It's a great summer day until the kids start whining that they're bored. They're sick of their toys, the swing set and each other.
Instead of sending them inside to watch a movie or play a video game, why not teach them some of your favorite games from your childhood?
Tag. Tell them the basics: One person is "It," the rest run. They can choose a safe haven or not. If they get bored quickly, then tell them about the variations such as freeze tag (you're frozen when you're tagged) or TV tag (you have to call out the name of a TV show within three seconds of being tagged to be safe).
Follow the Leader. It's simple enough, right? It gives each child a chance to tell everyone else what to do for a couple of minutes, but by changing leaders, they'll be entertained for hours.
Ghost in the Graveyard. A great combination of hide-and-seek and tag where kids hide while the child who is It counts by hours (one o'clock, two o'clock, etc.) until yelling, "Midnight!" When midnight is called, everyone jumps out of their hiding spaces to run back to base. The tagged kid is now It. Or send one person, the Ghost, out to hide while everyone else counts together. At midnight everyone looks for the Ghost. When the Ghost is found, yell, "Ghost in the graveyard," and everyone makes a mad dash to base. The last person back is now the Ghost.
Run Down. You need two bases (use Frisbees), two gloves, a ball and three kids. Two of the kids toss the ball back and forth between the bases while the third kid tries to run between the bases while the ball is being tossed without getting tagged. You might want to use a soft ball so the runner doesn't get smacked in the back too hard.
Four Square. You need at least four kids for this game. Draw four squares on the ground with sidewalk chalk, about 8 feet per square. Each player stands in a square. One player bounces the ball to another player who bounces it to another until one of these things happen: a player is hit by the ball or hits it before the ball lands in their square, the ball bounces twice or the ball is hit out of bounds. The player at fault goes to the back of the line while another player enters. If you only have two kids, then play two square.