8 Traditional Yard Games (And Their Rules) For Kids

The time that boys and girls spend in the schoolyard is a fundamental part of their comprehensive education and an absolutely necessary rest within the long school day.

It is obvious that after spending hours sitting in the classroom studying history or science, what they most often want is to go outside and move from here to there. For this reason, the patio becomes a place of recreation and freedom where they take the opportunity to interact with each other in a more spontaneous way.

The benefits of playground games at recess, especially when there are large outdoor spaces, are multiple for children and adolescents. Among other things:

  • They improve social skills and help create new friendships.
  • They contribute to intellectual development because they promote the level of understanding, imagination, creativity…
  • They encourage communication and group participation.
  • It makes them more aware that they must take care of and share the material that belongs to everyone (balls, skipping ropes…).
  • They encourage respect for teammates , the different teams and the rules of the game.
  • They teach to accept that sometimes you win, other times you lose, and nothing happens!
  • They improve their physical condition since many involve movement (running, jumping, dodging…) and this has a favorable impact on balance, hand-eye coordination, etc.
  • They are essential for the inclusion of boys and girls with different capacities .


8 Educational Yard Games – And Lots of Fun!


Surely in your mind you keep with nostalgia some moment of your childhood sharing games with your friends in the schoolyard. Well, even though years and even decades have passed, those traditional games that do not require screens or complicated technologies are still as current as the first day.

We are going to dust off some of them and, incidentally, remind you how it was played so that you can teach them to your children or, if you are a teacher, you can put them into practice with your students. In any case, keep in mind that, although your direct participation in them is not usually strictly necessary, there will be times when you may have to be aware and intervene. Always make sure that these backyard games are an exercise in true inclusion and healthy competitiveness .


Hopscotch is a very popular children’s game throughout the world, although in each place it is called differently (mariola, trucamelo, peregrina…). There are different game modes and here we explain one of them.


Game rules : Ten squares arranged in the shape of an airplane are painted on the ground with chalk, and a number from one to ten inside each one. If the surface is dirt, the lines can be marked with a stick or any other object.

The game consists of the player throwing a flat stone (a plate or a piece of tile is also useful) to square 1 and has to drag it all the way, pushing it with one foot (on one foot) and without stepping on the lines. If he succeeds, he will throw the stone to square 2 to complete the journey from that point again, and so on until square 10. Whoever reaches the objective wins.

This game is ideal for developing: concentration, balance, aim, body coordination, patience.



Another classic of a lifetime that many of us have played countless times. It is very simple and suitable for all ages.

Game rules : All you need is a space with four corners and the desire to run a little. If there are no corners anywhere, they can be four trees arranged in a similar shape to a square, four chairs, or four points marked with any other object.

One player stands in the middle; the other four, each standing in a corner. The game consists of the central player having to try to occupy one of the corners, taking advantage of the fact that the other four run from one to the other to exchange with a teammate. If he succeeds, he settles in it and the one who is left without ‘home’ becomes the new central player.

Although the original game name contemplates four corners, you can practice with six, or eight… Points are added for more players and that’s it!

This game is ideal for developing: attention, agility, reflexes.



See if this game is old, that Goya himself represented it in one of his most famous paintings in 1789! We tell you one of the most famous versions.



Rules of the game: Blindfold one of the players with a handkerchief, scarf or any other material that is at hand so that they cannot see anything. Afterwards, he must spin around himself while the others sing in unison:

“Little chicken, little chicken, what have you lost in a haystack? A needle and a thimble. Go around three times and you will find them.”

Once disoriented, the ‘blind man’s buff’ must catch one of the players and recognize who it is. If he succeeds, the one that has been caught becomes the new chicken.

This game is ideal for developing: attention, reflexes, perception of space.



This game could not be missing from the list, because who has not played it at some time in their life? Today children continue to have a blast with it because its rules are very easy to understand and it can be played at any age. There are also many ways to play hide and seek and this is one of them.

Rules of the game:  One player covers his eyes with his hands and turns his back on the rest of the participants, standing at a distance. This player must recite aloud:

‘One, two, three, to the English hideout, without moving your hands or feet’

As he talks, everyone else moves forward to get to touch his back, which is the point of the game. The tricky thing is that they have to do it very carefully because, after saying the phrase, the player will immediately turn around and whoever they catch moving will send them to the starting position. In short, you have to combine the skills of moving forward and ‘making the statue’ to proclaim yourself the winner. This ritual is repeated over and over again and whoever wins becomes the ‘hunter’.

This game is ideal for developing: concentration, self-control, agility.



Another of the most popular childhood games and suitable for all ages. You remember?

Rules of the game: One player picks up a handkerchief (or scarf, rag, napkin… any cloth will do!) and places himself between two teams of several players. These players are assigned a number. When the one holding the handkerchief calls out one of those numbers, the corresponding player from each team has to run to the center to try to catch the handkerchief. Whoever succeeds must return to the base at full speed trying not to be caught by the opponent. Each victory of a player is a point for his team.

This game is ideal for developing: attention, reflexes, agility, patience.



Perfect for boys and girls from one classroom to play against another. The more people participate, the more fun it is!

Game rules: It consists of there being two teams, one of police officers and the other of thieves. In a space wide enough to run, the cops must try to catch the robbers and put them in jail (a tree, a corner…). The thieves who are behind bars can be saved if their colleagues manage to reach them by misleading the police: when they touch them with their hand, they are automatically released.

The game ends when the cops manage to put all the robbers in jail. Once finished, the roles are changed.

This game is ideal for developing: agility, attention, strategy.



It is one of the multiple versions of the catch – catch, especially suitable for younger boys and girls (3 – 8 years).



Rules of the game: All participants place a scarf on their back, hooked to the waistband of the skirt or pants. As soon as the signal is given, each one will have to try to steal the tails of their companions, but at the same time escaping so that nobody steals theirs. Whoever gets the most tails will win.

If a more sophisticated version is desired, the teacher can organize a previous activity in the classroom for the children to make their own personalized colored tails. Ideally, they should be made of cloth or felt, and they will be attached to a sash of the same material by means of velcro. I’m sure they’ll enjoy it much more that way!

This game is ideal for developing: agility, coordination.



This cute game is ideal for having a busy time in the patio. It is especially suitable for children from 8 years old, when they already have more motor coordination and, therefore, less danger of tripping or falling.

Rules of the game: A line of eight or ten students is formed and each one holds on to the waist of the one in front of them. The first in line is the hen and the rest the chicks.

A free boy or girl will be the wolf that wants to hunt the last chick in line. To achieve this, it will suffice to touch it with your hand. This last chick must move from one side to the other to avoid it, and since the row can never be broken, the hen and the other chicks must also move with it without letting go. Together they will try to ensure that the wolf never reaches the chick at the end.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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