Outdoor games are a must at any party, but they are also great for just hanging out with friends in the backyard, at the lake, or while camping. Whether you want to keep your kids entertained, or get playful with other adults: there’s a great outdoor game for every situation and age group. With these 10 outdoor games for teenagers on the list, you are sure to have an exciting time.
Most of these outdoor games for teenagers require little or no equipment, so you’re all set to go! Next time you’re planning a camping trip, don’t forget to add these games to your camping checklist:
Fun Outdoor Games for Teens
- Fun Outdoor Games for Teens
- Tug of War
- Campsite Charades
- Cardboard Boat Races
- Bucket Tag
- Soda Bottle Bowling
- Food Eating Contest
- Time Capsule
- Cyber Tag
- Hide and Seek
- National Flags
- Giant Ring Toss
- Giant Jenga
- Kite Meteorology
- Chasey Loo
- Cat and Mouse
- Volcano Stomp
- Capture the Flag (or Anything)
- Two Truths and a Lie
- Lobber Ball
- Water Gun Fight
- Make-Your-Own Maze
- Yard Yahtzee
- Ping Pong Soccer Ball Game
- Picking Green Apples
- Homemade Twister
- Thousands and Thousands
- The Spill Game
- 5 Balloons Basketball
- Knot Challenge
Tug of War
If you’re looking for some good ol’ fashioned competition, then tug of war is the outdoor game for teens to try. You need two teams—or groups of friends—and an object that can be used as a rope: a belt works great (just remember to use it after). If you have different-sized people on each team, this could be considered unfair, so take away shoes and socks to even out the playing field. Make sure you have some sort of marker for where one end of the rope is at all times, or else things will get complicated…fast! See who can pull their opponent across the line first.
Camping is one of the best ways to spend time together as a family. So, why not add some silly fun to it by playing outdoor games for teens? Camping themed charades will give you hours of entertainment for all ages. Set up two teams (older and younger and mixed) with each team coming up with their own ideas in preparation for the game. You can use camping equipment and carry it around and be very descriptive when pretending your items are part of something else – or just act out a scene like you are hunting down Sasquatch!
One player, on each team, is selected at random starts off by being “it” and draws from the hat an item associated with camping such as bug spray, tent, making s’mores, or boots. Then they act out the word on their card for all to guess what it is. Allot about 3 minutes per actor. When someone guesses correctly, that team gets a point, and the item moves over to their side/team.
Get this printout as a pdf when you click=> Camping Charades printable. You will find 40+ camping charade word ideas and game variations.
Cardboard Boat Races
Set people up in pairs/teams or let them go solo to create small, hopefully sea-worthy “boats”. Get a few small cardboard boxes and let everyone construct their own boats. Then line them up along the side of your pool, river, or lake (or another water source) and let the races begin! The first person to get their boat through the course and/or to the other side wins. Give out prizes (or not) for who comes up with the best boat that can get them through the water without sinking!
Make it more challenging by adding a time limit, or distance before you judge who gets across first. You can also have everyone make their boats with only certain materials: such as no rope allowed, must use duct tape instead of glue, etc.
Variation: If you have a large amount of cardboard and other boat building material, larger boats that hold 1-2 people can be built and raced at the same time.
This is a messy game – but everyone will love it! Set up cones to act as targets/goals and have the two teams lined-up facing each other halfway between their start point and end goal: so that they can shoot at one another as they run across the field – this will prevent them from camping out by their own cones while waiting for someone else to come over and attack them. Paintballs are not needed as water balloons or filled pellets of some kind work just as well. If you do decide on paintball guns though, we recommend using smaller ones as the bigger ones can be harder to handle.
Get a bunch of buckets (preferably color-coded) and fill them up with water or sand. Then assign each team a bucket color (blue, red, white etc). The first person runs around and is “it” while all the others scatter off in different directions. They are trying to avoid being tagged by “it” while looking for their color bucket. If they find it before getting tagged, they jump into the bucket – and “it” has to find that color bucket next. If they are tagged before finding their bucket, they sit out – until the next round continues.
Kubb is an outdoor game that goes back over one thousand years to the Vikings. Kubb can be played with friends and family as a lawn game or outdoors party activity, much like bocce ball. All you need is a baton to roll at your kubbs on the ground. Here is a picture of people playing Kubb.
