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Top 10 Fun Yard Games To Play This Summer

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 2

Are You Looking For a Lawn Game?

If you are looking for a game that gets you out in your yard and is lots of fun as well, here are the top 10 lawn games you should consider.  These lawn games will work in your yard, at a park, or when you go to the cabin or beach, so build up your inventory until you have all the bases covered, and you'll be ready to keep everyone busy on a nice Summer day.

Some of these games are classics, but that may mean the younger crowd actually has not played them.  Some of these games are new classics, which likely means the older crowd will learn something new.  Either way, read on to find out what the top 10 lawn games are and add some fun to your Summer.


Croquet

Players: 2-6, or as teams

croquet(47937)

Space Needed: Around 100 feet by 50 feet
Age Range: small kids to seniors

About Croquet:  Still the classic of all classics, croquet has stood the test of time.  In this classic game you set up a series of hoops (known as wickets) and stakes in the ground and try to hit your croquet ball with your mallet through the hoops in a particular order until you end up at the last stake.  Along the way there will be two things out to get you.  One is those pesky wickets.  If your ball ends up in the wrong place you will find yourself backtracking and falling behind.  The other is your competition.  They won't be afraid to knock your ball right off the course.  Croquet is a game that gets more fun with a larger group.  It also has good spectator value, so it is quite fitting as entertainment for a larger group.


Bocce

Players: 2, or up to 8 playing as 2 teams
Space Needed: Around 90 feet by 10 feet, or whatever your space allows
Age Range: small kids to seniors

About Bocce:  Bocce is a highly addictive game between two players or two teams where you roll fairly heavy bocce balls to see who can get closest to the jack, or pallino, a much smaller ball.  Each round a team scores 1 point for every ball of theirs that is closer than the closest ball of the other team.  The formal player would use a bocce court for this game, but I prefer to play this in the lawn and put geography in play.  That means hills, trees, and other features are in play.  This makes bocce a 10 on the fun factor but one has to be careful who is around when they are slinging a heavy bocce ball across the yard. 

Bocce is a game that is lots of fun with 2, but even more with 4 (2 teams of 2).  Theoretically, 8 people could play, each with one ball, but that gets to be a difficult task of remembering who's next.  This is another great spectator sport for those who are not in the game.


Washers

Players: 2, or up to 8 playing as 2 teams
Space Needed: Around 25 feet by 10 feet, a little shorter for younger players
Age Range: small kids to seniors

About Washers: Washers is an instant classic and another lawn game that is playable by people of all ages.  In this game, the goal is to throw ordinary washers into a small pit, usually made of wood, that has an elevated hole, typically a PVC pipe, in the middle.  Teams play to 11 (or more if you like) by scoring different amounts based on where the washers land; 1 point for the pit, 2 for balancing on the edge, or 3 for the hole, for example.

This is one of those fun lawn games that can be taken with you easily, as it packs up quite small and is great for the tailgate, the cabin, or the beach.  Since it takes little space and the washers are not thrown too far it is a safe game to play in close proximity to bystanders.  Therefore, a washers game near the patio is acceptable, allowing the players and the bystanders to be social with one another and rotate.


Ladder Toss

Players: 2-6, or as teams
Space Needed: Around 20 feet by 10 feet
Age Range: age 8 to seniors

About Ladder Toss: You might know this under another name but it is just as much fun no matter who makes it or even if you make it yourself.  In this game you have sets of 2 golf balls connected by a rope that you toss over to a ladder, typically made of a material like PVC pipe.  The ladder has 3 horizontal bars with the top bar being worth 3 points, the middle worth 2 points, and the bottom worth 1 point.  The winner is the first to reach 21 (exactly) first.

Ladder Toss is one of those games that you want to watch out for if you have small kids playing or other people standing around the lawn at the time as these golf balls can be accidentally thrown off course and they will hurt.  While this game takes a minimal of space and is a good choice for small spaces, I wouldn't play right next to a window.  Like the games listed before it, this game is fun for the spectators as well.


Bean Bag Toss

Players: 2 (or 4 can make up two teams)
Space Needed: Around 45 feet by 10 feet
Age Range: small kids to seniors

About Bean Bag Toss:  The bean bag toss game is quite simple.  Much like washers and ladder toss, you have two platforms with holes in them at opposite ends of the court.  In bean bag toss, you toss (what else) bean bags.  Scoring varies by manufacturer but in the traditional cornhole game a bag in the hole is worth 3 points and a bag on the platform is worth 1 point.

