Although we tend to think that a nice day and a bike is all you need to have a good time, there’s nothing wrong with playing a few bicycle games from time to time, especially if you are a kid.
Sure, many kids are perfectly happy riding their bike on and off the road during their own adventures, but there are definitely more than a few ways to play lots of fun games on a bike, whether you have a big group of kids, or just a few.
In many cases, all it takes is a good imagination and a few basic rules to play a number of exciting bike games, but you can take things a bit further as well.
Below, we’ll go over a few great ideas of bike games for kids, and the many benefits a kid can get from riding a bike, whether they are playing a game with friends, or simply out for a ride in the neighborhood or on local trails.
Why Bike Games?
All kids love games, whether it’s a board game, a video game, a team sport, or pretty much anything else. Playing games when on a bike gives kids extra motivation to get on the saddle and ride.
More and more kids these days are getting caught up with spending too much time indoors. Activities such as bike games give them more incentive to get outside and have fun away from a computer, phone, or television screen.
Riding a bike comes with a certain set of cycling benefits, some of which are very obvious. For one, riding a bike allows a child to be more active and healthy. Consistent riding builds up cardio strength, helps prevent childhood obesity and even early-onset diabetes.
Bike riding also gives a kid the opportunity to experience the outdoors more often. This is great for their mental state and gets them acclimated to spending time outside as much as possible.
Certain bike games have an intense focus on hand-eye coordination, and critical thinking as well. Many of these games are perfect for building coordination, agility, and better control.
Oh, and did we mention that bike games are fun? If a kid has fun doing something, they are going to want to do it more. This provides you and your family with a great way to spend time outside together.
You can also use these bike games for neighborhood get-togethers, campouts, and more. Endless possibilities, for sure.
Simple Bike Games for Kids
The following bike games are all very simple, easy to learn, and most of all -- fun. They are appropriate for all ages, and require very little in terms of equipment and gear.
What You’ll Need: Cones, Chalk, etc.
One of the easiest games you can setup for kids is an obstacle course. This gives you plenty of leeway in terms of what you set up, and where. Not only that, you can create obstacle courses on the pavement, on the grass in your backyard, or even in a public park.
Another great thing about an obstacle course is that you don’t need a certain amount of players. All you need is one rider, and they can enjoy all that the course has to offer.
The course itself is all up to you. It can be simple and easy, just mark off a course in the grass with a bunch of traffic cones. If you have a large backyard, you can set up some small ramps, and a few random objects that either need to be steered around, or slowly ridden over. It’s all up to you.
If you have chalk and a driveway, you can map out a course on the concrete with different colors, using arrows to point the way. Although you can certainly encourage the kids to ride the course as fast as they can without keeping track, using a stopwatch and recording the times is a great way to have a formal competition.
If you really want to get creative, you can add portions where the kids have to get off of their bikes and perform a task, such as shooting a basketball, crawling through a set of cardboard boxes, etc.
This adds some more excitement and variety to the course. For this game choosing a bike from the top bike brands is important, so that your child may feel comfortable while riding it
Red Light, Green Light
What You’ll Need: Yourself! (...and maybe some chalk)
Red light, green light is one of the oldest games around, and it can be played on a bike or off. In fact, it’s more known as a game played off a bike. Doing it while riding a bike provides a new twist and intensity to the game, which can get very competitive, even for the youngest kids.
The instructions are pretty simple. If you are the “light,” stand facing the competitors, who should all be lined up next to each other at the starting line.
Once everyone is ready, quickly turn your back to them while yelling out “green light!” Once this happens, the kids should start pedaling as fast as they can toward you.
At a moment of your choosing, yell out “red light” and quickly turn back around to face the kids. They should immediately stop pedaling like they were are an actual red light. Repeat this back and forth, with variances in the time spent in-between “lights.” The winner is whoever gets to the designated finish line first.