The ice cube tray version also known as Viking Chess has become popular with garden parties and barbecues alike. Each player should have their own set of pieces – made from wood, stone, metal or anything else that can withstand being used as a hammer (glass is not recommended) – and then line them up in battle formation towards your opponent’s side (with enough room in between so no one gets hit by a baton by accident). Roll your kubbs one at a time and see how many you can get to stay upright in your opponent’s territory. Find a set on Amazon.
Soda Bottle Bowling
Get three empty soda bottles (preferably colored for teams) and lay them down flat on their sides. Using duct tape or rope, create the lane markings as close together as possible – about every 2 inches apart or so. Then using chalk or spray paint, draw obstacles on the lane for single-bottle bowling, double-bottle bowling, triple-bottle bowling: whatever you want! The first player will roll their ball from a long distance away while standing behind the first line drawn with their feet inside the lane. If the soda bottle is knocked over by their ball, they receive one point and can go again as soon as they want. If it doesn’t fall over then it stays in play until the other two team members each try to knock it down with their own balls (in order of who won). The person whose team knocks down all three bottles wins (and gets a drink out of those bottles!)
Food Eating Contest
Food eating contests will surely get everyone to loosen up and enjoy the party you just had – as well as fill them with yummy food before they head back home!
So, what do you need? Okay so here are a few ideas for foods that can be featured in your outdoor games for teenagers: watermelon wedges (cut into thin slices), hotdogs, nachos, pickle spears, cheesecake pieces on toothpicks, popped popcorn on paper plates (watch out when eating those!), marshmallows (to roast over a fire) or anything else edible that is fun.
Get out some paper and pens/pencils and write down categories like the fastest person to eat an entire hot dog without using their hands, who can eat the most pickles in one minute, or who can eat 3 pieces of cheesecake without taking a bite of anything else (or you can make your categories up!).
Give out prizes for whoever wins your homemade food eating contest!
This game is designed for larger groups and is a great game for teens and adults after a nature walk, hiking, or while camping! In small groups or teams have everyone build something using only what you find on your walk: sticks, rocks, leaves, acorns, etc- anything that can be used to create something new. Once everyone has created whatever comes to mind, everyone must find a hiding spot for it. Then you have to take turns going inside the time capsule and finding as many things (give yourself 10 minutes or so) as you can in order to get them back to your group’s hideout. The person who finds the most wins their group’s game!
Using a computer of some sort (a tablet device or laptop), create two teams – red team/blue team for instance – and mark them with symbols on the side of their screen, one under another so that it is not visible unless zoomed in. Give one member from each team a wireless mouse that only they can control (not using the keyboard). Then set up four cones or objects as targets for both teams to reach based on either timer or number of “points” scored before time runs out. If someone wants to get sneaky and use their zooming-in feature on your computer then be sure to rotate play stations after every round so that no one gets an advantage!
Hide and Seek
This game is a classic that needs nothing in the way of introduction. Make sure that you have enough people playing so that at least one person can hide before everyone else finds their hiders/everyone on the same team hides together. The last person left to find hiding players becomes “it” next round for more fun!
For this outdoor game, you will need an object and each player has or makes their own flag for whichever country they come from (or imaginary if no one looks close enough). The object is placed in the middle and players are lined up facing outward at five yards away – one line facing north, another east/south, west, and south/east (depending on how many people you have playing) with those who are left over being “neutral” and standing directly behind them. To start things off, whoever is representing the neutral country (or no country) throws the object to someone from one of the other countries. That person then attempts to pass it off as fast as possible to someone else who is either going in the same direction or throwing across lines – depending on which way they throw it. If a player catches it, they can either try and get rid of it again or keep possession for two whole rotations before passing/throwing back – otherwise, whoever catches it just goes back where they were standing before and waits for another chance to play.
Giant Ring Toss
Decide how many rounds you want to play before starting this outdoor game for teens. Then cut several hula-hoops in half and line them up along the playing area. The tosser hovers their throw over the first hoop, swings back, then forward again, and tosses. If successful, they move to the next hoop by walking around it. But if they miss once or twice, play passes to another player that is waiting out of turn behind them (restarting after each round). You could also use smaller hula hoops for this game – just remember to cut them evenly so they’re all the same size!
