Activity: Driveway Games
Believe it or not, these “old school” games are still played on playgrounds today! Chalk, imagination, and space to draw are all it takes to get this activity started. We also included some more ball activities for more sports-oriented kids. Friendly competition or family “teams” are optional, but can serve as motivators.
H-O-R-S-E. The fact that NBA players like Paul Pierce and Tameka Catchings were in a recent tournament on ESPN should be all the motivation you need to get outside and start playing! Make the game your own by changing “horse” to another word. Don’t have a basketball hoop? Make it a soccer game.
Hopscotch. Traditionally, the game is played with 10 “boxes” stacked together. The shapes don’t have to be squares. Work together to make your own board.
Four Square. This 4-box game can be played as simply as bouncing a ball to other players! The variations are endless. We always played the basic game or would have a “theme,” where the king would pick a letter or topic and you had to have a word to fit. There are also some more elaborate ideas. We found some suggestions for hitting the ball with different arm moves, adding acrobatic moves.
Tic Tac Toe | Hangman. These pencil-and-paper games easily translate to becoming “oversized” games played on the sidewalk.
Penny Pitch. Draw five circles on the ground, each one a different size. Then give each person 5 pennies (or other coin) to toss into the circle. Then decide on the rules: a player can toss 5 pennies into one circle (chosen by another player); or a player has to pitch a penny into each of the circles.
Jump Rope Rhyme. This moves jumping rope from counting skips to adding a tune. It can be a classic jump rope song, a tune sung by (or played on an iPod) by another player, or … whatever you come up with.
Drawing. Last but not least: art! Turn the driveway into an artist’s canvas by letting the kids doodle and draw.
Sometimes it helps to share a book or two built around a theme to create some motivation. We included some of our all-time faves at the end of this post.
These examples in parentheses explain how playing sidewalk games offers educational benefit. They are by no means the only ideas.
- Physical Education (movement, motor skills)
- Social Skills (cooperation, listening, teamwork, good sport, empathy, encouraging others)
- Science (physics, measuring distance)
- Communication (explaining and understanding game rules)
- Language Arts (spelling, vocabulary)
- Math (counting, keeping score, geometry [shapes, drawing boxes])
- Art (imagination, color coordination, drawing)
- Analytical skills (strategy, planning, using logic)
Play On! Backyard Game Ideas
Books are organized by age group. Check your Library for Digital Versions of these books.
Board Book (Ages 0 to 4)
Picture Book (Ages 3 to 8)
Easy Reader (Ages 6 to 9)
Chapter Book (Ages 10 and Up)
None for this theme.