10 Insanely Fun Outdoor Games For Kids + Adults

outdoor games

Summer is coming and it’s time to prep the yard for massive amounts of outdoor fun. One way to do this is with games for all ages. Sure, you could go to the nearest toy store for lawn darts and other colorful things to do that cater mostly toward kids. But outdoor games such as the ideas on this list are trending because they can liven up a party for all ages, lean a bit more high end without the cost, and could even be a fun family DIY project.

Outdoor Jenga

As you can see above, outdoor Jenga takes the table version to an entirely new level. Sure, you could buy a giant version but this is one outdoor game that is easy to make out of 2×4’s and you could even decorate the planks if desired, which would be great for a birthday party or holiday.

Basically, the game requires 60 planks that 10.5″ long to make a perfect square base. The reason is because 2×4’s are actually 1.5×3.5″ so three laid flat next to each other measure 10.5″.

After the first row of planks is laid on the ground, the next row is placed perpendicular to the first as the video demonstrates. Then, each player takes turns removing a plank from the stack until it becomes unstable enough to topple over. For noise and denting purposes, it’s best to play outdoor Jenga on a lawn.

Bean Bag Toss (Cornhole)

Liberty Heights Garden

This game is much harder than it looks though surprisingly addictive. While it could be another DIY project, it’s easy to buy a wood regulation size cornhole game at Home Depot that you could even decorate to represent your favorite sports team or paint as an outdoor accent color. Teams of two take turns tossing bean bags into the hole.

Bean Bag Ladder Toss

Have a ladder in the garage? Good. Now get it out, place it in the backyard and label each rung based on a different point system. Have people stand back at a comfortable distance and have them try to toss bean bags (again, you can buy them individually online or at Home Depot) through the rungs. Tally up scores to declare a winner.

Bocce Ball

Hawaii

Bocce ball is currently one of the most popular backyard games to have and can be styled to match the look of your home. A regulation court is 91 x 13′ but, of course, you could modify it based on space and preferences. If a professional court is what you’re after, expect to spend time and money creating the perfect grade for the balls to roll on. It should be flat from end to end and precisely curved toward the spine. But, let’s face it, if playing just for fun then just grab a bag of balls and play on a suitable stretch of lawn.

Ping Pong

Erie Loft

We don’t need to tell you about the merits of ping pong but we’d be remiss not to mention this classic here. Of course, a folding table will do nicely but even a jazzed up plywood board for the table combined with a 2×4″ for a net will work if you have sawhorses to set it on, paddles and balls on hand.

If you’re thinking about reliving college days with beer pong, of course, that’s up to you. Note that giant beer pong games— even those involving trash cans—are available.

Checkers

Harrisdale

Recently, we’ve spotted quite a few checkers games in a similar style to the one above, which was professionally done. However, many DIY versions use river rocks or other decorative rocks painted with x’s and o’s. The checkerboard can be various square tiles or a table delineated by lines.

Giant Chess

Outdoor Chess set on Paver Driveway

No need for a chess board when multicolored pavers do the trick. The pieces on most giant chess sets are surprisingly lightweight so keep an eye out for heavier versions to suit windy areas like those made out of teak or metal. Pieces usually range anywhere from 8 – 72″ tall.

Putting Green

Santa Monica Canyon Retreat

Practice your short game without leaving the house by having a professional putting green set up outside. The ideal way to do this is with artificial grass and a professional design that can even include sand traps, undulations, multiple holes and whatever else your heart desires. Installation typically takes just a couple of days. Plus, you’ll never need to mow, water or fertilize artificial grass, a perfect California drought alternative to a traditional lawn.

Lawn Twister

Grab a can of red, blue, green and yellow spray paint to create circles on the lawn in the same arrangement as a Twister mat. An indoor mat has rows of 5 circles by 4 circles but go ahead and make it as large as you like.  An easy way to create perfect circles is by tracing the outside of a paper dinner plate with paint or by removing the bottom of a bucket and spraying the paint through that. Place circles in a perfect line by lining them up next to a taught string.

Take the spinner from an indoor Twister game and play on your new outdoor mat. The good news is that as the grass grows, the lawn twister will easily be mowed out of existence.

Croquet

South Austin Landscape

We could not write an article about outdoor games without including croquet. The beauty of this game is that it’s portable for use at picnics, multiple places in the yard (where you have living grass) and more. A basic croquet set will not break the bank and can be found at sporting goods stores. The goal of the game is to hit a ball with a mallet through a series of hoops in sequence to hit a pole at the end. The team who finishes first wins.

Your Turn…

What outdoor games do you have in the backyard? Did you buy or build them?

 

Photo credit: (top) Flickr/[email protected]