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The Ultimate List of Fun Backyard Games For An Epic Season

kids outside laying on the lawn in a circle

The Ultimate List of Fun Backyard Games For An Epic Season

It's time to get outside and make some fun memories for the entire family. We understand the importance of spending time outside and the positive effects it has on our being. So we hope you enjoy this post and put some ideas to work.

Summer’s just around the corner and along with it comes gloriously sunny weather and fun times for the family. From classics like backyard swings and tic-tac-toe, to creating your own backyard carnival, we’ve compiled a list of the most fun backyard games to keep you and your family entertained for the whole summer. Most of them are pretty simple to set up while some may take some effort, but regardless of that they’re all easy and super fun to enjoy .

1. Mud Pie Kitchen Set Up:

muddy hands, a result of making mud pies

About the Game

Playing with mud pies is one of the most fun summer games I can remember playing as a kid. And with water and dirt as the main playing ingredients, what kid wouldn’t be excited to play with them?

DIY Set-up

Fill up one of those big metal tubs or a plastic storage bin with dirt and put it in a convenient spot in your backyard where your kids can easily access it.

To make the station more interesting you can also make a sign that says, ‘Mud Pie Station’ over the area where the dirt will be. Another fun feature would be to have tin cans filled with mud pie ‘decorations’ like twigs, small stones and pine cones.


2. The Tire Swing:

Family having fun on a tire swing

About the Game

Tire swinging is a classic summer backyard game that you can never go wrong with. Your kids will probably be the envy of the whole neighbourhood with this set up in your backyard.

DIY Set Up

All you need for this is a tall tree, some rope a used tire. You can make the tire swing colorful by painting it with bright colours.


3. Bean Bag Ladder Toss:

About the Game

This is a great way for kids to combine having fun with practicing balance and hand-eye co-ordination. And if you already have a ladder, then it’ll be super easy to set this up.

DIY Set-up

For this you’ll need a ladder, some A4 paper and bean bags. Mark the paper with numbers from 10 to 50 and attach them to the steps on the ladder, then watch the kids have fun competing for points by throwing the bags on the rungs.


4. Outdoor Chalkboard:

Young girl drawing on a chalkboard outside

About the Game

From practicing their scribbles and playing teacher, to drawing cute colourful stick people and animals, putting a chalkboard in your backyard could provide endless hours of playing fun for kids, big and small.

DIY Set-up

You can make this with some salvaged wood, chalkboard paint and simple screws to put the board together. You can then purchase different coloured chalk sticks for your kids to draw with and watch them enjoy hours of ‘learning’ fun.


5. Recycled Bottles Bowling set-up:

The tools you need to make a recycled bottle bowling game

Image Credit Moonfrye.com

About the Game

Bowling is always massive fun. And instead of purchasing a bowling pin set you can make a DIY project out of it and create your own pins from recycled plastic bottles.

DIY Set-up

To make this bowling pin game you’ll need some 500ml plastic bottles, red and white paint, brushes and a tennis ball. And all you need to do is play around with the paint colours on the bottles, let it dry and play!

For an in depth tutorial check out this site. http://www.moonfrye.com/diy/recycled-bottle-bowling/ 


6. DIY Tic-tac-toe

About the Game

I love how simple and fun this game is to play, and you don’t even need a lot to put it together.

Diy Set-up​

All you need is just some scrap wood, white paint, painting brush and a few rocks from the backyard. Or if you’re fancy like me you can go to the beach to pick out those smooth sea stones. Paint your X’s and O’s on the stones and you’re good to go.


7. Pool Noodle Toss

About the Game

Who knew you could use pool noodles for non-pool related playing activities? Turns out you can set up an awesome target station with these colourful and bendy contraptions. Just make sure it’s far enough into your backyard to avoid any window breaking episodes.

DIY Set-up

Join the rings together to create a target point and you’ll have the perfect spot on your backyard to play volleyball, boomerang and ‘noodle javelins’.


8. DIY Bucket Ring Toss

About the Game

This is one of the easiest to set up in the list, and it’s super easy to play.

DIY Set-up

All you need for this are some small buckets, scrap wood, simple hardware tools and paint. Then paint the reclaimed piece of wood and number the buckets in complimentary colours before attaching to the wood.


9. Balloon Darts

About the Game

I can’t think of a single kid who doesn’t like playing with balloons, they’re squishy, colorful and bouncy. And this take on balloon fun should have your kids entertained and off your back for quite some time.

DIY Set-up

Here you’ll just need the balloons, a staple gun with staples and a board. Now Attach the balloons onto the board using the staple gun, hang it on your back yard and dart away!


10. Backyard Carnival

Backyard decorated for an outdoor carnival for kids

About the Game

What could be more exciting in the summer than a kid’s carnival party? Granted it could take some coordination to set up, but the payoff of seeing the kids have fun the whole day with their friends is well worth the effort.

DIY Set-up

You can literally go crazy with the setup here and you can even make a themed carnival party. Next level stuff. Some backyard carnival basics include having ‘carnival booths’ that house different outdoor games like giant tic-tac-toe, chess, darts etc.

You can also put up a carnival sign in your backyard using reclaimed pieces of wood and some colorful paint. Add a jumping castle, some hoola hoops, bouncing balls, a slip ‘n slide and you’re good to go. With these and more features, your backyard carnival will be the stuff of legend.


