Skip to main content

Looking for some classic outdoor games kids can play in the driveway or on the sidewalk, just like the good ol' days? From hopscotch to bubble-blowing contests, here's something for all ages. Best of all, you don't need a lot of equipment or a big backyard for these activities!

Sidewalk Chalk Games

child drawing with sidewalk chalk

Kids could spend hours just doodling with all that sidewalk chalk you bought (or made), but you could also organize a sidewalk art contest for all the children in the neighborhood! Or, try using chalk for any of these pencil and paper games — like tic tac toe, hangman, and dots-and-boxes.



This classic playground game traces back to the Roman Empire, and was first referred to in English as "scotch-hop" or "scotch-hopper" in the 1600s. It's a great way to squeeze in some healthy active play for kids. Try the basic game of hopscotch, or any of its fun variations!

Marble Bounce

playing marbles

All you need for this fun game is sidewalk chalk, marbles, and two or more players. Kids draw a circle with the chalk, and drop their marbles to try to knock their opponents' marbles out of the circle.

Penny Pitching

pennies sidewalk games

In this simple game, two players take turns tossing pennies (or beads, or rocks) to try to hit the other player's penny so they can claim it as their own. The player who ends up with the most pennies wins!

Jump Rope Rhyming

kids jumping rope

This nostalgic activity is great exercise! Turn skipping rope into a game by having kids recite classic jump-rope rhymes (such as "The Lady with the Alligator Purse") while jumping — without missing any of the words or stepping on the rope. See if kids can jump in pairs and take turns reciting the lines.

Bubble Contest

girl blowing bubbles

Blowing bubbles is a must during the summer! Why not have a family or neighborhood bubble-blowing contest? You can try making homemade bubble solution) (a great backyard science experiment!) and your own giant bubble wands or bubble pipes. See if anyone can master the trick of blowing donut-shaped bubbles!

Pretend Car Wash

boy riding toy car

Toddlers will love this activity! It turns cleaning your child's toy cars and other ride-on toys into a fun game. Give him a bucket of soapy water and a sponge to scrub down his little vehicle, and — on a hot day — let him ride his car through your sprinklers or under your hose to rinse the suds away. Hooray!

Get directions for Pretend Car Wash.

Find other fun backyard water games

Subscribe to Family Education

Your partner in parenting from baby name inspiration to college planning.