Popular playground games

There are lots of popular playground games that have stood the test of time. Their names might have changed throughout the generations, but there are lots of games that your children will play that you once enjoyed in your school playground.

Fun playground games

Take a look at some the popular playground games that are still entertaining children during their break time.


Hopscotch is a classic game and can easily be built into your playground flooring during its design. Players take turns to throw the bean bag – of other marker – onto the grid and then must hop their way through the course, skipping the square that the bag landed on.

The winner is the first person to make it through all the numbered turns without making a mistake.

Hide and seek

Not one person reading this blog can say they’ve never played hide and seek. It’s a classic game that everyone can enjoy, no matter how old they are, or how many players they’ve got to find.

With interesting playground equipment full of tunnels and climbing structures, you can provide lots of hiding places for children.

Capture the flag

This is a really fun game for groups of children to enjoy. Dividing into two teams, each much sneak up on to the other’s base and steal the flag, or marker, and return to their camp to win. Just make sure you don’t get tagged by the other team or you’ll be sent to jail to await rescue!

Climbing towers make for fantastic bases for capture the flag. They’re easy to defend and encourage teams to practice their problem solving and team working skills.

Traffic lights

This game has many different names, but the idea always stays the same. On person faces the wall, and all other players must get as close as possible before they turn around, shouting “red light!” If the runners are caught moving, they have to go back to the start. The first person to successfully reach the wall wins, and becomes the traffic caller.

Freeze tag

Freeze tag is a spin on the old favourite. One person is ‘it’ and must run around tagging the other players. Once tagged, a player must freeze in place until an untagged runner frees them. If the ‘it’ player successfully freezes all the runners, they win and the game needs to be reset.

This is a fantastic game if your playground has lots of hiding spots, as it makes it much trickier to catch all the players. Weaving poles always add an extra element of fun too!

What’s the time Mr. Wolf?

What’s the time Mr. Wolf is one we all remember fondly. You need enough clear space in your play area for children to run around safely. One player is the wolf, and stands at the opposite end of the space to the other players.

These players then call out “what’s the time Mr.Wolf?” who answers with a number of their choosing. Players can then advance that number of steps towards the wolf – if it’s five o’clock, they move forward five steps.

When the wolf decides the other players are close enough, they answer with “dinner time” and must tag one of the other players before they reach the starting point. That player then becomes the wolf. If nobody is tagged, the original wolf takes another turn.

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If you’d like to discuss a fun new playground design for your space, get in touch with the friendly Image Playgrounds team. We offer free 3D design and site surveys with every playground.

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