5 Fun Playground Games to Keep the Whole Family Fit
Your jog would turn to a fast walk as the familiar advisory, "No running!" echoed through the hall, but once you squeezed your way through your classmates and made it past the school building to the playground, you would sprint excitedly to your spot.
For the next half hour or so of recess, you would play your favorite game: four square, tag, hopscotch, tetherball.
Even though your days of school and recess are now behind you, there's no reason why you can't still play your favorite playground games with your own kids—and get in a great workout while you're at it.
Jump Rope1 of 6
This game works best if you have a long rope and two kids to help turn. Start by jump roping for one minute, counting how many skips you complete.
Switch off and take turns as one of the kids jumps and counts for a minute. Then it's the second kid's turn.
Repeat until everyone is reaching for a bottle of water. Each minute of jumping burns 10 calories and taking turns offers an awesome interval workout.
Tag2 of 6
It's hard not to love this game—unless you're "it." Draw straws or flip a coin to see who will start the chase. Then it's time to hit the yard running.
From shuffling to sprinting to ducking, tag is an awesome cardio session. Take it up a notch by having the person tagged "it" do 10 jumping jacks before chasing after you and the other participants.
Playing tag can burn more than 150 calories each half hour, and you burn about one calorie for every jumping jack performed.
Capture the Flag3 of 6
Have a big group hanging out at your house? Turn your backyard into a field and set up a game of Capture the Flag. Divide the group into teams and designate bases.
Each team will hide a flag at its base, and the other team will try to grab it and run it back to their base. The game requires a lot of shuffling and sprinting in the yard.
Depending on how intensely you play, each minute of sprinting in the yard can burn 15-20 calories.
Red Light, Green Light4 of 6
Need a breather? Stand at the front of the yard and call, "green light," to signal the kids to run forward. Yell, "red light," to stop them in their tracks. The kids still moving are out, and the last one standing wins.
Bonus: This game works on listening skills and following directions. You might not burn any calories as the leader, but the kids will burn about 10 calories per minute of running.
H-O-R-S-E5 of 6
Sometimes you just have to grab a ball and hit the court. A game of Horse can be the perfect way to get moving if you are at the park or have a hoop at home.
Incorporate the shot contest into a game of basketball and burn about 150 calories for every 30 minutes of play.