Whether you’re a kid or an adult, everyone can have some fun in the sun. You don’t even have to go far from the confines of home to do so. You can bond with family or friends and be active while playing good old-fashioned outdoor yard games. It’s a great way to bring out everyone’s competitive spirit and instill sportsmanship at the same time.
Now that staying at home is almost synonymous with keeping safe, we’ve rounded up our top picks of the best outdoor yard games for kids and adults to enjoy. These range from classic favorites to cool newcomers that will not only keep the merriment going but also boost mental and physical health.
Check out our guide on the best trampolines for more.
At a glance:
- All-time favorite:
- Best for sensory learning:
- Best for groups:
- Best for aiming:
- Best for two to four players:
- Frisbee with a twist:
- Great for all ages:
- Best for strategy:
- Best for keeping fit:
- Classic game of chance:
All-time favorite: Cornhole
It’s only fitting that we kick off our roundup with an all-time favorite. Cornhole has been an iconic yard game on college campuses and household lawns for decades, and we’ve probably all played this game at some point or another. While there are many different materials that can be used to make a Cornhole set, it’s important to get one with a smooth surface so the bean bags can slide into the hole.
Best for sensory learning: Giant Jenga
Assuming you haven’t spent your whole life living in fear of falling bricks, you’ve likely played Jenga at some point. Giant Jenga is exactly like regular Jenga, but with one key distinguishing factor — it’s huge. The game starts with 19 levels of wood blocks and stands at 2.5 feet tall, though it can grow to over 5 feet during play. You can play this game in your backyard of course, but it’s also one of those outdoor games you can play inside as well.
The model we’re featuring in this roundup isn’t the official Giant Jenga set, which would cost you $119, but it’s pretty much the exact same thing. If you’re looking for a game that can accommodate a ton of people and cause a completely necessary amount of backyard stress, this super-sized pile of bricks is an excellent option.
Best for groups: Spikeball
Originally seen on Shark Tank, Spikeball quickly became a sensation, and its popularity as a lawn game doesn’t seem to be dying down. Think of Spikeball as volleyball without a big net. You bounce the ball off the netted trampoline, and two-player teams try to spike the ball past their opponents. The first team to do so will either win the point or get the chance to serve during the next round of play. It’s a pretty intense game and a great way to get some outdoor exercise while having fun, especially if you have a small backyard.
Best for aiming: Ladder toss game
You may know this game by a different name, as it seems to have many. There’s ladder golf (due to the golf balls on a string), ladder toss, upright horseshoes, and ladderball, but no matter what you call it, it’s still a great thing to have in your yard. If you’re looking fun outdoor games that the whole family can play, then look no further than this. The object of each match is to toss a string with two balls on either end and try to get them to land on the first, second, or third rung. Each rung has varying levels of points based on how difficult it is to hit. The top rung is one point, the second rung is two points, and the third is three. The first team to reach 21 wins!
Best for two to four players: Badminton set
Badminton is the way to go if you’re looking for a classic yard game. Those who have never played badminton before may find the rules very similar to volleyball. One team serves, the other team hits it back, and if it doesn’t go over the net, then the point goes to the other team. The best part about this entire set from Baden? Besides including four steel rackets, three shuttlecocks, and a regulation-size nylon net, it tosses in a high-quality volleyball for a quick change in pace.
Frisbee with a twist: KanJam
Another great outdoor activity for exercising (that’s a little lower on the activity scale than Spikeball) is KanJam, which puts a competitive spin on throwing a frisbee around. You set up the goal cans and then toss the frisbee back and forth, targeting your opponent’s can with different ways to score points through hits or “dunks.” Get your frisbee into the front slot for an instant win.
Great for all ages: Croquet
Croquet is another traditional yard game, this one dating back to the 19th century. It’s pretty straightforward: Set up the goalposts and use your mallet to hit balls through them. At the end of all of the goalposts is a wicket hammered into the ground that you must hit to claim your victory. Croquet is easy to pick up and play, so it’s great for all ages, and this sturdy set from GoSports provides the complete set for up to six players.
Best for strategy: Kubb
If you’re looking for something as old as dice, and even older than golf, this one is for you. Kubb, a Swedish import, is a truly old-school yard game that has been played in Europe since the Middle Ages (and we thought croquet was old). You throw sticks to knock down your opponents’ wooden blocks, with the “king” block being the last target to go down. It sounds deceptively simple, but you have a limited number of sticks, and the game can get pretty intense when the king is the only block standing and you’re down to your last throw.
Best for keeping fit: Trampoline
A trampoline is guaranteed to tire out kids. This 14-feet round trampoline from Jump Power is the perfect addition to your backyard if you want to just that. Apart from being highly-rated, it gives you some peace of mind that your kids won’t just fall and injure themselves with a safety net surrounding its entire diameter. It is also rust-resistant and features a no-weld design so you should be able to count on it to last a couple of years.
Classic game of chance: Giant dice
This yard dice game set comes with six solid wood dice, a black plastic bucket, and a dry-erase scoreboard for outdoor fun. Take it to your next outdoor event, tailgate, or gathering. The great thing about it is that there is more than one way to play it. For instance, you can be a group of players competing to be the first to reach a specific number of points added up or to be the person who aims for the lowest possible sum.
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