12 Exciting Outdoor Games Ideas for Eleven-Year-Olds

If you’re a parent, guardian, or someone responsible for entertaining a group of eleven-year-olds, you know that capturing their attention and keeping them engaged can sometimes feel like chasing a shooting star.  

This is an age group where kids can be high-energy and chaotic, but they are much more sophisticated thinkers than younger kids. They can be interested in more grown-up things but they aren’t as independent as teenagers. 

Outdoor Game Ideas for Eleven Year Old Kids

For all of these reasons, we set out to provide a list of games that are sure to interest your ensemble of eleven year old and create memorable moments of fun and laughter.

1. Capture the Flag

This classic game involves two teams, each with a flag at each team’s base. The objective is to capture the other team’s flag, located at the opposing team’s base, and bring it safely back to their own base. It encourages teamwork and physical activity. 

One key to making this game fun for all is to add elements that make it more challenging. Create rules that fit your group size and abilities. For example, you may have a group of 11-year-olds that vary in speed and this is a game where one or two fast kids can really dominate. 

In order to even the playing field try adding a rule limiting the number of steps someone can take, or requiring everyone on the team to touch the flag before bringing it to the home base. This can ensure teams must employ some strategy and get more kids involved

For a twist, play Capture the Flag in the evening using glow sticks as the flags. This adds an extra level of excitement and challenge to the game.

2. Water Balloon Dodgeball

Maintaining 11-year-olds attention can be a challenge. Giving them the opportunity to pelt their peers with water balloons will do the trick. Given the right setting, this game can be a fun alternative to the classic dodgeball game. Using water balloons instead of dodgeballs also levels the playing field and limits the risk of injury.

The objective of Water Balloon Dodge Ball is the same as traditional dodgeball: to eliminate all opposing players by hitting them with water balloons while avoiding getting hit yourself. The last team or player remaining in the game is declared the winner.

This game works best when you have clearly defined rules and boundaries. There are different ways you can set it up but we have put together a PDF you can download that has detailed rules to get you started.

3. Nature Scavenger Hunt

At about 11 years old kids are ready for adventure. A nature scavenger hunt invokes a sense of curiosity and desire for exploration and discovery. It is a simple activity and it can be as challenging and competitive as you wish to make it.

To play, select your area. Set clearly defined boundaries. Create a list of items that could be found in that area. Then divide the kids into teams. The team that finds most or all of the items on the list wins. It is a good idea to set a time limit or you might have kids out there for hours.

This game achieves the elusive goal of getting kids outdoors, and getting them active, and it can be very educational. Don’t be afraid to offer a really good prize to entice kids to get involved and compete hard.

4. Giant Jenga

Combining spectacle and destruction, two things that are intriguing to 11-year-olds, Giant Jenga is just like normal Jenga but the stakes are increased because of the sheer size of the Giant Jenga tower. This adds to the intensity and anticipation. 

You can make your own or buy one, there are several available. This is primarily a two-player game but due to the larger-than-life size, you could have kids team up and work together to remove blocks as carefully as possible. One tip to help kids get into the game: provide hard hats they can wear while they play. These not only help keep them safe but will immerse them in the action!

5. Tug of War

Tug of War is a classic outdoor game that never fails to ignite the competitive spirit within participants. Eleven-year-olds, with their growing physical abilities and budding competitive spirit, are sure to find this team challenge thrilling.

Most likely you are familiar with how Tug of War works, however, there are many variations of the game. Once you have your rope, you can find a suitable place to set up the competition. You simply need to mark the center of the rope, or buy a rope already marked, and draw a line for each team. The team that pulls the center of the rope across their line wins.

You can spice things up by playing the game in sand, mud, etc.

6. Homemade Frisbee Golf 

Frisbee golf is a popular game for kids and adults and you can set up your own frisbee golf course quite easily. This game combines the fun and challenge of frisbee throwing with the strategic elements of traditional golf. By setting up a homemade course, you can tailor it specifically for eleven-year-olds.

Set up a course using laundry baskets as the holes. You can use traditional frisbees instead of the specific discs used for frisbee golf. Customize your course by adding any obstacles or challenges you might see fit. Have players throw frisbees, trying to land them in the baskets. 

This game is a blast for kids and because throwing a frisbee is not a common skill for eleven-year-olds, it levels the playing field for kids of all abilities. 

7. Human Knot

Human Knot is a popular team-building game where the participants form a tangled knot with their arms. The objective is to work together and find a way to untangle themselves without letting go of each other’s hands. 

This cooperative game offers several aspects that will appeal to eleven-year-olds. It is challenging, goofy, and leads to laughs. This game is perfect to capture a kid’s attention long enough to hopefully teach them important communication skills. 

The rules are simple but it can be a bit hard to explain the first time. This video is a great demonstration of how the game works:

8. Chalk Bullseye

Taking a classic game and making it bigger and better is a super hack to get 11-year-olds interested in just about anything. Chalk Bullseye is a huge version of classic darts that can be played anywhere you have a sizeable area of concrete.

Draw a large bullseye on the driveway with sidewalk chalk. Use wet sponges as the “darts”. Kids take turns scoring points by throwing the sponge and trying to hit the target. All you need is the chalk, sponges, and some buckets to hold water! 

Tip: after each round be sure to re-draw the lines of the targets that get washed away by water.

9. Human Foosball

Sticking with the theme of larger-than-life, Human Foosball is sure to fire up your group of kids. It is exactly what it sounds like, but it does take a good amount of prep work. Set up a life-sized foosball game using ropes, plastic pipe, or pool noodles taped together for the bars. Then obviously set up a couple of goals and use a soccer ball. Players can only move side to side like in the traditional table game.

This game is loads of fun. It is challenging enough to keep kids interested and it promotes teamwork. It is another great game that can even the playing field. Limiting the ability for more skilled and developed players to dominate.

You can get elaborate with the construction of your foosball field or keep it simple. This video shows a good example of how to set it up:

10. Slip ‘N Slide Kickball

Kickball has long been a mainstay of the school playground. So you might think a rowdy group of 11-year-olds would find it boring. Well, sadly that may be true, but if you add in some slip ‘N slides to the mix I am sure you can change their minds. 

The premise is simple. Set up a traditional kickball diamond, but use slip ‘n slides for the base paths. Now there will be sliding into every base! This refreshing twist on a classic game is the perfect summertime outdoor activity for kids. 

11. Outdoor Bowling

If you took a poll of 11-year-olds, I am sure the vast majority would say they like to knock things down. So why not give them the chance? Outdoor bowling is easy to set up by reusing empty two-liter soda bottles and a giant yoga ball. 

You can really use anything you have to create your outdoor bowling alley, they just have to stand on their own and be able to be knocked down by the ball you choose to use. If you struggle to find bottles that will work you can always buy a giant bowling set on Amazon.

12. Bouncy Ball Tag

This is an energetic and unique outdoor game that provides a twist on classic tag. The game incorporates bouncing balls into the gameplay. It requires teamwork, and coordination amongst the players in order to effectively avoid being tagged. 

If you are worried tag might be to boring for your group of preteens, then this game might be just the thing you need.

You will need several large rubber balls, such as exercise balls, dodge balls, or beach balls. The number of balls will vary depending on the number of players, but you should have at least two balls.

You can download a full list of the rules:

Get to Playing!

Although a group of eleven-year-old kids can be challenging to entertain, with the right attitude and interesting twist on basic games. You can succeed at captivating them and providing a fun, memorable experience.

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