Outdoor Games for Daycare for Toddlers & Preschoolers

Duck duck goose at Aussie Action Kids Toddler Outdoor PLay Equipment

What are some good old fashion outdoor Games for Daycare Centres?

Toddlers and Preschoolers are busy little beings – never stopping and always looking for connections, fun, interesting things to play with and friends to engage with. providing safe ‘yes’ situations for all these needs is what a Daycare is all about. Play equipment is fabulous, and necessary for motor skills and pretend play, but sometimes just good ‘ol fashion games are the best. Like ‘Red Rover’, ‘Red Light, Green Light’ and ‘Duck, Duck, Goose’.

For toddlers and preschoolers, playing group outdoor games at daycare can help build social bonds and provide great exercise. In many cases, these games need no equipment at all, just several pairs of little feet eager to have fun and a level open space.

Here are a few outdoor games for toddlers and preschoolers that require no equipment but can provide tons of fun for the little ones, with the added benefit of helping them burn off some of that ever-present excess energy.

Red Rover

In this game, two groups of children line up across from one another holding hands to form a chain. Each child on the team has an opportunity to call another member from the opposite side to run over and attempt to break the chain. Typically, one child will chant, “Red Rover, Red Rover let (child’s name) come over”.

If the child from the opposite team is successful in breaking the chain, he/she may capture one of the two players whose connection was broken. Failure to break the chain means that the child from the opposite team needs to join the team that called them over.

The game ends when all of the children have had an opportunity to call another child over. The team with the most players on their side wins.

Red Light, Green Light

This game can be an exciting, fast-paced and boisterous activity. One child is chosen to be “it” and stands at one end of a field or court, while their other classmates are lined up at the other end. The child who is “it” then turns around and chants “Red light, Green Light, 1,2,3”.

While their back is turned, the other children are rushing towards him/her in an attempt to tag them before they turn around. If the child turns around and sees one of the other children moving, he/she can have those children sit out for the remainder of the game.

The game ends when the “it” child is tagged by another. That child then becomes “it”, and the game resets. All of the children who were previously removed from the game can join in again.

Duck, Duck, Goose

This is another classic game that will get kids up and running. The children sit in a circle facing each other while a child who is “it” walks around gently tapping each child on the head while calling them a duck. When “it” decides to do so, he/she will tap one of the other children on the head calling them a goose.

The goose then chases “it” in an attempt to tag him/her. “It” runs around the circle in an attempt to sit in the spot where the goose once sat. If successful “it” becomes a player and the goose becomes “it”.

If the goose successfully tags “it”, he/she remains “it” and starts the selection process again.

As with any activity involving toddlers and preschoolers, close supervision is required to ensure safety and to manage over enthusiastic players.

Fun Always

Kids just want to have fun and spend quality and quantity time with their friends and family. There’s never too much time in their minds…they are wired for connection so we hope these games are some great inspiration for other ideas 🙂

One thought on “Outdoor Games for Daycare for Toddlers & Preschoolers”

  1. Such an interesting list of games and perfect for daycare centers. It would keep them entertained and occupied for hours. Thanks for sharing these ideas, I am sure it would help many!

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