Outdoor games are great. If you have ever played a great game of football in the warm summer sun you know exactly what I mean. There is nothing better than being outside with your friends and enjoying a wonderful afternoon while exercising. It is good for the mind and the soul as well as the body. Some of my fondest memories are from times when some friends and I went out to play soccer in the field near my house. What is it about outdoor games that is so good for us? It is probably a combination of socialization, competition, exercise, and exposure to good weather. Studies have shown that people who exercise and who get out into the sunlight are generally much healthier, both physically and mentally. Those who stay indoors all day and who never see natural sun light tend to be much more depressed. Because outdoor games are so important, we need to find games that everyone finds fun. Sometimes you have large groups to play outdoor games with, and other times you have a small group. So if you have a small group to play your outdoor game with, should you still play?
Any game with a net can work for small groups.
The answer is of course! A small outdoor game played among two to four players can be a great way to exercise. It is a more intimate environment in which to play an outdoor game, but this can be a good thing. If you have a few good friends that you would like to spend some time with, consider an outdoor game. Here are a few good ones to try with your friends:
1. Ball in the Air. Although not a very sophisticated game, ‘Ball in the Air’ can be a great deal of fun. Divide the four players into two teams. The game begins when one player hits the ball with their hands into the air. Each player can only hit the ball twice in a row before passing it to their partner. Each team tries to keep the ball aloft as long as possible. The team who can get the most hits before the ball falls is the winner. You can also use other parts of the body to keep the ball in the air.
2. Tennis or any other game involving a net. Tennis, volleyball, and any other number of net games are a great option for a two to four person outdoor game. Consider badminton for example. These games are generally fairly intense and provide good exercise and competition. Although they require some skill, you can vary the pace easily.
3. Hide and seek. Although you might only think of it as a game for children, hide and seek can be a great adult game when done in the right place with the right people. Make the seeker count longer and try to find really creative hiding places. Always be careful in selecting a location. You want people to be safe in this activity. Do not select a location with old nails or boards–find a fairly open and clear space.
4. Sack races. Sack racing is easy and can be done with only a few people. Get a few strong burlap sacks. Set up a race course. Each racer wears a sack around their legs. In order to get to the finish line they have to hop. This creates a very funny situation, although be cautious because people can fall easily.
Give these great games a try the next time you have a small group of friends. Good luck with all your outdoor games!