Fun Games for Teens to Play Outside
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Teenagers need regular physical activity to stay healthy and avoid illness and disease, explains KidsHealth. And fortunately, teens can enjoy playing outside just as much as younger children. Playing outside games gives teens an opportunity to get active and establishing exercise habits now will set your teen up for a lifetime of physical health.
Towel Ball requires focus and teamwork, says Terry Orlick, author of "Cooperative Games and Sports: Joyful Activities for Everyone." Set up a volleyball net outside and enough towels so each pair of teens has one towel. Teenagers get into pairs, each holding onto one end of a towel. The ball is launched over the net, using only the towel. Each time the team on the opposite side of the net catches the ball with a towel, it earns one point. Before sending the ball back over the net after it's caught, the ball must be passed to a new pair so everyone has a chance to volley the ball over the net. Play continues until one team reaches a predetermined score. Orlick recommends reducing the size of the towels or playing in the snow to add extra challenges to the game.
Capture the Flag is a fast-paced game that requires strategy and teamwork. Divide teenagers into two teams, and find a large, open area to play. Make sure there are no tripping hazards, and always play this game during the day. Assign each team a territory. Each team receives a flag, and the object of the game is to find and capture the flag of the opposing team. In order to capture the opposite team's flag, players must sneak into its territory and take it without being caught and placed in "jail." The first team to successfully capture the opposite team's flag is the winner.
Make a Pass
Joe Rhatigan and Rain Newcomb, authors of "Run, Jump, Hide, Slide, Splash: The 200 Best Outdoor Games Ever," recommend Ultimate Frisbee as a game that teens will enjoy playing outside. It is best played at a park or in another large area that allows for running and jumping. The game requires eight or more teens, divided into two equal teams. Mark off two goal lines about 100 feet apart. Each team will stand behind one of the goal lines. One team begins the game by throwing the Frisbee to the other team. The team catching the Frisbee passes it among its players as they move toward the opposite team's goal line. The player holding the Frisbee cannot move his feet once he makes a catch until he has passed the Frisbee to another player. A point is scored each time a team is able to get the Frisbee successfully over the goal line of the other team. If a pass is dropped, the other team gets the Frisbee where it was dropped. The first team to score 21 points is the winner.
- Kids Health: Fitness and Your 13- to 18-Year Old
- "Cooperative Games and Sports: Joyful Activities for Everyone;" Terry Orlick; 2006
- "Run, Jump, Hide, Slide, Splash: The 200 Best Outdoor Games Ever;" Joe Rhatigan and Rain Newcomb; 2005
- Roger Weber/Digital Vision/Getty Images