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Driveway Games for You and Your Kids

Looking to get outdoors with your kids? From hopscotch to four square, here are some classic outdoor games that are perfect for a driveway, sidewalk or quiet cul-de-sac.

Kid's shoes on a hopscotch drawn board.

Chalk games. Remember classic pencil-and-paper games like tic-tac-toe ? These types of games are even more fun for kids when they're drawn on the sidewalk or driveway with colorful chalk.

Hopscotch. Half the fun is drawing out the hopscotch board with chalk if you're playing on asphalt or concrete. The rules are simple for even small children: Throw a small stone or beanbag into the first square (marked "1") and then hop on one foot in every empty square, being sure to skip the one with your marker. On your way back to the start, pick up your marker while staying on one foot. If you complete the course without any mistakes, pass the marker to the next player. When it's your turn again, throw the marker to the second square and repeat; whoever completes the course first is the winner.

For a fun variation, label each square with a category or draw a picture (like pizza toppings, animals, books, countries of the world, etc.). As you hop through each square, name an item that matches that category.

Sidewalk artist. No rules required here, just a tub of sidewalk chalk and a little imagination. Invite your budding artists to put together a sidewalk or driveway "gallery show" with chalk pictures. The show could have a theme, like wild animals or favorite foods, where each participant draws their own picture. Or, everyone can work together on a large driveway mural.

Four Square. This classic playground game will be right at home in your driveway. Start by using chalk or tape to mark off a grid with four squares on the ground, each about 5 feet by 5 feet, and number the squares 1 to 4. Using a rubber playground ball, the player in the highest square (typically the one marked 4) will go first, bouncing the ball into the 1 square. The player in the 1 square must then bounce it to the player in the 2 square before it goes out of bounds, and so forth. In traditional four square, players are not allowed to catch or carry the ball.

If you're playing with young children, you may wish to modify the rules so players can toss the ball to one another rather than bouncing it. Just like with hopscotch, you can make the game more challenging by adding category-themed rounds. For example, rather than just bouncing the ball to the next square, a player would need to also name something that matched the category, like an animal or book title, at the same time they pass the ball. If they can't think of anything in time, they're out, and a new player rotates into the game.

Staying Safe in Your Driveway

When teaching children fun driveway games, this is also a good opportunity to remind them about driveway safety. Designate a safe spot in the driveway or yard for children to stand if a car is backing up or exiting the driveway. If you're on a busy street or have younger children, set firm rules about not entering the street, even if a loose ball or piece of chalk rolls away. Tell them to ask an adult to help them first and to always keep an eye out for cars.

Family in the kitchen.

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