13 Best Lawn Games for Kids for Summer Fun
If you are a family that loves board games as well as getting outside for fun outdoor activities, we can help you with some ideas. It can feel overwhelming having your children home for the entire summer, and not knowing how to keep them occupied on days you decide to hang out at home.
This is why we put together this list of kid-friendly lawn games that they can enjoy on their own or with the whole family.
Related: 13 Best Inflatable Sprinklers for Kids (And Adults!)
The Best Summer Yard Games for Kids
These are some of the best outdoor games that are perfect for barbecues, birthday parties, a tailgate, or to get your younger kids interested to go outside on a summer day.
This popular lawn game is perfect for kids of all ages. The rules are really simple and easy to understand. You score points by trying to land bean bags on the opposing team’s board.
The best part is it can be played by 2 players or 4, which is in teams. The cornhole set below is very well made and will last summer after summer. It comes with two wood cornhole boards, 8 bean bags (4 of each color), and a carrying case so you can take it along with you to events for the whole family.
2. Inflatable Lawn Bowling
This takes the classic game of bowling to a new level. You can have as many players as you like, and it’s a great way to have some friendly competition. In this case, our favorite game set includes 6 pins and 1 ball.
The pins stand at 27 inches tall and the ball is 24 inches. However, the best thing about this set from Amazon (link below) is that it comes with a manual pump and a patch. If either one of the pins or a ball gets a hole, it can be fixed with ease. Plus, inflatables are usually made from PVC, making them as easy to clean as plastic would be.
3. Giant Jenga
If you have played Jenga before, then you know how fun it is as a tabletop game. Giant Jenga is played the same way, all players pull blocks from the tower without trying to knock it over.
The twist is that it’s a much larger version, making it perfect for outdoor play. It stands tall at over 5 feet when built and also comes with a sturdy carry bag.
When it comes to outdoor games, croquet is often overlooked. It is one of the most popular outdoor games in the world. You use a mallet to hit balls, usually wooden or plastic, through hoops or wickets.
There are several variations of this game, so it can feel a little bit complicated. It would be great for slightly older children or the whole family. The croquet set we like has 6 mallets, 6 balls, 9 wickets, and a carrying case. It’s perfect for up to 6 players.
5. Ladder Ball
Ladder Ball or Ladder Toss is a really easy game to play and it’s a lot of fun, too. It involves tossing rubber bolos at your opponent’s target and getting them to wrap around the ladder. What’s great about the set below is that each target has a tracker so you can keep score. Plus, it has a carry bag for on-the-go and easy storage.
As a parent, you probably remember the heavy metal horseshoes that we played with as kids. Nowadays, you can buy this yard game with rubber horseshoes which are lighter and safer to use. It’s an easy game to play and there are several ways to score points.
There will be two stakes, one for each team, and your score will be based on the distance at which the horseshoe lands when tossed. Since they are fairly safe, it is a great game your children can play together on their own.
What’s more fun than shooting hoops? If you don’t already have a basketball hoop in your backyard or driveway, it’s definitely worth the money. They are great at teaching teamwork, friendly competition, and hand-eye coordination.
8. Water Balloon Fight
Water play is a great way to have fun outdoors in the summer heat. Bunch O Balloons are great for this. They are inexpensive and easy to fill. Plus, they are self-sealing.
You can fill a bunch of them all at once and they are ready to go within minutes. It also helps that it’s easy for young kiddos to play with them on their own.
9. Bocce Ball
This is a classic backyard game. There are different-sized bocce balls and the kind used typically depends on skill level. If your little ones are beginners, smaller balls are the way to go.
The object of the game is to get your team’s bocce balls as close to the jack as you can. It is kind of similar to bowling without pins. It’s pretty easy to understand for little kids, too.
Badminton is an easy-going version of tennis. The game is played with a net, rackets, and a shuttlecock (sometimes called a “birdie"). Each player hits the shuttlecock over the net to the opposing team.
If you miss and it hits the ground, the other side gets a point. The best part about this game is that you can set the number of points to win as whatever you like. It’s great summer fun and great exercise.
11. Giant Tic-Tac-Toe
You have likely played standard tic-tac-toe. This is played the same way, just in a large version perfect for outdoors. The rope “board has 9 squares and you have to try to get 3 in a row by taking turns and placing your marker. The markers are Xs and Os, the same as they would be if you were using pen and paper.
12. Scavenger Hunt
This would be a great activity for a family barbecue. It’s really easy to DIY and set up things for the kids to find or you can purchase a scavenger hunt game that has cards with things for them to find outdoors. Either way, it’s a way to get their little brains working and help them work together if you decide on teams.
A friendly game of tossing around a frisbee is a fun way to get outside during summer break and move. Throwing a frisbee for the first time can be a little tricky, but once you demonstrate it to your child they can practice as many times as they want. It requires no setup and no clean-up, making it a breeze to use.
For even more ideas for games the whole family will love this summer check out our Ultimate Summer Bucket List for Kids!
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Stefanie is an experienced parenting writer and has published works in other publications such as Motherly.