Backyard Games for Families

corn hole in the backyard
corn hole in the backyard
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Backyard Games for Families

Get ready for warmer weather! With school coming to an end and summer quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking of fun activities for kids to do in their own backyard or bring along on a beach trip or camping trip. We’ve put together a list of outdoor games that will produce hours of fun! Plus, we’ve linked the best Amazon find for each game. The entire family will enjoy these backyard games, so keep this list handy when preparing for Saturday’s family barbecue or trying to get creative with ways to get the kids outside for fresh air and physical activity during the week.

Classic Games 

You don’t need to get fancy or spend a lot of money to have the most fun on the block. Tell the kids to ditch their phones, video games, and tablets and join you outside for classic lawn games that have been family favorites for years.

1. Horseshoes

The classic game of horseshoe should be on every list. This game may not sound very exciting at first, but the strategy of horseshoes can suck you in for hours until you hear that satisfying “ping” of metal touching. Try a rubber horseshoe for a safer version with young kids.

2. Old-Fashioned Sack Race 

Grab a potato sack and draw up a start and finish line. Potato sacks were once a sample item in every household, but chances are you don’t have a few laying around in the cellar. Luckily, Amazon has burlap sacks available here at the click of a button.

3. Bean Bag Toss / Cornhole

Bean bag toss is a classic game found at most family gatherings, and it’s one that is enjoyed equally by kids and adults. You can purchase a cornhole set on Amazon, but making custom cornhole boards can be a fun activity on its own. Use extra wood  (or buy plain cornhole boards), then split into teams to paint and decorate each board, then fill and sew bean bags for an indoor activity on a rainy day.

4. Bocce Ball

Bocce ball is always a favorite lawn game. This Amazon Basics set comes with everything you need in a compact case for storage, so it’s a great game to bring along on the road, too.

5. Croquet

Croquet seems to be associated with afternoon tea at a quiet garden party, but it’s actually a ton of fun for the whole family. The course can be adjusted for difficulty, so that you can accommodate all ages.

little boy playing backyard games with his grandpa
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Water Games

Need to cool off on an extra hot day? There are plenty of games to play if you have a swimming pool, but water fun can be enjoyed in the yard, too. The sprinkler is a great go-to, but why not try a water game, too? 

6. Water Balloons

Water balloons are always a fun idea. Set up teams for a water balloon fight, prank dad, or have a free-for-all!

7. Water Guns

Water guns are another must-have for summer play.   This two-pack is the #1 best-seller on Amazon for only $14.99, or you can upgrade to the super-soaker! 

8. Pool Noodles

Pool noodles aren’t just for the pool; in fact, you can get creative a play a lot of pool noodle games without water. Grab a set of colorful pool noodles and set up obstacles, combine them with a ball or frisbee, or shoot water – the ideas are endless. 

Pool Games

9. Inflatable Volleyball Set 

If you do have a pool, it may be worth investing in an inflatable net. This is more fun as the kids get older and want to participate in more organized sports for fun. 

10. Floating Basketball Hoop 

A hoop for the pool can be great for team sports, but it’s also a lot of fun on its own. Unlike the net, it can also be used in the shallow end and is more accessible for young kids.

11. Blow-Up Pool

If you don’t have an in-ground or structured above-ground pool, you can always purchase a blow-up pool. Kids tend to outgrow their kiddie splash pools fairly quickly, but a quality blow-up pool can be big enough for the whole family to enjoy.

backyard games for families of all ages
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Inflatable Games & Giant Games

Sometimes a unique, outdoor twist on a game is just what the family needs. Try a super-sized version of a classic board game or a giant game of inflatable bowling. Backyard versions of your favorite games are always a blast.

12. Bowling

You don’t need to go to the bowling alley and borrow shoes to bowl. In fact, you don’t even need to play classic backyard lawn bowling. Pick up an inflatable set or this backyard bowling set from Amazon hit pins at home.

13. Mini Golf

 Mini golf is an excellent activity for the whole family. This set has all of the fun without the expensive putting green. For young children, try this fun garden golf course.

14. Giant Chess

A giant game of chess may appeal more to the kids who are hesitant about athletic, competitive games but still need to get outdoors for fresh air. This giant game may have been something you played at hotels on family vacations, but you can get your own on Amazon.

 15. Giant Jenga

The anticipation of the falling Jenga tower never seems to get old, so you are guaranteed hours of family fun! You can purchase a giant game set for the backyard or make your own with woodblocks.

Ball Sports

If you are looking for a team game and physical activities for a family with a competitive spirit, don’t forget about good-old-fashioned ball sports. There are plenty of sports to choose from, but kids will also create endless games with just a ball and their imagination.

16. Pro-ball Set

Every toy and ball closet should have a soccer ball, a football, and a basketball and this set is the Amazon choice. A grassy backyard will do for a football or soccer field, and a safe driveway is the perfect basketball court. 

17. Flag Football

Flag football is a great team activity for the whole family and a better option for young players. This outdoor game helps everyone to learn the rules and technique behind football without the contact.

18. Wall Ball

If you have a wall at the back or side of the house, you also have hours of entertainment for the kids. Grab some tennis balls or rubber balls like a kickball for a game like wall ball.

More Lawn Games

19. Spikeball

Parks are full of kids and adults playing spike ball, either for fun or quite competitively. Spikeball has become a popular outdoor game more recently and your kids are likely begging you to bring this game home.

20. Frisbee Golf

Organized disc golf is usually played at a park with a full course, but you can also play at home. You can buy a proper disc set with a chain basket or set up a course with targets around the yard and play with frisbees you have at home. The set that is linked is great for young kids.

21. Badminton

A badminton net is smaller and lighter than a volleyball net, so it may be a better option for an outdoor game. If you don’t have space for a net, try this simple paddle version that makes the back-and-forth activity accessible anywhere (a perfect game option for the beach or camping).

22. Hook & Ring

A game of hook and ring is light-hearted but also requires focus and determination. It’s also a quiet game that requires little movement, so it is a great game to have around dinner time or at the end of the day for family fun that doesn’t get the kids in a hyper mood.

23. Ladder Toss

Similar to cornhole, ladder toss requires two individuals or two teams to throw towards a target. In this game, also known as ladder golf or ladder ball, points vary depending on where the balls land on each level of the ladder.

24. Laser Tag 

Turn your yard into an outdoor laser tag course by setting up “barricades” using furniture, trees, cars in the driveway, or whatever you may have on your property. You may want to save this game for a warm summer night since the neon lights add to the fun in the dark. 

Get Ready For Outdoor Summer Fun!

People are still spending a lot of time at home, and it may be a while before everyone is able to completely return to summer camps, organized sports, or even trips to the playground. Screen time is at an all-time high, and mental and physical health are equally affected as a result. Parents tend to spend as much time in front of their computers or phones as their kids do with TV and other screen time indoors, so it is important to find ways to get the whole family involved. 

 It may seem ridiculous to run out of ideas for outdoor play, but sometimes, as parents, we feel like we have exhausted every toy and game in the book! This list of backyard games for families aims to provide ideas for healthy competition, physical activity, and bonding as a family. When in doubt, a quick game of tag or hide and seek is always an option to burn off some energy before supper!

Read More: 25 Healthy Lunch Box Ideas

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