6 fun games kids can play at a picnic (whilst you kick back and relax)

Hands up who loves the fantasy idea of a picnic more than the reality you often experience when mid-picnic?!

Yep, been there, done that.

Aside from all the shennigans involved in prepping food and bringing it along to some idyllic outdoor location, the biggest challenge is keeping kids safe and occupied so that you actually stand a chance of kicking back and enjoying at least some of the time you’re there.

This is why it pays to arrive armed with a list of games for kids powered up on picnic food to enjoy.

So here’s a list of games with rules simple enough for kids to play by themselves and that don’t need loads of props.

You’ll notice that none of these games involve balls or frisbees, because then parents can truly relax safe in the knowlege they won’t end up with a ball in the kisser or mid carefully curated snackboard (ok, spread open bag of potato snacks) when they least expect it.

Playful games for picnics

1. i spy

I Spy lends itself perfectly to an afternoon picnic.

The version we play is where player starts by saying, “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with the letter… ”

…then provides the first letter as a clue about something they can see.

The other players take turns guessing what it is the first player can see.

The player who guesses goes next to be the I Spy.

2. twenty questions

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Twenty Questions is a great game for kids to play sitting in a circle whilst they let their food go down.

The first player thinks of an object and the others must take it in turns asking yes or no questions to guess what it is.

There is a question limit of twenty… hence the name of the game.

If a player guesses correctly, they take the next turn. If no-one guesses correctly, the first player takes another turn.

3. Flip Flop/Croc Kick

This is a game of strength and skill.

Oh who am I kidding?! It’s a game that involves getting all the kids to stand in a line and then see who can kick their flip flop or croc the furthest.

It often causes surprising levels of competitiveness, be warned!

4. word association

This is another great after-food game.

The first player says a word and then next player has to say the first word that comes to mind on hearing that word.

The game continues (often with much hilarity, as kids push boundaries!) until everyone has had a turn.

Oh and any player who takes too long to come up with a word is out.

5. Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt takes a little pre-planning, but it’s worth it – and there are some great printable scavenger hunts around, in fact Scavenger Hunt Ideas is a website full of them.

Don’t want a printable? Simply make a list of stuff found in nature, then give it out to the kids at the picnic and task them with finding as many things on the list as they can.

The first player/team to find everything wins… whatever you can forage in the bottom of the picnic bag!!

6. Tag

It’s a classic and it burns off a lot of energy, so it’s an obvious game for picnics.

In case you don’t know the rules… Tag involves one player being ‘it’ running round trying to tag other players.

Whenever a player is tagged they become the new ‘it’.

You might like to suggest to older kids that they create boundaries and safe zones to make the game more strategic and interesting.

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