16 Group Games and Activities for Kids

Kids playing group games

Summertime has set in, and your kids are running around rampant inside the house. If you’re not sure what to do and if it’s your first time dealing with kids, then here’s a no-brainer- kids are pumping with energy and need something to do in their spare time.

Children love playing games, be it indoors or outdoors and if you can add some thrill and excitement into their life, you’ll find them being productive and successful as adults later on in life. Games are a good way to develop a sense of empathy, emotional intelligence, intellectual and creative skills and builds upon existing hand-eye coordination and dexterity, all of which is needed in school and for future careers.

Group teamwork activities for kids teach them how to collaborate and work with peers, both of which are essential elements of success and leadership in life.

16 Indoor and Outdoor Group Games and Activities for Children

Kids playing group games

Your kids are at an age when growing and learning are synonymous in nature. Childhood is filled with youthfulness, and this is the best time to make memories, learn, have fun and enjoy. Here is a list of fun large group games for kids, both indoors and outdoors.

Indoor Group Games

Indoor group games are safe, awesome brain-teasers, and things one can spend hours playing and experimenting with. If it’s a rainy day outside and you’re out of ideas, here’s our recommended list of fun group games for kids seeking indoor thrills.

1. Fruit Basket

A fruit basket is a fun game that involves using household items for a dose of indoor fun.

What You Will Need

Double-sided sticky tape, paper and pens

How to Play

Split up the kids into four groups and ask them to pick their favourite themes such as fruits, scientists, dinosaurs, etc. Allocate numbers to each group and hand all players a single sheet of paper. Mix up the groups in a way that forms a circle (with one of them being at the centre) and begin the game by calling out the name of the group from the centre of the circle. The kids basically stand on their sheets of papers like floor markers and the player at the centre tries to steal a spot in the circle as the player from the circle (who is called out) tries to move to a new place.

2. Stealing the Bacon

Don’t worry. There’s no bacon or stealing involved. Here’s what you have to do.

What You Will Need

Household items such as toys, fruits, books, shoes, etc.

How to Play

Line up 10-20 kids into two groups by splitting them apart, facing each other off in a parallel line (standing face-to-face). Create a gap between their two lines and place a toy right there. Assign numbers to each member of the two groups in a sequence that corresponds their counterpart group member (that is, the number 1 player on A team is correlated to the number 1 player on the B team). Call out a random number and whichever member (with the assigned number) manages to grab the object the fastest, wins.

3. The Cold Wind Blows

A game that involves moving around chairs when conditions are met and trying to steal places while they are at it.

What You Need

10-15 kids, space, chairs

How to Play

Take the chairs and group them to form a circle. Leave out one chair from the total number of players and have everyone sit on them except one child who is designated as the centre. The centre child will say something along the lines of these statements while pointing out to one of the seated members-

“A cold wind blows for anyone who ate Pizza last night.”

“A cold wind blows for anyone who plays cricket.”

“A cold wind blows for anyone who went to bed after 9 pm.”

The gist of the game is that whenever someone says “a cold wind blows for anyone who *inserts criteria/condition)” and points to a player, then the player who meets that condition will get up and move to another chair. Meanwhile, the child at the centre will try to steal the moving kid’s spot as he gets up and thus, the game continues as the number of players whittles down to one at the end of it.

4. Bob, The Weasel

This game involves finding hidden objects and reading someone’s body language. Improves focus and attention.

What You Will Need

A small object that’s not too noticeable or easy to spot at first glance (something discreet will do)

How to Play

Seat the kids to form a circle on the floor and choose someone who gets to be ‘Bob, the Weasel’ at the centre. Place their hands behind their backs and ask them to pass the objects from one person to another without Bob noticing. If Bob is able to find out who has the object, then that person becomes ‘Bob, The Weasel’ and switches out with the child at the centre and continues to play in a similar fashion.

5. Filler Taboo

Kids sometimes use taboo or filler words such as ‘ah,’ ‘um,’ ‘hmm,’ and similar terms just like adults. This game will teach your kids to speak clearly and better articulate what they are trying to say.

What You Need

A bunch of subjects/topics for discussion and a timer

How To Play

Make a list of topics on a sheet of paper and gather up the kids to form a circle. Let each kid talk about a topic of their choice briefly or for a few minutes. Anyone who uses a single taboo/filler word gets eliminated from the upcoming rounds, and the person who stands at the last is the winner.

6. Up and Down

Up and down is a game where children look up and down for a specified period of time until pairs of two start to get eliminated. Of course, it isn’t as simple as all this and here are all the rules you need to know.

What You Need

Space, a number of kids

How to Play

Gather up the kids to form a large circle and start the timer. As soon as you yell ‘Look Up!’, everybody looks up. The catch is that the kids get to look at their partners/others while looking up sideways. If any of their eyes meet, they scream and leave the circle, thus getting eliminated from the next round. The game continues until nobody remains. It’s fun, simple, and absolutely full of giggles!

7. The Five Minute Theatre

Playing theatre in a matter of five minutes spurs up latent creativity and encourages instant problem-solving on the spot. Here’s how you play this game.

What You Need

Everyday objects, space and time

How to Play

Pick three kids to perform a skit and give them three to five minutes tops to do it on the fly. The others are free to hand them over props/objects for their skit performance onstage. Once the three to five minutes are up, the others get their turn in groups of three. This is also an awesome activity for kids’ workshops and summer vacation times.

8. Awesome Architects

This game involves problem-solving skills and exercises a kid’s intellectual and creative limits. It’s perfect for kids who aspire to careers in STEM fields and for raising the scientific genius in your household.

What You Need

Glue, Paper, clips, sticky tape and basic arts/crafts material depending on the project of your choice.

