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Family Outdoor Games - Let's Play

By Edited May 3, 2016 8 30

 Let’s Get Outside and Play Family Outdoor Games

The weather outside is glorious, so why stay inside the house? Instead, let’s go outside, and play some family outdoor games. Not only will you have fun playing these family outdoor games, but they will also improve your mental and physical health. All while you are building priceless memories with your children.

Hey, don’t limit the family outdoor games to just your household. Invite your friends and neighbors over and to share in the fun. When it comes to playing family outdoor games, the more the merrier. And if you are planning a picnic for the whole clan, then make these family outdoor games part of the entertainment and fun.

Fun Family Outdoor Games to Play


Badminton is one of the fun family outdoor games we are going to talk about. Badminton can be played with two or four players. When two players play, they compete against each other. With four players, they divide into two teams, and the teams compete. The objective of the game is to hit the shuttlecock, better known as a ‘birdie,’ over the net in such a way that your opponent(s) cannot return it.


If you already have a badminton set, get it out, set it up, and begin playing family outdoor games. If you don’t have a set, then go online, and order one. Badminton sets come in all price ranges, so you can find one to fit any budget. This is a fun game for everyone. And if you have small children, you can even buy a set designed especially for them. Not only is badminton fun, it’s good exercise, and participating in a competitive activity, win or lose, builds character.


Baseball and Softball

“…For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out, At the old ball game.” (Jack Norworth, songwriter, and Albert Von Tilzer, music composer.)

If you have a large backyard and a large household, then baseball or softball might just be your favorite of the family outdoor games. You have the land, but not the large clan? Then call up friends, neighbors, and bring out the balls, bats, gloves, bases, and ‘PLAY BALL.’

Short on space for a ball game? Then buy a plastic ball, bat, and let the family outdoor games begin.


Basketball, another of the great family outdoor games, can be played in many different ways. Play it by yourself, and just shoot hoops; after all, practice makes perfect. Or, talk a parent, a sibling, or a friend into playing a game of one-on-one. If you have more people available to play, then get up a game. Officially, a game is played with ten players - two teams of five. The team who scores the most baskets is the winner.

In order to play basketball, you need a basketball, a basketball rim, and a backboard. Basketball equipment can be simple or complex. Attach a rim to a building that will serve as a backboard, and you are ready to play. If you want something you can move, you might want one of the portable basketball systems. Of these, some are adjustable, so they can grow with the kids. Want to make the game more feminine - order a pink basketball. And for your future all-star player, they make a starter game for one-year-olds. So, grab that basketball, and let’s begin the family outdoor games by shooting a few hoops.


A game of croquet is a great way to spend a relaxing afternoon. Or, on the other hand, it can be played with a great deal of enthusiasm and rivalry. However you decide to play the game, you will have a fabulous time doing so. Croquet is a good game to play with children. In fact, for young children, you can order a set crafted just for them.



Croquet sets can be purchased for four or six players, and they can be ordered online for as little as twenty dollars or as much as thousands of dollars. Choose the set that suits your pocketbook, and have some fun playing family outdoor games.

Using their mallet, the first person to move their ball, through the nine-wicket course, is the winner. Also, there is a game called six-wicket croquet. Included in the croquet set you purchase, there will be instructions on how to setup the course and the rules for playing one of the best known family outdoor games.



Pitching horseshoes has been one of the favored family outdoor games for years. The rules for setting up the horseshoe pitch site include adjustments for men, women, and children. Pitching horseshoes is a good way to exercise, and have fun at the same time. This is another one of the family outdoor games that you can entertain yourself with - while improving your skills at the same time. Then, when you get the clan together, you can compete on a one-on-one basis with another person, or when four people want to play, split into two teams.

When playing horseshoes, you want to throw the shoe in such a way as to get it to go around the stake. This is called a ringer, and it’s worth three points. Getting your shoe to land, and lean against the stake, is worth two points. Other points are made in different ways, and the first player or team to accumulate twenty-one points is the winner.

Horseshoes can be ordered online, from Amazon, and you can choose from many different sets. Prices run from ten dollars to seventy dollars.


While it is one of the hottest sports being play today, by young as well as older players, it does require a large space. However, learning and practicing ball handling agility skills can be done in your backyard. All the equipment you need is a soccer ball. Ball handling agility skills can be a wonderful workout for anyone. Competing against each other to see who can keep the ball moving the longest, could make it one of your family outdoor games.

Touch Football

Touch football is a part of our American culture, and it’s one of the most played of the family outdoor games. Regardless of the season, whenever a group gets together, someone will want to play touch football, and it can be played by both the guys and the gals. In some households, Thanksgiving Day just isn’t complete until a game of touch football has been played.

Most families make their own rules of play, so all you will need is a football. If you don’t own a football, you can order an official size one, one that glows in the dark, a poof foam football, or one designed for the three-year-old and up crowd. This is another of the family outdoor games that offer fun and exercise at the same time.


Regulation volleyball is played with twelve players, two teams of six, and beach volleyball is played with four players, two players per team. However, in this article we will not be talking about Olympic Volleyball, but instead, family outdoor games - sports simplified to make learning easy, fun, and exciting. There are many rules and regulations to volleyball. As your skills improve, it makes the family outdoor games more fun and challenging to incorporate more of the rules and regulations.

Since my clan is not Olympic Volleyball material, we just have fun playing our family outdoor games. We divide our group up into two teams, grab a volleyball or beach ball, and have fun in the sun and fresh air. If you already have a badminton net setup, then just use that when you play volleyball. Or, go online and order a volleyball set. They run in price from twenty dollars to several hundred dollars. Choose one that will get you started on playing family outdoor games.

