Kicking a rubber ball Soccer known as Futbol is a backbone of Brazilian society.
Bola Pra Frente is a kind of sports and cultural communication that promotes cognitive, motor coordination, teamwork, healthy living, and general knowledge. Sports are deeply rooted in the basis of Brazilian society; thus, enhancing the use of sports and in-class activities for children and adolescents is vital today to assist holistic development.
Students get specialized advice from sports experts, psychologists, and mental health professionals. Around 900 young people assemble in “BOLA PRA FRENTE.” They attend additional courses and pursue athletic or work-related sports projects outside of their backyard.
Frescobol is a beach sport similar to tennis, played with an old wooden racquet and a soft rubber ball. It started in the 1960s on Ipanema Beach, where it still thrives today as one of Brazil’s most popular sports!
In 1945, Lian Pontes de Carvalho, an ambitious architect, set out to adapt tennis and other racquet-based sports for Brazil’s beachside setting.
A friendly and collaborative game where you and a teammate work together to accomplish the longest shot feasible. There were no triumphs or losses, just a resolution not to let the ball tumble, and Frescobol was launched.
It was a fun activity from the 1950s until the 1990s, with the first Brazilian Frescobol Circuit debuting in 1994.
You can quickly adapt Frescobol for your backyard and use almost anything in a racket or bat, keeping the ball up in the air so that it will fly nowhere near your neighbours’ houses.
Truco – Chile.
Truco is a popular game in Chile because it can be acquired promptly by anybody who can play cards!
Truco is ubiquitous across Latin America. From the more leisurely activity Truc, which is widespread in Valencia, the Balearics, and Italy. Each participant receives three cards revealed in tricks, with scores awarded for corresponding suits.
The ability to wager additional points on who has the finest combo to achieve the tricks is integral to the game. Two or six players in teams may play Truco action also played indoors.
Tejo is a traditional Argentine sport that is akin to Bocce ball. It is not to be misconstrued with the Colombian sport of the same name, Tejo. Tejo is a pastime played by two teams, each with a set of Tejos (a separate colouration for each team). Singles, partnerships, and triples teams are all permitted.
2.5 By 12 metres split into two equally 6-meter sections is the playing surface for the game. Coloured Tejo discs (4.5 inches and 11 oz ) are obtainable in three sizes. Every player gets four discs to engage within the individual competition. Each participant in a doubles game has three discs. Each squad has six members.
Starting with the neutral disc, one team makes their initial throw. The opponent then launches till a disc is closest. Each Tejo that gets closer to a little neutral Tejo titled Tejin than the other team’s nearest Tejo awards them a point. In certain instances, the goal is to score 15 points.
Observe this short clip from Tejo TV and, ignoring the fact that it is in this exquisite native language, it will give you a great sense of this activity.
Tejo TV. (2020, March 1). LA CANCHA DE TEJO [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNkPPkD0Tq8
Another sport worth mentioning is Pato, which is popular in Argentina. If you’re lucky enough to have a horse in your backyard, you may try it out. An equestrian exercise combining Basketball and Polo; A “pato” is a duck in Spanish early versions of this game employed a duck rather than a ball within a basket. Argentina’s national sport is pato.
Perhaps pair some duck on the grill with a game of basketball or netball using rubber ducks, or try playing Tejo for a taste of Argentina culture.
Activities shouldn’t be demeaning but uplifting and fun to recognize various ethnicities.
Antarctica has no nationalities, and though seven or more nations claim various portions of it, hence I intend to highlight some distinct winter games that may be practised on ice or altered for your backyard.
Curling is the Roarin’ Game as it moves over frozen ponds. No one knows where Curlin originated, but Pieter Bruegel painted ice-cold stones thrown in his work.
The game was first played all across Europe during the 16th century, with Scotland being its home base ever since then; today, you can find teams from countries like Canada, the USA, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway New Zealand there too!
