Top 10 Most Nostalgic Backyard Games From Our Childhood (PHOTOS)

Judy Dutton | Jul 8, 2015 Big Kid
Top 10 Most Nostalgic Backyard Games From Our Childhood (PHOTOS)

hide n seek

When your kids head out into the yard to play, it probably triggers some memories for you -- of epic hide-and-seek games, or heroic victories playing Capture the Flag. Ahh, those were the days, right?

So if your kids are whining that they're bored or don't know what to do, pick your own favorite game from your childhood and show them the ropes. Here are a few oldies but goodies to get you started.

We think #8 will never go out of style -- how about you?


Image © bikeriderlondon/shutterstock

  • Freeze Tag


    Image via Pavel Lysenko/shutterstock

    It doesn't get simpler than kids chasing each other around a backyard, does it? And that's the charm of freeze tag ... plus the fact that you can be "freed" by another player keeps the game going on and on.

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  • Kick the Can


    Image via Ruben Pinto/shutterstock

    Good ol' Kick the Can: All you needed was an empty soda and a few willing participants. From there, it was a lot like Hide-and-Seek, with the only difference being that those who got "home" got to punt that piece of tin. So satisfying!

  • Flashlight Tag


    Image via Gelpi JM/shutterstock

    In this nighttime version of freeze tag, kids could "tag" each other with the beam of their flashlight. It was like a low-tech version of laser tag, and far more fun and affordable, doncha think?

  • Red Light, Green Light


    Image via BestPhotoStudio/shutterstock

    This simple game is by far the funnest way to learn the difference between "red" and "green" lights -- pure genius in terms of traffic safety! But it also helped us hone our reflexes: Stopping and going at the whims of your designated traffic controller was tough work!

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  • TV Tag


    Image via Ollyy/shutterstock

    This game combined the thrill of freeze tag with pop culture: To be freed from being "tagged," you yelled out a TV show. Which sounded simple enough, only you couldn't repeat the same show twice, so you'd better have watched a lot of TV!

  • Capture the Flag


    Image via Anna Omelchenko/shutterstock

    If you ever played Capture the Flag, you know it involved some serious strategy and teamwork: Each team has to find their flag and bring it back to home base, all while keeping the other team from doing the same. The whole yard became a battlefield of epic proportions!

  • Red Rover


    Image via Diego Cervo/shutterstock

    This game isn't as popular as it once was, most likely due to a few dislocated shoulders ... still, though, it was a grand old time. Each team clutched each other's hands, then invited a member of the other team to try to break through. The team with the weakest links lost!

  • Hide-and-Seek


    Image via Velazquez77/shutterstock

    This age-old game is still popular today, and for very good reason: It combines the thrill of hiding, seeking, and being caught or "home free." What more could a kid want?

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  • What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?


    Image via Tom Wang/shutterstock

    The premise was so simple: We asked "Mr. Fox" what time it was; if he said "four o'clock," that's how many steps we took toward him. Yet as we crept closer, he'd eventually announce it was "dinnertime." Time to flee!

  • Mother, May I?


    Image via Voyagerix/shutterstock

    You've gotta respect a game that teaches kids manners! It may seem so old-fashioned now, but Mother, May I? was good stuff -- a gentler, more familial form of Simon Says where the designated "mom" ordered everyone around. This is definitely one to bring back, like, now!

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