Top Outdoor Party Games for Kids

Updated: March 2, 2021
We've rounded up the top outdoor party game ideas for kids that are trending in 2019 as well as classic outdoor party games that will never go out of style. These are sure to keep your kids entertained at your next barbecue or family party.
outdoor party game for kids

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Looking for some ideas for fun outdoor games to play at your next barbecue or family party? Good ol' fashioned group games — from sack races to cornhole and other toss games — are all the rage these days. Check out this list of our favorite old and new outdoor games (to buy or DIY) that will make your backyard the ultimate kid-friendly party spot this summer. Many of these games are also great for the beach!

More: How To Design the Ultimate Scavenger Hunt for Kids

Top Outdoor Party Game Ideas for 2019

Top Outdoor Party Games for Kids Pinterest image

  1. Hilarious Bigfoot Game

This is a game that offers your family the opportunity to have fun both making the game and playing it. All you need are a pair of flip flops, tape, plastic balls, and a giant box that you can cut up. Racing each other with gigantic “feet” taped to your flip flops will provide funny photos and enjoyment for all.

Buy the supplies here.

For more info, visit the original idea at Get Your Holiday On.

2. Human Ring Toss

This is an entertaining version of the classic carnival ring toss game. The only difference is that the rings are giant and being tossed on to your family members! All you need are six 36-inch inflatable pool tubes. You can set the distance to throw from and discover who has the best tossing skills in the family while enjoying a park or your backyard.

Buy the supplies here.

3. Donuts on a String

Who can resist donuts as a summer treat? Especially when eating them is part of an outdoor contest! All you need is a piece of long string, two adults to hold either end of the string, and a bunch of delicious donuts lining the string. The kids will keep their hands and arms behind their backs and use only their mouths to race to see who can eat their assigned donut first. The prize is the finished donut!

Buy the supplies here.

For more info, visit the original idea at Frugal Coupon Living.

4. Human Pinata Chase

Everyone is motivated by the reward of candy, and this is a hilarious take on the classic game of pinata. All you need are old t-shirts, a glue gun, and snack sized candy. You make the shirts in advance by using the glue gun to attach the candy to the shirt. The people who wear the shirts in the game are your human pinatas. The rest of the kids chase the human pinata and grab the candy off whenever they can!

Buy the supplies here.

For more info, visit the original idea at Family Reunion Helper.

5. Keep It Up Balloon Game

It’s not a party without balloons, and they provide an opportunity for a fun game beyond just being part of the party decorations. Save some of your balloons for a classic game of keep it up. You’ll definitely get caught up in the game as you try to beat your records for how many hits it takes to keep the balloon up in the air for the longest amount of time! 

Buy the supplies here.

6. Duck Pond Matching Game

Everything you need for a duck pond matching game comes together in one set. Not only does this game look festive, it also provide endless hours of entertainment for little ones as they try to match floating ducks with shapes and numbers on the bottom in a baby pool filled with water. This is a great game to develop memory skills and a perfect opportunity to provide the younger kids with an exciting challenge.

Buy the supplies here.

7. Giant Outdoor Connect Four

Connect Four is a classic family game for all ages. Now you can take the fun outside with an oversized version of the game that stands three feet tall. It’s made to stay outside being weather and pest resistant, and it gives kids a fun but calm activity to focus on when they need a little break from running around.

Buy it here.

8. Giant Inflatable Bowling

Bowling is always a fun bonding activity for families with kids of all ages, but who wants to be inside a bowling alley on a beautiful day? This version of the game allows you to be outside, and with a gigantic but lightweight ball and pins, no matter how amazing your regular bowling skills are, you never know who might turn out to be the winner.

Buy it here.

9. Mega Checkers and Tic Tac Toe

The games of checkers and tic tac toe can keep kids occupied for hours. With a giant reversible rug and large playing pieces, these games can be played indoors or outdoors. It’s also an easily portable game to take to the park or camping. Everything’s more fun when it’s oversized and played outside

Buy it here.

10. Four Legged Team Races

Four legged races are so much fun, and this game provides a twist by having four people on a team at a time. This is a great option for larger gatherings, and it gives both kids and adults the opportunity for team work. It will keep you laughing as you waddle together towards the finish line!

Buy it here.

11. Glow in the Dark Capture the Flag

Many parents probably remember hours of outdoor nighttime play devoted to the classic game of Capture the Flag. It’s even more exciting now with Capture the Flag Redux because it now involves twenty five glow in the dark pieces! This will provide hours of electronic-free nighttime entertainment for older kids as they run through the yard or park glowing!

Buy it here.

