Third graders are full of energy and usually love to play games. Their increasing attention spans allow them to play games that are more challenging than those played by their younger peers. If you're entertaining a group of eight-year-olds for an afternoon, a week or even the entire summer, it helps to have plenty of outside games for third graders ready to help them have fun and burn energy.
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Red Light, Green Light
Red Light, Green Light is a perennial childhood favorite. To play, you'll need an open field or lawn. One child is chosen to be the "stoplight." This child stands at one end of the field with her back to the other end. The rest of the players line up on the other end. When the stoplight calls out "green light," the other players move forward. The stoplight then yells "red light" and whirls around, trying to catch any of the players moving. Any player the stoplight sees moving must return to start. The first person to reach and tag the stoplight becomes the new stoplight.
Don't Throw Your Trash On My Side
Don't Throw Your Trash On My Side is a great game for wearing out a group of third-graders without worrying about who wins. To play, you'll need a field or lawn, a rope to divide the field in half and several dozen soft foam balls or blocks. Lay the rope on the grass to create two separate "sides," then scatter the foam balls or blocks relatively evenly on both sides of the rope. Divide the players into two teams, one for each side. On "go," both sides begin picking up the pieces of "trash," represented by the balls or blocks, and throwing them over the rope to the other side. The game ends when one team has managed to throw all the trash onto the other team's side.
Sticks and Stones
To play Sticks and Stones, set up your field or lawn with one line down the middle and one "safe line" at each end, about 30 feet away from the center line. Divide players into two teams. One team is "Sticks" and the other "Stones." You can be the referee or designate one player to be the referee. The teams line up on each side of the center line, but they may not cross the line or touch each other. The referee stands at one ends and calls out either "Sticks!" or "Stones!" The team called by the referee chases the other team across the field. Players who are tagged before making it over the "safe line" must join the other team. The game ends when one team has no more players.