We spend a lot of time in the woods with our kids. Woodlands are nature’s playgrounds. They have an abundance of ready made things to do which help occupy our crazy kids! There are trees to climb and dens to make but if you need a little more inspiration for games to play in the woods with kids – there’s a whole list below! We know you’ll love these games to play in a forest with kids. If you’d like activities as opposed to games, check out our list of 24 Things to do in the Wood with Kids. And when you return from your woodland adventure, we have 100+ ideas for nature crafts here too to make with all the woodland treasures that fill your kids pockets!
Games to Play in the woods with kids
Classic Outdoor Games for Kids
- Hide and Seek
- Tag (be careful of tree routes)
- Stuck in the Mud
- Use Pine Cones or Acorns with a chalk circle drawn on a tree for target practise!
- Sardines (Sardines is the opposite of Hide and Seek, one person hides while the others count. If you find the hidden person, you join them and hide with them. Last person to find everyone that is hiding – loses.
Water Games for Kids
If it’s a hot day – water games are perfect to play in any outdoor space!
Forest Games for Kids
Games to play with large groups of kids
Capture The Flag
A great game to play in the forest with kids is to play ‘Capture the Flag’ – 2 groups (attackers and defenders) each have a ‘flag’ (can be a piece of material in different colours and a den. Each team places the ‘flag’ somewhere within their den (base). Once placed, the flag cannot be moved by it’s home team. The goal of the game is for the team to capture the other team’s flag and take it back to their den. You can make the game more complicated by agreeing a zone around each den which marks the territory. Once opposing teammates are in the ‘zone’ – they can be captured.
Other games to play in the forest include: a simple game which is perfect for playing round a campfire. You just need some post stick notes and a pen. Write famous people on post stick notes and stick them to each other’s foreheads. Then each person can ask yes or no questions to decipher who they have ‘stuck to their forehead!’
Hom Pom/ Forty Forty
This is a great game to play in the forest where it offers some camouflage! We always called this Forty Forty but my kids call it Hom Pom weirdly! Either way it’s played the same way! Everyone must agree on a home base like a tree, bush etc…… One person is ‘It’ and stands facing the base with their hands covering their eyes. They count slowly to 40 whilst the other people hide. The idea is, is for the ‘It’ person to creep around and spot the people hiding without being seen him/herself. Once another player is spotted, the ‘It’ goes back to base and touches it saying ’40-40 I see XXXXX (friend’s name). They are then ‘out’. If the person reaches base first, they can touch the base and shout ’40-40 home’. The first one to be caught is ‘It’ on the next turn, but the current game must continue until all the players have been found or run for ‘base’.
Photo Scavenger Hunt
A good outdoor activity for kids of all ages and groups of all sizes. It works just like a scavenger hunt but instead of finding the object, you can take a photo of it. You can award points for the most creative or unusual photo or do a funny photo scavenger hunt where the wackiest photo wins!! I have a photo scavenger hunt you can download in our post here along with lots of ideas for getting teens and tweens outdoors!
Photo Find Me
My kids can’t get enough of this game! It works particularly well with older kids to play in a forest or wood who have phones or access to one. Split into two teams and take it in turns to hide and send each other a photo clue to your destination. The teams must find each other using their photo as a clue.
Team Games for Kids to Play in the Forest
This is a great game for a group of kids to in play in teams and it works well in a woods as there are natural objects to help with the game! Choose an average sized object (could be a log, branch, box etc..) the teams take it in turns to transport a sizeable distance (could be 1-4m depending on the weight of the object and the size of the team.) The object must not touch the ground! team that transports the object in the fastest team wins!
Night games for kids to play in the woods
These games make perfect wide games for groups of kids to use in the woods for guides or scouts or would make great games for a forest party! They’re also fun games to play while camping! If you’re looking for another outdoor activity – try cooking outside with kids.
Night Time Glow Stick Hunt
Kids love the excitement of finding hidden items. Although this game takes a bit of advanced planning, the fun makes it well worth the effort. Hide glow sticks in trees and around your woods. Whoever finds the most, wins!
Torchlight Hide n’ Seek
A night time version of Hide n’Seek. One player with a torch becomes “It” and counts while everyone else hides. The goal is to evade the light. If a player is caught in the torch’s beam, they are out. The last person caught by the torch wins and plays “It” next.
Glow in the Dark Bowling
Add some glow sticks to plastic bottles and use them as glow in the dark skittles!
Glow in the Dark Ring Toss
As above but use glow stick circle bracelets as a ring toss game. Those who get the most amount of rings on a bottle wins!
Hope these outdoor games for kids make your camping trip, family night in the woods or group outdoor activity fun for all! Here there’s plenty more ideas for outdoor games for kids.