12. DIY Tetherball

Tetherball is a classic party game, but you can actually make it yourself for half the price of purchasing the game! This game that normally costs over $100 can be made as a family project for only $45. Once you have this set up in your yard, it will be a staple for regular backyard play and a favorite for any outdoor party at your home.

Buy the supplies here.

For more info, visit the original idea at Old Salt Farm.

More: 5 Best Backyard Water Games for All Ages

Classic Outdoor Party Games for Kids

1. Potato Sack Race

Sack races, aka "gunny races," became popular at carnivals in the 1800s, and they're still a hoot today. All you need is a burlap sack or large, sturdy pillow case for each participant (It should reach their waist), and plenty of space for them to hop to the finish line. You can also purchase durable sacks right on Amazon. Try pairing kids with adults!

Buy the supplies here.

2. Spikeball

Spikeball, a cool cross between four square and volleyball, is sure to be a hit at your next barbecue! To play, smack the palm-size ball onto the net so it bounces back up toward your opponent, who then gets three tries to control it and bounce it back to you. When a player misses, the other scores a point. The first one to 21 wins!

Buy it here.

3. Cornhole or Beanbag Toss

This beanbag toss game is simple but requires the perfect combination of luck and skill. Official "regulation" cornhole is played with two sets of wooden boards (24x48 inches) set 27 feet apart (which is pretty far!), so it's better suited for older kids and adults. But you can find plenty of kid-friendly beanbag toss games on the market. If you're handy at building things, you can build your own cornhole game!

Buy it here.

4. Bocce or Boochie

Bocce is a classic outdoor game with roots in the Roman Empire! It can be played on grass or on the beach (damp, firm sand works best). Standard bocce balls weigh 2 pounds, which is heavy for kids (and some adults!), so be sure to pair off your teams fairly! Little kids who are too young to play will get a kick out of tossing the "pallino" (little ball that is used as the target).

A new bocce-inspired family game called Boochie is a more kid-friendly option (recommended for ages 8 and up). It combines a variety of tossing challenges using lightweight "bean balls" and plastic rings, and has a relatively short playing time.

Buy Bocce here.

Buy Boochie here.

5. Horseshoes

Yeehaw! Round up your cowboys and cowgirls for this classic backyard game. You can buy rubber horseshoe sets these days, which are much more kid-friendly than traditional metal horseshoes. The National Horseshoe Pitchers Association guidelines call for the two stakes to be 40 feet apart, but we think it's fine to place them closer together for the youngin’s.

Buy it here.

6. Washer Toss

Like horseshoes and cornhole, washer toss (aka "washers" or "urban horseshoes") is another fun tossing game that's easy to play with a cold drink in one hand. You can buy it or build your own single-hole or three-hole washers game, if you're handy.

Buy it here.

7. Kan Jam or Frisbee Golf

Frisbee fans will love Kan Jam, a disc toss game for all ages that can be played in the backyard or on the beach. The goal is for teams to toss the discs into the slot or on top of the large cans. If you have some Frisbees and some (clean) buckets, trash cans or recycling bins, you can play a basic DIY version of this game. And there's always Frisbee golf — another game that requires aiming plastic discs at different targets.

Buy it here.

8. Limbo

How low can you go? There's a pretty good chance the kids will beat the adults at this classic luau game — unless you're feeling pretty limber! You can use a long pole or broom, or you can buy a bamboo limbo pole online. It's an excellent choice for the beach or a pool party.

Buy it here.

9. Rollors

This award-winning active play game combines the fun of horseshoes, bocce ball and bowling. It involves rolling wooden discs toward a pyramid-shaped target and trying to get the discs to land with the higher point value facing up. Families are raving about it!

Buy it here.

10. Giant Tumble Tower

Here's another awesome wooden game. This one can be played outdoors or inside (where there's plenty of space). Giant Tumble Tower is like a 5-foot-tall version of the classic board game Jenga. It comes with 56 hardwood blocks that measure 8x3x2 inches (so you could build your own version!). Because of its size, this game is better for older kids

Buy it here.

11. Ladder Ball

This game (aka "lasso golf," "ladder golf," "golf toss," or "ladder toss") involves tossing "bolas" — roped pairs of golf balls — around different rungs of a PVC "ladder." The bolas are pretty hard, so be careful playing with young children around. If you're pretty handy with a hacksaw, you can build your own ladder ball game.

Buy it here.

With all of these fun ideas and creative spins on classic games, your family will be entertaining themselves outside both at parties and during regular play for the whole summer! You can make games yourselves or buy instant entertainment, but the most important thing is that you will be out in fresh air and encouraging fun playtime for the entire family.

For more outdoor activities for kids, follow FamilyEducation on Pinterest: