Kadima is super fun and easy to play just about anywhere
Summer is here, which generally means more time having fun playing outdoors. A great way to boost that fun: Lawn games! Whether they’re played on your actual lawn, in your neighborhood park (like some of us city folk who don’t have lawns), at the beach, or anywhere you happen to be with outdoor space, these game set-ups are not just an excellent way to keep kids entertained, they’re awesome for the whole family to enjoy together. Here are 10 “lawn” games to check out, with something for all ages. Happy playing!
Kadima is our go-to outdoor game that we always bring along with us on trips and, really, any outing that has us hanging out in open space with room to play. The two light paddles and small balls are easy to slip into a backpack or beach bag (or just carry down to the park for “backyard” play). For younger kids, this set of velcro paddles and ball is a similar type of game and might be easier to master.
Super popular, Corn Hole is kind of a safer alternative to horseshoe or Bocce. Instead of heavy (potentially harmful) balls or metal horseshoes that you try to toss around metal spikes in the ground, you throw soft bean bags onto or into a platform with a hole in the middle. This can be fun for all ages — just move the platforms closer or farther away as needed. The classic is played with wooden platforms, but the collapsible version linked above is easily portable and less expensive. And here is one especially for little kids.
If you like Frisbee and want a portable game that involves some disc throwing, Kan Jam is a fun one. You play in teams of two, and the goal is to toss the disc from across the playing space and either hit the can or get the disc into the can, either through a side slot with precise aim, in the open top, or with the help of your teammate “jamming” it in. Recommended for ages 8 and up.
This seems to be the game of the moment. On a recent beach weekend, we counted six Spikeball matches going on at once in the area around us, one of them amongst our crew. It’s kind of a mix between volleyball and four square, with teams of two players each passing the ball to each other and bouncing (or spiking) it off a net fastened to a hoop that sits a few inches off the ground. It’s recommended for teen ages and older, but I think tweens could get into it, too. For a cheaper option, there’s this knockoff set.
In this tossing game, you try to get bolos (a short rope with a small weighted ball on each end) to wrap around one of three rungs on a “ladder” set up a short distance away. The higher the rung, the more points scored. Play in teams of two or one on one. Most sets are portable and easy to assemble. This one with rubber balls makes it better for younger ages (be sure to select the classic, not pro, version).
A great tossing game for all ages, it just involves throwing rings around pegs to score points. This set comes with a case to make it easily transportable and pieces that are simple to put together.
Pop and Catch
A fun one for little kids (and even big ones, too), the squeeze of a lever launches a small plastic ball into the air for another player to catch in their handheld basket. This set is slightly smaller for littler hands.
You don’t have to venture out to a spray park for kids to have fun splashing around in jets of water. On a recent walk in the neighborhood, I saw a couple of little ones having a blast playing on a splash pad right in their front yard. You just need to hook up a hose and you’ve got a mini spray park at home.
Seek and Find
I actually randomly came across this scavenger hunt card game as I was putting this post together, but it looks like a fun one to entertain kids for awhile. Apparently, there are brain teasing clues along with the big picture cards to get kids of all ages into the game. It gets great reviews, too!
If I had to recommend one item to have on hand at all times for game play, it would be a Frisbee. Our family are big fans of all kinds of disc play, but a simple Frisbee toss is simple, fun, and relaxing. It’s also lightweight, easy to bring along on any kind of outing, and even young kids can play with a lighter version like this one. For some fun Frisbee play at night, this one glows in the dark.
Teens playing Spikeball on. the beach
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Do you have a favorite outdoor game set that you don’t see here? Let us know in the comments, if so!