Get a big ol’ pack of toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls (they work best). Then pull them apart and glue 2-3 together side by side so you get a long tower of smaller sections that all go down block style. Once you have built your tower, use different levels to act as playing fields for different teams, or just play it one on one -or with yourself! The basic goal is to not let your piece fall off as you jumble up the pieces in more ways than one!
You can create your own version of Jenga by building something out of blocks instead (such as Legos) or if you prefer, buy the game on Amazon.
This is like weather watching only more fun! Get a bunch of different colored kites (red, blue, yellow etc) and attach two ribbons onto each one about 1-2 feet apart at 90 degrees from each other. Lay them out on the ground in a straight line away from you – leaving enough space between them for your kite controller (you!). Once all are secured, let go of the ends. This is just like a wind tunnel – they will all fly with the same angle of spin but at different speeds depending on what color you attached to each one. If you have the time and patience, try to figure out which kite flies at what speed based on its color!
This is a fun outdoor game for teens and adults. The main objective in chasey loo is to run from your opponent(s) to catch them before they reach their corner tagged as “home base” and touch the outside walls. Touching opponents three times while on their way home is required for tagging purposes – but hitting below the belt or punching someone by surprise will disqualify the player from continuing to play. If you are looking for more fun – divide into teams, have team members on each side of the outside wall all trying to tag one another.
Cat and Mouse
This is like tag, but with more serious consequences if you get caught by the cat! Split your party into two teams and let them all chase each other around for a few minutes until everyone is bored. Then, pick one person to be the cat and that’s when things get interesting! Every member of the mouse team must do whatever it takes – crawling on hands and knees, rolling over etc -to keep away from the cat. If they get caught by the cat then they are out (or even if they touch them). This continues until there is only one person left from the mouse team. That person becomes the new cat, choose someone else to be a mouse again, and start chasing!
Set up a small obstacle course with cones, bricks or anything else you can find around your yard. Lay a large piece of plastic sheeting at one end – like a big blanket. Divide your teens into two teams and give the first player on each team a large beach ball – they have to get their ball from one side of the obstacle course to that giant piece of plastic without dropping it. Whoever can do it in the fastest time wins!
To start, divide your group into two teams – with everyone at least ten feet away from their teammate. Then, each team stands in a straight line next to their teammate creating a barrier. Next, give each person on one team a bocce ball (ten total) and do the same for the opposing team. The object of this game is to get as close as you can without hitting someone else’s ball. After every throw, they must advance forward in their line and no going back or crossing over that barrier created by your teammates. When someone makes it past the barrier, they go to the back of that line and a new person starts at the front. The first team to get all their balls across the line wins!
This classic lawn game is a great group activity, but can also be enjoyed between just two players. A bocce set includes eight large, spherical balls and one smaller ball, called the pallino. The gameplay is super easy. First, throw the smaller ball (pallino). Then players take turns to throw the larger balls, intending to get as close to the smaller ball as possible. The great thing about bocce is that the game is suited to all ages, meaning everyone – including kids – can join in on the fun.
Though bocce sets are traditionally quite heavy, there are some fantastic lightweight options, made of plastic, on the market. These are easy to pack and can even be carried in a backpack without weighing you down. Even better: there are even glow-in-the-dark bocce sets. This means you can even play the game at night, giving you a fun alternative when you get bored of telling stories around the campfire…
Capture the Flag (or Anything)
It doesn’t matter what you are trying to capture as long as there is a fair amount of running involved. Set up flags, cones, or whatever you like and put them far enough away from each other so that one team cannot just run to it and back quickly before anyone else gets there first – but close enough together so they will encounter the other team at least once before they make it back to their start/home base. To add more difficulty, set a timer for game play and have the other team try to capture the flag while you are running back to your own base – but don’t let your guard down or you may get “captured” yourself!
A variation of this outdoor game is called ‘King’s Table’ where instead of flags, there is one large object that each team has to go pick up and bring back to their side. You can use anything from rolled-up carpet in place of a table (hence “king”) to any kind of log – whatever you like – just as long as everyone can carry it easily and no cheating by using their hands or one player holding it for the whole team is allowed.
This is a fun outdoor game for teens where you use your smartphone to locate hidden containers. You’re given coordinates and then have to outsmart the owner of that container by finding it first! Remember, the last person to find a cache wins – so be sure not to take too long.