What You’ll Need: Digital cameras, smartphones
Sending kids on a scavenger hunt-like safari is an excellent way to get them to explore the surrounding area, and also engage in a game that isn’t contingent upon athletic performance.
The bike safari can involve any number of things you’d like them to seek out. To play, each child can either pair up with a partner or go it alone.
Each kid or group is given the same list of items and/or locations that have to be photographed within a certain amount of time.
Examples can include a red front door, a tree stump, a certain type of flower, a blue truck, etc, etc, etc. Once the players return, you can have them either send you the photos or upload them to a computer so you can review them for accuracy and quality.
A fun way to really mix things up is to invent some extra categories or awards, such as “Funniest Picture, Worst Picture,” etc. Point values can be assigned to each category, helping you determine the winner in the end.
This game is best for older kids, or kids that can be accompanied by an adult.
What You’ll Need: Chalk, cones, jars, pennies
Penny racing is a bike game that blends in speed and agility with the ability to throw a penny in a jar. Yes, we know, quite the mix.
Here’s how you do it. Set up a track or course on the pavement using chalk, cones, or whatever else you’d like to use that can establish boundaries and guide the way. Somewhere along the track, place jars on the side where players can throw pennies in as they ride past.
The catch is that the player can’t come to a complete stop when throwing the penny in. The course needs to be timed as you would during a race, and for each penny in the jar, you can deduct a certain amount of time off the total. The player with the lowest time wins the event.
What You’ll Need: Chalk
Don’t worry, this doesn’t involve an actual balance beam. This game teaches precision and coordination by encouraging the rider to stay within the lines that have been drawn on the ground.
Using your chalk, draw an outline that is a few inches wide, and keep it as straight as you can. Make a clear starting and ending point. Once the “balance beam” has been drawn, tell the player to go, and make their way across the beam without getting outside of the lines.
You can start with a certain amount of points, and then deduct them every time a wheel touches the border of the outline. You can keep track of the score on a round-by-round basis, or even have kids compete head-to-head.
Later rounds can have time limits that deduct points as well, creating a need for each player to go as fast as they can while trying to avoid touching the sides. This game is best played on a long driveway or sidewalk/street that has no traffic.
What You’ll Need: Chalk
Zig Zag is very similar to Balance Beam and follows the same concepts. However, instead of a straight line, you will drag zig-zag lines across the pavement. Depending on the age level, you may not want to get carried away with the sharp angles, however.
The goal is the same: to make your way down the pavement without touching the lines. A similar point system can be used, and you can also employ the time limit as well.
What You’ll Need: Chalk, various obstacles
A slow race is one of the more interesting and challenging bike games that kids can compete in. Rather than encourage the need to blast through a bike course or path, a slow race, as the name implies, relies on a player going as slow as possible.
Here’s how it works. Using your chalk, mark out a course that has plenty of twists and turns, and perhaps a few obstacles in the way as well. One the course is ready, each player is to make their way through it going as slow as they can, without stopping.
Each time a player stops and puts their foot down, their point total will get a deduction. The player with the slowest time and fewest deductions is the winner.
Slow Race is great for teaching body control and hand-eye coordination, and a lot more fun for kids who make not bad as physically skilled as others who may win regular races more easily.
What You’ll Need: All of the above
If you really want to make these bike games a major event, you can coordinate all of them into a bike rodeo. This means that each game is treated as its own event, with its own available point total that carries over all the way until the end.
For instance, each event is worth points, depending on where you place. First place could be worth 100 points, while second place is worth 90, third place is worth 80, and so on.
At the end of the “rodeo,” the player with the highest point total is considered the winner.
All of the games mentioned above are perfect ways to encourage competition and fun, but more importantly, encourage kids to get out and ride their bikes. These games and events can be customized however you’d like, and for whatever reason, be it age discrepancy, differing physical abilities, and so on.
Do you have any particular bike games that you and your kids have played together? Have any suggestions for a few tweaks that might add a bit of variety to the game we’ve gone over? Let us know in the comment section, and we may update the article to include your ideas!