Games to Play Outside for Only Two Kids

By Rosenya Faith
Have a sandcastle-building competition at the beach or in the backyard sandbox.

Two kids cooped up inside can be a recipe for disaster, so take them outdoors for some classic fun, friendly competition and learning. Keep them busy with games made for two or modify group games to accommodate your active duo.

Classic Games

Introduce your youngsters to games you played as a child. Draw a hopscotch on the backyard patio or play Mother May I on the grass. Play Red Light, Green Light during the day or flashlight tag at night.

Challenge your kids to find the best hiding places in a classic game of Hide and Seek or teach them how to play lawn darts with child-safe, blunt-end darts. Kids can play badminton or croquet, toss a flying disc or hone their footwork skills with a game of kickball.

Friendly Competition

Let your kiddos get a little competitive -- all in good fun, of course. You can create a mini-Olympics in the backyard. Incorporate challenges, such as a pillowcase race, flying disc throw, egg-and-spoon race, long jump, bottle bowling, shot put with a bean bag, a javelin throw with a pool noodle and a 100-meter dash -- backward on all fours. Alternatively, organize an obstacle course in the yard. Your two youngsters can ride tricycles, slide down slides, crawl through hula hoops (or hop from one to another) and jump over pool noodle hurdles.

Organize a scavenger hunt. Your two youngsters can work together to look for items you’ve hidden around the yard, or incorporate the natural landscape into the hunt and let them race to see who can find leaves, pine cones, flowers and dandelions first.

Water Play

When it’s warm outside, let your young duo cool off in the pool. They can play water tag, Marco Polo or dive for sunken treasure at the bottom of the pool. Let them paddle around on pool mats in a game of Pirate Ships where each child tries to steal the treasure -- pool toys -- from the other child's mat.

To cool off without a pool, play water balloon Hide and Seek. Played just like the traditional game, but when one child finds the other, he must tag him with a water balloon to win the round. Organize a simple game of catch, but have the kids soap up their hands and toss a water balloon back and forth; the first child to break the balloon loses the round.

Thinking & Learning

Plan a treasure hunt for your children with clues leading them around the yard. Instead of competing, have them two work together to solve each clue to encourage teamwork.

In between active games, play word games with sidewalk chalk on the patio, Charades or a 20-questions-style game game where one child thinks of a living creature and the other asks yes or no questions to figure out the creature.

Encourage your children to invent their own two-player game outside to encourage imagination and creativity. For example, they can create a human board game with sidewalk chalk or build their own obstacle course from the backyard toys.

About the Author

Rosenya Faith has been working with children since the age of 16 as a swimming instructor and dance instructor. For more than 14 years she has worked as a recreation and skill development leader, an early childhood educator and a teaching assistant, working in elementary schools and with special needs children between 4 and 11 years of age.