To play, download the Geocaching app on your phone or tablet and make sure you have a working internet connection. Yes, we know this can be challenging in some rural locations, but if you’re staying at a less-remote campsite, chances are you’ll be able to pick up a decent signal. Once you’ve found the treasure, you can replace it with something else, so others can continue the hunt. You can also choose to bury new treasure and create a new ‘target’, or set up your geocaching hunt for your camping buddies. We’ve also found that geocaching is a great way to engage kids who are difficult to pry away from their touchscreens and mobile games. Because it allows them to keep using their phones, whilst simultaneously getting them out in nature and exploring!
This game can be played with as many people as you want but has to be set up differently depending on how many you have playing. For two teams, line them up side by side at about twenty paces apart so that each person in a row has someone either in front of them or behind them. Give every member on one team a ball (water balloons work well) and then start each round by throwing the ball to anyone you’d like on your own team – except those who are directly beside or behind you. When everyone has had the chance to get hit, run towards the other line of players and try to catch balls being thrown back towards you. If the other team started first then they must play defense while you are on offense. Change places after every full round of throws so that everyone gets a chance to practice both ways.
Two Truths and a Lie
If you want to get a bit more personal than charades, try Two Truths and a Lie. This game doesn’t require any accessories, only a healthy dose of imagination. Each player takes a turn telling three things about themselves: two of which are truths, one of which is a lie. The rest of the players try to determine which is the lie, and if you get it right, you win a point. You can play the game in various ways. For example, you can decide that other players are allowed to probe the person telling the truths and the lie for more information, asking questions to help figure out which is fact and which is fiction. However, if you want to simplify the game, you can also opt to simply take a vote straight after a person has shared their three things. Two Truths and a Lie is a great choice to test how well you know your camping buddies. Plus, it often brings out obscure or cringeworthy anecdotes that you – or your friends – have forgotten about, adding a dose of humor and nostalgia.
This game works best with baseballs but any kind of ball will do if that is what you have lying around. Set up cans, cones, or anything you like five yards apart with one person designated as the lobber and everyone else at a distance that is easy for throwing but not too far – otherwise, it gets boring really quickly. The lobber must throw the ball to someone further down along the line so that they can run ahead and tag it without being hit in return (if you are playing single file). If this happens, then the person who tagged it sprints back to the starting point while everyone else tries to catch up with them before reaching that same point again. It’s like a chain reaction running game where each person has their own turn of both tagging and getting chased from point to point.
Water Gun Fight
Just about everyone loves playing with water guns. To start this outdoor game, you need to have a large group of people; it’s easiest with ten or more teens. Grab one water gun and let the games begin! In order to make things fair, we made teams with two subs that could be swapped in between rounds. If you’re using a water gun that requires batteries, make sure you let these teens know ahead of time so they have plenty of water in the tank before it runs out.
This outdoor game requires a ton of space and you don’t need anyone else to play but it’s great for parties and/or campouts where you can provide your own entertainment when the weather isn’t nice enough to go outside. All you need is chalk or string (supported by stakes) and a whole lot of imagination. Draw out a maze shape on the ground big enough so that everyone has room to walk through in single file and then start at one point and work your way through until you make it to the end – if you can! It doesn’t matter how far apart each line is, just as long as they are all visible – draw them closer together if there are only two or three people playing but spread them out again for larger groups.
Do you have an outdoor yahtzee set from the craft store? Now is the time to play it! Have it in a cup (or several) and have everyone try their luck at tossing some dice in order to get as close as possible on a few rolls without going over. Then whoever can roll “5-of-a-kind” first gets 10 extra points, followed by 9 for 4 of a kind, 8 for 3 of a kind etc until you get down to 1 point for one pair only.
Ping Pong Soccer Ball Game
The TV show Minute to Win It has a few outdoor games you can play at a party or with your friends. Ping pong soccer ball is a fun one! The goal is to get a ping pong into an open recycling bin from about 12 feet away. What do you need? A large, clear plastic bowl (or two), a paddle, and a tennis/ping pong ball.
Picking Green Apples
This is another contact game, but nothing will be getting hit this time except for leaves and apples. Have everyone split up in teams of three people each, then have them line up along one side of the yard. The first player on each team starts by picking an apple from the tree while balancing on a board (or broom) and trying to pass it to two other players who are facing each other about five feet apart. Once they have taken possession of the apple, they must run under the “picker” as he/she jumps off their perch and go back to the starting point with everyone moving forward towards their own tree by one spot. First team in line gets an extra player for every 10 apples they manage to get rid of throughout the game!