In Closing

The family outdoor games listed above are great ways to spend time with your loved ones and friends. In addition to backyard fun, many of these family outdoor games have associations or clubs that you can join to play with other members and in organized competitions. Keep this in mind, also, when playing and teaching family outdoor games to your children. You never know what door one of these activities will open. Think of all the many students who are going to college today on baseball, softball, basketball, football, soccer, or volleyball scholarships. What an opportunity - so call the gang together, and play some family outdoor games.

Other health, fitness, and sports articles I have written similar to family outdoor games are:

Easy Workouts at Home

Pitching Horseshoes:  A Great Outside Activity





Photos courtesy of:  Amazon.com



Apr 30, 2011 10:07pm
Badminton is my favorite, except when it's 95 degrees or something crazy like that.
Jun 11, 2011 2:47pm
Thanks for reading and commenting on my family outdoor games articles. Badminton is one of our favorites, too.
May 1, 2011 6:01pm
I love playing soccer. And you don't need a lot of space just to pass around. Also, Frisbee is great.
Jun 11, 2011 7:38pm
Yes, Frisbee is a fun family outdoor game, and the family dog can also participate. My dog loved it when we threw the Frisbee.
Jun 10, 2011 10:44pm
Great article, it is a shame that more of the kids spend too much time indoors instead of outside playing some of these games in the fresh air.
Jun 11, 2011 8:03pm
You are right; kids need more outside time. What better way to get them outside than to play family outdoor games - good family fun and exercise. Thanks for stopping by.
Jun 24, 2011 11:14am
This is a great article and your family life just sounds fantastic. But of course, you ARE from the South! Seriously, more families need to get together and play. So much can be learned from "playing" as in growing up to be good parents with fond memories to pass along to their children.

I seconded this article as a feature to remind people the importance of family life in this present and often confusing world. Thumbs up.
Aug 14, 2011 10:22am
Thank you so much for you thoughtful comment on this article and for seconding it to be featured. Yes, I have been blessed with a good family and life. As a family, we have had many trials and tribulations, but with God's help, and our family bond, we have been able to overcome them. Praying and playing together is a great way to build strong family bonds.
Jun 25, 2011 9:04am
As a kid, I remember playing croquet and basketball with my parents. These are awesome, precious family memories that I have. One day, when I have kids, I hope to play these games with them, and my parents, 'the grandparents' can play them with their grandchildren. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article.
Sep 10, 2011 10:00pm
Sounds like you enjoyed family outdoor games at your house just the way we enjoyed them at my house. And yes, they do make wonderful memories. Thanks for commenting on my article.
Jul 4, 2011 11:09am
Volley Ball my game. Enjoyed reading your article! Well Written!
Sep 10, 2011 9:57pm
I am glad you enjoyed my family outdoor games article. Volleyball is a great game, however, as I am getting older, I am also choosing easier games. Thanks for stopping by, reading, and commenting on my article.
Jul 4, 2011 12:21pm
It is a great article. We like lawn bowling, lawn darts, kickball and cornhole too. Makings of a part two?? Going to tweet this one for you.
Jul 10, 2011 2:35pm
I remember loving lawn darts. We called them Jarts, but I think they were outlawed because of some getting hit in the head with them. They were still fun though if you kept safety in mind.
Sep 14, 2011 2:24pm
Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my article.
Sep 10, 2011 11:00pm
Thanks, Lynsuz, for recommending this article for Featured Article; I really appreciate it. I'm so glad you liked it. I have a good idea - how about you write a family outdoor games article about lawn bowling, lawn darts, and cornhole, etc., then, we can link the two together.
Jul 5, 2011 1:26am
Congratulations on the feature!
Sep 14, 2011 12:47pm
Thanks Venetia, and thanks for supporting my article.
Jul 8, 2011 12:05pm
Great article that made me long for my horseshoe and croquet days in childhood. Congratulations on your front page article!
Sep 14, 2011 2:06pm
Horseshoes and croquet are still fun. We still like to hear the clink of horseshoes. Thanks for commenting.
Jul 15, 2011 12:25am
My kids LOVE croquet. I'm not sure why it's such a winner, but it seems to have a pretty universal draw!
Sep 14, 2011 2:27pm
Croquet is a fun game and teaches many skills. And, best of all it is a fun family game. Thanks for stopping by, reading, and commenting on my article. I really appreciate it.
Jul 15, 2011 3:20am
I love soccer and my little brother loves it so much!!! Great article
Sep 14, 2011 3:29pm
I am glad you and your little brother love soccer. It is a fun game. Thanks for reading my article.
Jul 15, 2011 3:20am
I love soccer and my little brother loves it so much!!! Great article.
Jul 18, 2011 8:08pm
Playing is the beginning of Learning. We can all learn new skills and knowledge by discovering new ways to play, whether it be with sidewalk chalk or a 3 player chess game like Mercenary Chess. Check out the history of baseball or football. Take a little sailboat to the lake and learn the principles of sailing. Above all, have fun!
Sep 14, 2011 3:32pm
You are right! What could be better than having fun and learning at the same time. Better, is the whole family enjoying it together. Thanks for reading and commenting on my article.
Oct 9, 2011 6:27pm
My family and I love to play Bocce. It is a fun game and no matter what age you are, you can play it.
Oct 14, 2011 7:08pm
Thanks for reading and commenting on my family outdoor games article. I did not know what Bocce was, so I looked it up - it sounds like a fun game, too. Since others might not be familiar with Bocce either - maybe it would make a good article for you to write.
May 6, 2013 11:05am
Great ideas in this article. Just in time for summer!
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