The last thing you want during the summer are the kids sitting idle. You can only hear “I’m bored” so many times, before wishing the first day of school would come just a little bit sooner. But there are plenty of backyard games that will keep the kids entertained both at the neighborhood barbecue and all summer long. When hosting an outdoor party, kids running around aimlessly is a recipe for disaster, instead keep them busy with fun outdoor games.
Before your next backyard cookout or barbecue, set up some of these awesome games for kids to create hours of endless fun!
#1 Chalkboard Pictionary
Create an outdoor chalkboard along a fence or the side of your house, add a bucket of sidewalk chalk and let the kids get creative. If a chalkboard just isn’t feasible, pin up a long piece of craft or butcher paper. Then set out some crayons or colored pencils and watch as a fun new mural is created.
#2 Glow-in-the-Dark Capture the Flag
After the lightning bugs settle down, get out a few glow sticks (you can find multi-packs at the Dollar Store) to create a glow-in-the-dark version of capture the flag.
#3 Water Gun Race
To assemble this game you will need, string, water guns and plastic cups. First poke a small hole in the bottom of a plastic cup, then thread the string through the cup, and tie the string between two trees or other heavy objects. Repeat these steps to create multiple “lanes” that run parallel to one another for the kids to race. Fill the water guns, then have the kids sit at the starting end and shoot water into the cup to make them “race” along the string, first one to the other side wins!
#4 Glow-in-the-Dark Bowling
Recycle some old soda bottles (1 liter or smaller) by stripping the labels, filling them with water, putting a glow-in-the-dark necklace inside each bottle, and setting them up like bowling pins. Then grab a ball and here’s hoping you get a strike!
#5 Ring Toss
Place a few clean, empty bottles in a wooden crate or box. Next make rings out of pipe cleaners or glow-in-the-dark necklaces. Then let the kids go crazy! (If you want to make it look a bit nicer, you can paint or decorate the bottles, crate or both to match your décor.)
#6 Loose Parts Box Challenge
Cut some branches into sections, collect wooden blocks, leaves, flowers, rocks, acorns and twigs and place them on a table. Challenge the children to be creative and use their imaginations to build things. You will be surprised at what they create and how long this challenge holds their attention.
#7 Bean Bag Toss
This tried and true backyard game is great for kids and will provide hours of fun.
#8 Giant Water Mat
Use construction grade plastic sheeting and moving tape to create a giant water mat for the backyard. You can even get creative and put foam shapes and animals inside, before sealing it, to give the kids something to chase.
#9 Rock Scrabble or Tic-Tac-Toe
Spend a little craft time pre-party and paint X’s and O’s or the alphabet on smooth rocks to provide a fun lawn game version of scrabble or tic-tac-toe.
#10 Sidewalk Chalk Paint
Mix equal parts cornstarch and water until smooth, then add several drops of food coloring in a small dish (small Tupperware dishes work really well). Add a few paint brushes and voila.
#11 DIY Water Table
Using a table and a medium sized plastic storage bin filled with water, create your own water table. Add some bath toys, sponges and cups to provide hours of splashing, laughter and fun!