Curling is a sport that involves sliding granite stones on ice towards a target area. Two teams of four players each take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones toward a circular target marked on the ice runs across the ice curling sheet towards the house. Each squad is given eight stones.
The mission of curling is to accumulate points by having your stone stop as close as possible to the centre of the house at the far end of the rink from where it started, or if you have an opponent’s rock in front of yours closest point gets you more points.
It takes strategy and focus because there are no mistakes allowed – once a player releases his stone down the length, they must stay behind until it comes to rest. Curlers can give their teammates advice but cannot touch or move any of the stones.
Bobsledding-New York/ Switzerland
Bobsledding is a fast-paced winter sport in which teams of two or four people race down narrow, twisting channels while lying on their backs. The bobsled has been around since the mid 16th century when it was used as farm equipment by Europeans living in Switzerland and Northern Europe where it gets icy, and it then became a sport in the 19th century!
Today, you can find sledders from countries like the USA, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand, and Canada worldwide! It takes tremendous strength and coordination to manoeuvre this sled quickly through turns without crashing into walls.
The bobsledding track is a refrigerated, banked and iced course of ice that has been prepared to meet specific regulations.
The sleds travel down the ice at high speeds reaching up to 130 kilometres per hour (81 mph) for men’s four-person teams and 75 kilometres per hour (47 mph), or lower, depending on local rules, for two-person groups; This means that we need helmets during training as well!
Boules (or pétanque) is a lawn game that you can play with two to twelve players. Boules became popular in the late 19th century and has been an outdoor game people play worldwide ever since!
Boule aims to throw balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball called the cochonnet (literally “piglet” – which explains why we call boule also by its English name “bocce”) or jack while standing inside a circle with both feet on the ground.
- Each player has three boules and tries to get as close as possible to the cochonnet using their own balls from within his team’s starting area.
- A point is scored only when all of a player’s boules are closer than those of any opponent; you earn more points if your ball is closest!
- The winner is the one who earns enough points: it’s that simple!
It’s such a fun outdoor group activity for both competitive and non-competitive players because it doesn’t require much space so that you can enjoy this outdoor game everywhere from your backyard, at picnics or during vacations on sandy beaches!
Sapo (Choke the Frog)-Spain
For a glimpse into a centuries-old traditional game in Peru, round up some friends for a round of Sapo. It is essentially a coin-toss game. It involves a large board with holes and an open-mouthed frog in the centre.
As the name asserts, your aim is to choke the frog (toss coins into its mouth). Each player receives ten coins and stands five paces back from the board.
Points are awarded for coins that land in the frog’s mouth or the holes closest to the frog.
Cool Old Stuff has put forth a fantastic clip showcasing Sepo.
Cool Old Stuff. (2015, August 29). Jogo Tradicional do Sapo (Peruvian Coin Toss Game) [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abozcwc7Xxk
You could improvise with a small vase or similar item if you don’t have an open-mouthed frog statue on hand.
United Kingdom: Pass the parcel
Pass the Parlour could probably be filmed in the Mediterranean era. you could wrap a special surprise gift in a cloth and beautiful ribbons as players sit. An envelope covered with colourful papers is passed from child to child when the music stops whoever is the last person gets the prize unwraps and may get a reward to keep.
This is likewise a delightful pastime during children’s birthday celebrations. An adult ensures that whoever celebrates opens a lovely gift.
You’ll need a special package wrapped with fun and funny material and a thick layer of paper. Using new patterns or colours for each layer allows kids to differentiate themselves quickly.
Mangala is a Turkish mancala activity prominent in the 17th and 18th centuries. Thus according to Metin And, a Turkish ethnologist, the pastime may well be linked to The Arabian Nights’ “mancala.”
Use of this activity would only need minor modifications for outside or indoors, or you could construct your own outside giant version.