How to Play

Divide the kids into groups of teams and assign each of them the same materials. Give them an option on projects to work on ranging from newspaper bridge building to egg supports and book holders/simple crafts projects. Decide a time limit and explain what they are allowed to and not allowed to do to complete the project. Whichever team completes the project first successfully wins.

9. Chess

Challenge your little one to a game of chess. If he/she is old enough to understand rules and loves facing tactical challenges, then this game is a no-brainer for sure.

What You Need

Two players, a chess board, and time

How to Play

Explain to your little one the rules of chess, the significance of the black and white coloured pieces in the game. Talk about how the rook moves, the role of the knight bishop, what’s checkmate and a stalemate and the differences between the two. You can even make them play a simulated game on PC with the CPU and encouraging them to play one-on-one with you afterwards. Other board games that are equally brain-tickling are Ludo, Bagamon, Shogi, Sudoku and snake and ladders.

Outdoor Group Games

Sometimes little ones get bored too quickly by staying cooped indoors. If you want to some wackiness their life (or variety, if you’d prefer), then here are a couple of cool outdoor games worth trying out.

10. Tag, You’re It!

Here’s a fun classic every kid loves – “Tag, you’re it!” We all have fond memories of this game and here’s how you play if (especially if you’re new to it by any chance)

What You Will Need

Outdoor space, time and a number of kids

How to Play

Gather a group of kids and decides who is the person who gets to be “it.” Ask the one who is “it” to go near a tree or structure outside, cover his eyes and count to 20. While he’s counting, ask everyone to hide somewhere far away or discretely and once he’s done the counting, encourage him to go searching for the others. The game doesn’t end once he spots someone. The person who is “it” has to run and catch someone in the group. The person who gets caught becomes the next “it”, and in this way, it transforms into a never-ending loop of all-day fun.

11. Spell It Out

Spelling out words using body language, stretching and flexing is a great way to stay in shape plus exercise those mental muscles while they’re at it. Here’s how you practice spells it out, outdoor style.

What You Need

Teams of four, space, and time

How To Play

Take a paper and write down a list of four-letter words. Form kids into groups of four and ask each team to pose or spell out the words you say aloud using their fingers; body poses, movements and stretches. The team who is able to spell the most number of words correctly out of the rest using their bodies and movements wins.

12. Elves, Giants, and Wizards

A real-life twist to the classic rock, paper, scissors – if your kids love running and thinking when to act on the fly, then this is a game-changer.

What You Need

Teams of two, a large space/play area and time

How to Play

Mark out safe zones on the playing field and split the kids into groups of two.

Similar to rock, paper and scissors, the kid who creates-

  • a triangle with his hands on his head is the elf
  • the one who raises his arms is a giant
  • and, the one who holds his ears with the index finger extending out is the elf.

Now that we’ve got the basics down, if a giant faces a wizard, he is free to chase it. However, if the wizard enters the safe zone before the giant tags him, that doesn’t count. Once tagged, the wizard join’s the giant’s team.

Giants beat wizards. Wizards beat elves. Elves beat giants.

The game is over once any team has the most number of players in it.

13. All Over

It’s all or none in this game and here’s how things swing.

What You Need

Footballs, tennis balls, basketballs, golf balls, etc.

How to Play

Split up the kids into two teams. Divide the play area into two territories, one belonging to each team. Start a countdown and let the balls get rolling!

The team which manages to push in the most number of balls into their enemy’s territory within the designated time limit wins. Alternatively, if the team pushes all their balls into the enemy’s playfield and shouts “All Over” also wins.

14. Grab the Dragon’s Tail

If developing swiftness, hand-eye coordination and dexterity is your aim, then look no farther and introduce your child to the game of Grab The Dragon’s Tail! Here’s how you play it.

What You Need

A large space to play outdoors and 10-15 kids

How to Play

Gather the kids and ask them to join hands together in a line to form a dragon, side by side. The kid at the front is the dragon’s head while the last one behind is the tail. The rule of the game is to get the head catch the tail while the body in between tries to stop the head from doing so while not breaking the chain. If the head catches the tail, then the tail becomes the head and vice versa. Strategy and swiftness are the milestones achieved by playing this game.

15. Kick the Can

If you’re kid’s bored playing “Tag, you’re it!” then here’s a little twist you can bring to it.

What You Need

A Metal Can, space, and 3 kids at the bare minimum

How to Play

The rules are almost the same as “Tag, you’re it” except the only difference is that the player tries to capture other players while they’re “it.” When “it” tags someone, he doesn’t switch himself out with the other player. Instead, the captured player is taken to a holding pen and stays there until the game is over.

A metallic can is kept at a designated area of the playground, and if an un-captured player manages to kick the can while the “it” player is searching for others, then the captured players in pen get released. Once all the players are captured and placed in the holding pen, the game is over.

16. Snake in the Gutter

A perfect game for primary and middle-school kids, this one encourages quick thinking and exercises natural reflexes.

What You Need

6-12 kids and a large space

How to Play

Have three to four kids line up in a linear way, side to side, by holding hands. Widen the gap between each child and make the gaps the gutter. The kids (holding hands) face the others in the opposite direction and become snakes. The others must try to pass through the gaps between the snakes (or through the gutters) and make it outside safely. Whoever gets caught by the snakes has to join them and widen their formation. The game ends once the final player manages to pass through them.

The trick to ensuring social, emotional and cognitive development in your kids is to make games fun and challenging. As long as they’re having fun and learning at the same time, it becomes a win-win situation. Try out this list of ideas, and we’re sure you’ll have a happy summer!

Also Read:

15 Memory Games for Kids
Fun Brain Games for Your Kids
Music Games and Activities for Children