11. DIY Slip ‘n Slide

About the Game

Slip n’ slides scream summer fun, and it’s really simple to make your own.

DIY Set-up

All you’ll need is some plastic sheeting and tent stakes which you can get at your nearest Home Depot, and of course some baby wash soap for the sliding part. Next, lay the plastic sheet on the grass in your backyard, pin the stakes at the ends and corners to keep it stable, pour some of the baby wash soap, turn on the hose and watch the kids have a blast.


12. Backyard Twister

About the Game

Twister is one of those games that comes with lots of giggles and fun for the whole family. And we’ve got a really simple way to set it up without actually buying a Twister game. Read on.

DIY Set up

Get some colorful water paint and paint brushes, and then paint twister circles on the grass, to enjoy awesome summer fun on the grass.


13. Chalk Spray

About the Game

There’s nothing kids love more than getting messy, especially when mom gives them permission! This chalk spray’s the perfect ‘messy’ game for kids to enjoy without you worrying about laundry later.

DIY Set-up​

For this you’ll need some tempera paint, hot water, corn starch, dishwashing liquid and a re-usable squirt bottle. Pour the ingredients into the squirt bottle, mix well and have fun. Make sure to shake it well next time you use it to combine the ingredients again.


14. DIY Ring Toss

About the Game

This game is so much fun your kids will never get enough of it! Tossing colourful rings into a bite sized pole is an epic way to pass the day.

DIY Set-up

You can make your own tossing board with a simple wood panel, 8” drill bit, some dowels and your favourite paint colours. For the rings you’ll need some nylon rope, super strong glue and duct tape. Guaranteed fun with friends, done.


15. Ice Block Treasure Hunt

About the Game

This is a perfect game for small children because it engages their sensory development, which is really crucial at that age. All you have to do is freeze some toys (the treasure) inside a huge ice block (the chest) and get your kids to explore the treasure, helping them cool down in the process.

DIY Set-up

All you need are small toys, and a plastic container filled with water. Place the toys into the container, freeze and have fun. You and the kids can use your imagination to get the treasure out of the chest. Wink wink.


16. Water balloon baseball

About the Game

As the name suggests, this is a game of baseball played with water balloons, which makes it twice as fun.

DIY Set-up

Fill a bunch of balloons up with water and watch the kids have a blast popping them with baseball bats.


17. Fairy Crowns

About the Game

If you have an imaginative child, then creating fairy crowns could be a fun activity for them. And she’ll be the cutest fairy prices in all the land.

DIY Set-up

For this you’ll need some duct tape, brown paper bags, colorful leaves and flowers, brown paper bags and scissors. Next you can cut the brown paper into a crown shape, measure it to your child’s head, and put the ends together with some duct tape. After that you and your little one can go wild decorating with the flowers and leaves to make a most whimsical fairy crown.


18. Giant Outdoor Xylophone

About the Game

This is a magical idea for a musically inclined child. Having a giant instrument to play with and share with friends sounds like ideal summer fun to me.

DIY Set up

To make the xylophone you’ll need scrap 2×4 wood pieces, making them 2 inches apart in height. Once you’ve assembled your pieces (preferably on the backyard lawn) you then drill a hole into the end of each piece, sand the wood carefully and then string the pieces together with rope. Mount end of the rope onto a short pole, make some music with wooden spoons and Bob’s your uncle!


19. Pounded Flower Bookmarkers

About the Game

This is a fabulous craft to engage your kids in nature with during the summer. Have them gather up different coloured flowers from the garden for a nature craft idea that they can take with to school next season.

DIY Set-up

For the supplies you’ll need some sheets of watercolor paper, a hole puncher, colourful ribbon, scissors and small rocks. Arrange the flowers on top of the watercolour paper, place some waxed paper on top, then pound on the flowers with the rocks.

After that you can remove the wax paper and reveal the interesting and unique shapes left behind by the flowers. Cut the paper up into bookmarker sizes, punch a hole at the top of each one and pull the ribbon through. These will imbue your books with a wonderful flowery smell all summer.


20. Play dough

About the Game

This is by far one of the most popular and fun summer games of all time. I mean, who doesn’t love play dough? It’s hours of fun and it develops your child’s sensorimotor skills. Oh and did I mention that you won’t have to cook this dough?

DIY Set-up

The ingredients for this simple playdough recipe include some water, cream of tartar, food colouring, salt, flour and vegetable oil. First you mix all the dry ingredients together, boil the water and add the oil. Remove wet ingredients from stove, and mix with the dry until the mixture resembles play dough.


21. Bugs Life

Kids using magnifying glass to view bugs

About the Game

Kids love bugs, why not research how they live.​

DIY Set-up

For this you will only need a handheld magnifying glass and a mason jar or cup. Dig into the lawn and look for some worms or my favorite, ants. Use the magnifying glass to see what they are doing and let the kids get hands on. For some, your stomach may not be able to handle this game, but trust me when I say your kids will not have a problem with it, most kids at least.


Conclusion

We hope that this list has provided you with some much-needed inspiration for awesome outdoor backyard games this summer. With a little creativity and effort, your backyard could prove to be a wonderland of fun memories for your family. Wishing you and your kids an epic summer break ahead!

David Arroyo

David Arroyo of Strictly Stone started laying brick as a summer job in high school with his father. He went on to study design at the Illinois Institute of Art which allowed him to further develop his expertise and to enhance his artistic eye. To date, David has more than 1,000 brick paving projects under his belt.