As you can see, bean bag toss is very similar to washers and ladder toss.  The key difference here is the flying objects.  If you are concerned about a washer or golf ball plunking someone in the head, this is a nice option.  This is also a fun game to make yourself if you are just a bit handy.


Frisbee

Players: 2-unlimited (theoretically)
Space Needed: Around 100 feet by 50 feet
Age Range: small kids to seniors

About Frisbee:  I know what you're thinking.  Frisbee is not a "game".  This is just such a classic way to have fun in your lawn I had to include it.  Every house should have at least one frisbee sitting around for when 2 or more people get the urge to throw it around.

Of course, you can get a fairly inexpensive frisby golf set or play games like frisbee keep away or frisbee football, but let's face it - just throwing it back and forth on a warm (and not too windy) Summer day is fun.  Add a beach to the equation and the fun doubles instantly.


Horseshoes

Players: 2 (or 4 if forming teams)

horseshoes(47938)

Space Needed: Around 40 feet by 10 feet
Age Range: age 8 to seniors

About Horseshoes:  OK, now we're getting serious.  Horseshoes come in the cheap and lighter variety and the good old-fashioned metal variety.  If you choose the latter, mind who is running around near the pits when you play because these will leave a mark.

The object of horseshoes is to pitch your horseshoes to the opposite pit and get it to go around a stake in the ground.  If you get "ringers" (your horseshoe is around the stake) you get 3 points and shoes within 6 inches get 1 point.  Naturally there are other rules to follow and an official measuring device or straightedge will come into play at some point.  Horseshoes is a classic game that the older generation, in particular, will enjoy.


Badminton

Players: 2 to 4 or more (2 teams)
Space Needed: 45 feet by 20 feet
Age Range: age 8 to seniors

About Badminton: Badminton is much like tennis in that you use a racket to hit an item back and forth over a net, but in this case it's a shuttlecock or birdy you hit with a much lighter racket and the net is higher like volleyball.  The first person or team to 21 (and ahead by 2 or more points) wins.

Badminton can be a very casual or very competitive sport depending on who's playing.  Boundaries are difficult to define without painting your grass but I'm sure you can agree to be reasonable with each other and have a good game.  I would suggest that this game is not for the youngest kids in your lawn, unless you want to get swatted with a badminton racquet.


Volleyball

Players: 2 to ? (2 teams)
Space Needed: 60 feet by 30 feet
Age Range: age 8 to seniors

About Volleyball:  If you liked badminton but want something bigger that will involve a lot more people, consider volleyball.  In this game you can get the group involved with several people on each side.  When volleyball skills are sparse in your group, the more people the better.

In volleyball, teams serve to get points until a team wins with 25 points (they must win by 2).  Each team can only score when it serves, and when a team gets the serve back each player rotates around their side of the court clockwise, thus each person will end up at every spot on the court over time.

Volleyball, like kickball, can entertain the masses.  If you have a large group, this lawn game should be in your inventory.


Kickball

Players: 8 to ? (2 teams of at least 4-5)
Space Needed: A lot
Age Range: young kids to seniors

About Kickball: OK, you have a big yard and want to get a whole bunch of people involved you say?  Well, kickball is the simplest game to play with a diverse group of ages and abilities.  That's because you don't need special equipment (besides the ball), great athletic ability, and it's harder to get hurt by the big bouncy ball than other team sports.

Kickball is simple to set up.  All you need are 4 bases and a ball and you're set.  Just use the baseball rules, agree on the number of innings and whether it is allowable to hit a runner with the ball when they are running, and play. 


Let's Play!

Now that you have a whole list of fun lawn games to play, pick one and get to it.  Better yet, get one every year until you have all the bases covered.  Oh, and you can pick up some bases for kickball too while you're at it.

Looking for more ideas this Summer?  Check out these articles I've written:

5 Classic Things To Do With Your Family This Summer

Geocaching With Children: An Inexpensive And Fun Hobby


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Comments

May 13, 2011 4:15pm
aguy
I love Bocce!!!

I had never heard of a couple of these games before.

Nice job!
May 31, 2011 7:57pm
DarleneMcFarlene
I used to play croquet as a girl. Our neighbour introduced it to my sister and I and we fell in love with it. My step-dad makes washer games. They are a big hit in his neighbourhood. These are all great ideas to get the family moving while having a good time.
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