It starts with allocating 48 stones evenly across 12 reservoirs, and then each team member tries to gather all the rocks as they can and deposit them in their eighth well at the end of the game. At the finale, whoever has the most stones wins!
This outdoor group game isn’t just fun for you and your family- it’s educational, too. You might learn something new about Turkish culture!
Mangala is a super fun activity that you can modify to work well outside or inside. You could easily build your own giant version of the game if you wanted!
Australia/New Zealand-Touch Rugby
In late 1968, the first recognized Touch game was conducted, and the subsequent tournament – organized by Dyke & Vawdon- took place soon after. By 1975 representative games were being held all over Australia! The sport quickly spread to New Zealand, where it gained traction.
This outdoor group game is a great one for team-building. It’s inspired by the sport of Rugby, but there’s never tackling that makes this outdoor activity even more fun!
The beautiful thing about Touch rugby is that there are no fixed positions or teams – Just go out there and enjoy some fun with your pals. Try some drills with your younger family members!
The main rules are easy to follow- if someone has the ball, they have to run! If they get touched, the play stops and players have to stay in a line. Other rules, such as offside and knock-ons, can be learned gradually.
You don’t need a considerable lot of capacity to enjoy playing this game, New Zealand is known for its pristine beaches and outdoor activities, so it’s no wonder Touch rugby was invented there!
Touch rugby tournaments worldwide, but you can also play with your family or friends in a backyard.
Australia- Aussie Rules
The birth of Australian football is one of those classic games. The sport can be traced back to 1858, when Melbourne was a thriving metropolis founded on the wealth from its gold rush.
This outdoor group game is another Rugby-inspired activity! The regulations are more complicated this time around, but it’s still so much fun to play in your leisure time, with close friends or relations between work obligations.”
- Six points are rewarded for kicking the ball through the goalposts without contacting another player in the opposing team.
- If you kick it and don’t get tackled behind where they’re at, then a goal is awarded – this game has some interesting rules!
- A match consists of four 20 minute segments; each segment starts with a ruck (rucking = low tackles).
- An oval-shaped pitch is used for Australian Rules Football with two tall posts, a minimum of 6m.
- You may score points in many other ways as well (e.g., running across the goal line and touching it with your foot).
New Zealand(Aotearoa)-Ki O Rahi
Before colonists came, one of the many Maori cultural games of Ki O Rahi was prominent. Ki O Rahi is an outdoor sport that demands skill and agility!
We recognize this as a recreation today due to the apparent Maori mythology. The game serves as a celebration of the indigenous culture’s past and the competitive nature of the sport.
Both the attacking team and their guardians are Kioma. An illustration of a Tupu, the emblem of development and prosperity, adorns the centre circle. Seven pillars signify Matariki or Pleiades encircle the circle. They start making ki contact with as many poles as they can. The Kioma need to run to generate scores by striking the ground like the finish line or Pawera zone .’
A Tupu (a target) is struck by both teams throwing ki at it. The Taniwhas (mystical creatures) squad may score goals by knocking the Tupu with magical energy!
Taniwha teams concentrate on ripping tags to forcefully steal possession away from their competitors, the other team Kioma since tackling is not permitted. You may laugh out loud as they pull off tags with such ferocity.
Watch the following lesson from Sports Waitakere in New Zealand to learn the game of the traditional Maori discipline of Ki-o-Rahi.
Sport Waitakare. (2010, June 30). Ki-O-Rahi Brief Overview [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdY849Sy_7w
Pre-game restrictions are discussed on the Te Ara or pathway. For the Maori Battalion, this sport was a great way to be engaged in WWII with the french to playing. How would you play in the midday sun in your backyard?
There are so many options to choose from! Are you looking for outdoor team building ideas? Our outdoor games in your future? Do you like learning about the history of outdoor sports and cultural traditions worldwide? Why not try one of these engaging activities out! It’s fun for all ages, perhaps the perfect themed party fun backyard activity.
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Have fun playing outdoor group games from around the world!