A twist on an old favorite and a lot of fun – Twister! Have the kids paint a big circle and then add spots or colors in various areas. Get out your twister mat and place it in the center of the painted area. The first person will put one foot down anywhere they like before their body follows suit. Then everyone else has to do the same while making sure you keep within your zones so that no two people are stepping-on each other at the same time. You can play by having someone call out numbers 1 through 4,6 or 8 etc as fast as they can or just go with free choice: whoever wants to take their turn is up next.
Thousands and Thousands
One player starts off by saying aloud any word they choose and then must continue with that word followed by adding another until it ends in something thousands or thousands of e.g. hundreds of dollars would be hundred + hundreds + dollar; ending in thousands (hundreds of dollars). Then the second person takes their turn adding a new word to what was said before them, following suit i.e. If someone says “Hundreds” you could say “of dollars”. The game continues with each person trying to come up with the longest word possible!
The Spill Game
This is one of our favorite games to play outside with teenagers when it’s hot outside. This one requires you to have a handful of water balloons and/or some wet sponges at hand so be prepared for that but it sure does get everyone moving around quickly. Everyone stands in line holding hands and spaced about 2 feet apart from each other. Then, the first person starts running towards the second person while tossing their water balloon(s) as high up into the air as they can manage before catching them again by the neck after passing it off (the two players should then run backward for a few steps). Once back at their place in line, they pass forward another balloon or sponge and so it goes until everyone has thrown all their balloons. The person who was holding the balloon when they were finished running, gets to keep them (or just start again).
This is a fun game for family get-togethers or camp-outs where you need more than one guess but not too many people playing at once. Using words that are common knowledge from each group member should help your time! Write out the possible guesses on a sheet of paper with one space left blank in between each letter – choose your word carefully!
Hint: Use a number chart to fill in the blanks as we did with our example below – be sure to leave space for letters! Also, don’t forget to include a one- or two-letter word at each end to make sure the guessers get it right!
Hangman Game Example:- Starting with an “S” – write out things which everyone knows e.g. streets, names, places, etc and then let the guessing begin! If you can’t think of any more words you can start over again by clicking on some cells – just click on the ones surrounded in orange below (note: if one cell is grayed out or empty that means someone already filled it in). If they’re correct they’ll stay black otherwise they are back to blank white spaces.
5 Balloons Basketball
All you need to play this game is a tire, a ball, and some balloons. To start the game, tie five balloons together. Then attach each end of the bundle to separate fingers on one hand of each person playing (this will leave the other hand free). Next, have everyone toss or bounce the basketball back and forth using both hands only; no balloon hands allowed! The goal is to see how long you can go before any of the balloons pop. If they deflate while in flight, then that team gets a letter from your name of choice: P-P-P-P-Pop (the last letter for each pop makes the sound).
Croquet Variation: After playing croquet, you could try a fun variation game with two people. Stand back to back and hold your mallet in front of you like a sword. The object is to hit the opponent’s mallet without them hitting yours. You can only swing forward; no swinging backward! With practice, it may be harder than it sounds.
Pick an object that’s worth points depending on which skill level you want – easy (1 point), medium (2 points), or hard (3 points). Then pick a point value to win – say 10, 20 or 30 points. (In other words, if you win with 15 knots, then you’ll have 35 points). Then decide how long it should take for them to tie each knot. For example: Each Knot “X” Number of Seconds 3-Ring Interlocking 1 Point = _____ Seconds 5-Ring Interlocking 2 Points = _____ Seconds 6-Ring Interlocking 3 Points = _____ Seconds 8-Ring Interlocking 4 Points = _____ Seconds
Now that the time limit is up – the person who tied the most correct knots wins! If there’s a tie, then they both get the prize and everyone else gets nothing (you could change this game by having two prizes instead of one).
Do you need a break from technology? How about something to do outside with your friends. Our list of games to play outside with teens includes everything from capture the flag and lobber ball to food eating contests and geocaching! Pick one or two, gather some friends, and get outside! Remember that the only way to win these games is by having fun – so don’t forget to enjoy yourself while exploring new things!
More Stuff You’ll Want to Do Outside With Kids: