Fall brings shorter nights, a slight crispness to the air and, in some parts of the country, changing foliage. Once school starts, your children may find less time to play outside because of homework and school activities. When you make time to play games outside in the fall, you give your kids a break from school and some much needed exercise.
Capture the Flag
Capture the flag involves a lot of running. When you play this game in the fall, you are often able to play it for longer because of cooler weather. Divide the group into two teams, and designate an area of your yard for each team, with a neutral space in between. Give each team a flag, and tell the teams to hide the flag in their area. Once hidden, both teams begin searching for the opponent's flag. If a player is caught in another team's territory, he is put in "jail" until one of his teammates frees him by touching him. The team that finds the flag first wins.
Pumpkin and Broom Race
Seemingly simple in concept, this game is made more challenging since pumpkins do not roll easily. Give each person a medium-sized pumpkin and a stick or broom. Mark the start and finish lines. Have the players line up behind the start line with the pumpkin on the ground in front of them. Using the broom handle, participants try to be the first one to roll your pumpkin over the finish line. Make it more challenging by setting up obstacles to roll the pumpkin around. Play as a relay for large groups.
Playing flashlight tag in the fall is beneficial because you can get outside and play soon after dinner because of shorter days. The cool weather adds an element of fun. Designate a home base, and choose one person to be "it." Give "it" a flashlight, and ask her to count to 50 while everyone hides. The "it" turns on the flashlight and searches for the other players as those players try to sneak back to home base. The first player tagged by the beam of "its" flashlight is the next "it."
Ring the Pumpkin
A variation on ring toss, ring the pumpkin is a game of throwing skill and a bit of luck. Put three or four large pumpkins with stems in a line on the ground. Depending on the age of your group, designate a throwing line four to eight feet away from the pumpkins. Using embroidery hoops or small rings, players take turns throwing the ring at the pumpkin's stem. The player who rings the most wins. Use hula hoops as a variation, but ring the entire pumpkin.
Diane Lynn began writing in 1998 as a guest columnist for the "Tallahassee Democrat." After losing 158 pounds, she wrote her own weight-loss curriculum and now teaches classes on diet and fitness. Lynn also writes for The Oz Blog and her own blog, Fit to the Finish. She has a Bachelor of Science in finance from Florida State University.