Every parent knows the sinking feeling that comes when your kid sighs that they’re “bored”. Even at a playground, it can be hard for kids to decide how to focus their energy and stay interested. The playground games below are an easy, inexpensive way to add variety to your play space and keep kids engaged. Read on for suggestions for each age group!

1.     Toddlers (ages 1-3):

Toddlers require games that are easy to understand and can help them develop their gross motor skills. Simple games like “Simon Says” or “Follow the Leader” work well for toddlers. These games allow them to practice listening skills while also developing their balance and coordination. Toddlers also love playing with balls, so games like “Roll the Ball” or “Kick the Ball” can keep them engaged for longer.

2.     Preschoolers (ages 3-5):

Preschoolers are still developing their motor skills, but they are also becoming more social and able to follow rules. They enjoy games that are more complex than those for toddlers. “Duck, Duck, Goose” and “Red Light, Green Light” are popular games for preschoolers. These games teach them to listen to instructions, follow rules, and work in teams. Preschoolers also love playing make-believe games, so a game like “Pirate’s Treasure Hunt” or “Superhero Training” can be a hit.

3.     Elementary school kids (ages 6-11):

These kids tend to be more independent and capable of playing games that require strategy and critical thinking. Games like capture the flag and kickball teach teamwork, strategy, and problem-solving skills. Elementary school kids also enjoy games that challenge them physically, such as an obstacle course or tug-of-war.

4.     Middle school kids (ages 12-14):

Middle schoolers enjoy games that require them to think creatively and work in teams. Scavenger hunts or escape room scenarios are games that middle school kids find exciting. These games require them to work together to solve clues and complete challenges. They also tend to enjoy games that test their physical abilities, such as dodgeball or ultimate frisbee.

5.     High school kids (ages 15-18):

Games that involve competition and teamwork are popular among teenagers, so a game of tug-of-war or Capture the Flag is sure to be a hit. Soccer and volleyball are classic games teenagers enjoy playing and can easily be done outside in a grassy area. High school kids also enjoy games that challenge them physically, such as parkour.


Playground games are a simple way to add value and entertainment to your play area, without the need for additional equipment. Not only do they provide kids with fun and engaging ways to socialize and exercise, but they also allow kids to develop their motor skills, social skills, critical thinking, and teamwork abilities. Remember to keep safety in mind and have adaptations ready so that anyone can join in on the fun.


Playgrounds are full of opportunities for fun and exercise for anyone! Midstates Recreation designs, supplies, and builds community-enhancing recreational play and site structures. Midstates Recreation offers a variety of playground equipment in communities located in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio. Our emphasis is not only to create play and recreation spaces for all but to also provide a truly valuable and inclusive addition to your community! Contact your local sales representative to learn more.

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