11 Fun Backyard Games To Play Outdoors With Your Kids

Do you like to spend time in your backyard? Get your kids involved with some of these backyard games!

We love spending time outdoors, and I especially love hosting people in my yard. If you are planning a BBQ this summer, or any outdoor event, don’t forget to plan some backyard games!

When planning a backyard BBQ for family and/or friends, spending all your energy on the food is easy. Everyone has been to BBQs where the food was good, but once the eating was over, no one wanted to hang around. Good food is a must but adds some good games to that, and no one will want to leave.

Take a little time when planning your backyard BBQ to include some games which are fun for all skill levels. This will add loads of fun, energy, and laughter to your get-together.

There are lots of great backyard games you can play outdoors this summer! If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on the games for your BBQ, then make your own. Several very fun backyard games can be improvised from things around your home.

You can play many games with your kids in the backyard and keep them doing something active instead of sitting on the couch watching their favorite television shows. Make some great memories with your kids and help to keep your family active. Use your imagination or try some of the following ideas:


Leaf Pressing


Have the kids collect as many different leaves as they can and then get them to put them between the pages of an old book or a magazine with something heavy on top of it. When the leaves are dry and flat, they can decorate a frame with a picture of them collecting the leaves in the picture frame. Or they can take pictures with the leaves and add color with permanent markers. Give the kids a pile of different craft supplies and see what they come up with on their own. You could make it a contest to keep their interest and peak their enthusiasm.


Have a Backyard Parade


You don’t need to have a giant backyard to have a parade. After all, the kids can march around the yard following one another. Let them dress up in old clothes and play any musical instruments they can carry around. Even better, have them make some of their musical instruments using household materials like a pot and spoons for a drum. Leave it up to them for the most part. They might surprise you with what they come up with. Be sure to capture the parade on camera so they will remember the day well.


Build a Fort


This is something every kid loves to do. Give them some sheets or old blankets and let them hang them from trees or, if there are no trees in your backyard, give them some lawn chairs to support the blankets and create their fort. Feed them their lunch or snacks outside in the fort and they will extremely happy!


Chalk Art


Let the kids draw on the fence and take pictures to frame their art. Bring the fun to the front yard if you have a driveway they could use as their palette. Chalk washes off so let your guard down and let them have fun.


Plan a Scavenger Hunt


It doesn’t matter how many participants you have for this game! Give the kids each a different list of things to find in the backyard, like different colored leaves or a branch of flowers. To make it even better and if you are willing, divide them into teams and give them your digital camera so they can take pictures of the items. Then they can all sit around the camera, look at the pictures, and see how many items each team captured. Have a prize for all teams, but let the winning team have the first pick.

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Duck, Duck, Goose!


An oldie but a goody! If you have at least five players this game keeps kids laughing and running for a while. Have a child run around the circle of the other four sitting kids, patting kids on the head lightly calling out “Duck”…” Duck”…” Duck” and then, finally, he or she yells “Goose,” and that child must get up and run around the circle of kids in the opposite direction. Whichever child reaches the open seat wins.




The game of cornhole has been around for over a hundred years, and perhaps even centuries. The official version of this game contains strict guidelines for bag and platform sizes. For a backyard BBQ though keep it simple and easy. You can use Ziploc bags filled with dried beans, dry cat or dog food, or popcorn kernels. The platform can easily be made from a sheet of plywood or even a large cardboard box. Just cut a hole in the middle of one end of the box and use something, two sticks, two pieces of wood, cinder blocks, or whatever you can find to prop up the end with the hole cut out. Mark off the throwing line and start playing.


Crazy Croquet


Crazy croquet is based on the classic game of croquet. Instead of using a classic croquet set with mallets, balls, and wickets, make your own by improvising with items from around your house and yard.  Instead of proper mallets use brooms, sticks, or even a baseball bat or golf club just be sure to pick out balls that are not too heavy for your mallets. Instead of wickets to hit the balls through use things such as buckets, cardboard (make a small ramp), bleach bottles (with the top and bottom cut off), and anything else you have to make an obstacle course to get the ball through to be the first one to get yours to hit the finish.


Bocci Ball


Bocci ball can be improvised by using a golf ball for the pallina (which is the target ball) and tennis balls for the boccia (which are the balls thrown to score points by landing the closest to the pallina. Just find a relatively flat place in the yard and mark off two lines 10 feet apart. Players divide into two teams the pallina is thrown toward the end of the playing area and then the game is on.

Blanket Volleyball


This is a really fun team sport. Two teams of four each hold the corner of a blanket. The ball is placed in the center of one of the blankets and the team lowers one end of the blanket to make the ball roll to that end, and then raises it quickly to throw it to the other team which then must catch it in their blanket and then throw it back. A point is scored when one team misses.


Five Pin Soccer


Use five two-liter bottles and fill partially with gravel, sand, or dirt. The opposing players stand equal distances on opposite sides of the row of bottles. Each takes turns kicking the ball at the bottles and scores a point for each knocked down. Make the game as short or long as you like by setting the winning number of goals.


Kids are easy to entertain as long as you are organized. Choose the activity according to how many kids you have attending. Join in on the games and have fun yourself. Good exercise, and the kids will think you are amazing.



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Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.