Posted by: coachingparents | May 22, 2009

Coaching Kids to Put Some Spring in their Step

10 Super Backyard Games that Equal Family Fun

Dr. Caron Goode

Days and becoming longer and staying lighter. Families have more time to reconnect after an otherwise disjointed day. Winter is officially over and the sounds of spring are beckoning families to the great outdoors. What better way to de-stress, than to run around with the kids in your own backyard and spend quality time with the family. If you play hard, you’ll even work off those extra lattes you were sipping to stay awake during those cold winter months. In addition, what better way to encourage a love of being active and outdoors? If you’re ready to enjoy the warmer weather and have some backyard fun, grab the kids, head outside and play a few of these super fun, family-friendly games.

Hide and Seek. An oldie, but goodie, set up the backyard boundaries and have at it. Choose one person to be the seeker and have him count to 20 while everyone else hides. The last person to be found becomes the seeker.
Pick Pocket Tag. Stick a strip of fabric into the back pocket or waistband of each family member. Everyone chases each other, trying to grab the strip of fabric, without getting their own fabric strip taken. The person with the most fabric strips at the end of the game wins.

Hide the Bones.  This is a favorite game of parenting author, Michelle LaRowe, 2004 International Nanny Association Nanny of the Year. Purchase some small, plastic bones from your local party store and hide them throughout the backyard. Give each person a pail and let them collect the bones. The one who has the most wins. While bones add a bit of humor, plastic eggs are a great seasonable substitute if bones aren’t available.

Hop Scotch. Let the kids choose their favorite color of chalk and draw the hop scotch layout in your driveway.  Draw 3 single squares, 1 double square, 2 single squares, 1 double square and 1 single square. Remind the kids that one foot goes in each square. If you’re feeling creative, have the kids find sticks to create your hop scotch board on the grass in the backyard.

Freeze Dance. When the music starts, have everyone do their silliest dance. When it stops, freeze. The last person left in their frozen position wins!

Off to the Races. Race by hopping, crawling, or running to the other side of the lawn. The first one to reach the finish line wins.

Shark Attack. Place hula hoops on the ground to serve as dens for the fish. Select one person to be the shark. When the shark calls out “Fishies, fishies, cross my ocean” the fish move out of their den and try to make it to another den.  If the shark tags the fish while outside of a den, the fish becomes a shark.  The last fish left becomes the shark.

Team Tag. Let the youngest family member be “it” first. Once he tags someone, they join hands and keep tagging people until everyone has joined hands.

Capture the Flag. Divide the lawn into two sides, with a team of family members on each side. Both teams have three minutes to hide their flags. The goal is to capture the other team’s flag without getting caught. If you get caught, you have to go to jail, where you can only be freed by getting tagged out by a member of your team. The first team to capture the other team’s flag and bring it back to their side wins.

Duck, Duck Goose.  Everyone sits in a circle, facing inwards, while the ducker taps each person lightly on the head, saying either duck or goose. When the ducker says goose, the person who was tapped gets up and chases the ducker. If the ducker gets all the way around the circle and back to the goose’s spot, without getting tagged, the goose becomes the new ducker. If the goose catches the ducker, the ducker continues being the ducker.

Now that Spring is really here, coach the family to have some big, backyard fun. Now is the time enjoy the weather and to enjoy each other outside.

Dr. Goode is gifted with compassion in assisting others to effect lasting transformation through spiritual coaching, books, classes and seminars. Caron’s continuous education, experience in psychology and professional writing makes her a great resource for parents wishing to create and maintain a nurturing relationship their children. She has positioned the Academy for Coaching Parents International ( at the forefront of the parent coaching movement to disseminate the coaching model of empowerment for parents. Newest book – Raising Intuitive Children at


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: