It’s the best time of year to get out and about and make the most of sublime summertime conditions in your very own backyard.
With the summer heat settling in, there are no excuses for getting the whole family out onto the lawn for some games that will set everyone up for a fit, healthy and happy 2021.
This weekend, why not get the family together outside and into the fresh air for some fun and games.
In today’s blog we’re outlining 10 of the best lawn games, starting with those best for families with young children and some for those still young at heart.
So, let’s all get outside and enjoy what’s left of summer… and don’t forget the sunscreen and a hat.
1. Thong Toss
Let’s start with a few games where only household items are needed and all you’ll need for this one is a pair of thongs. In fact, even one thong will do. Start by marking a line on the grass or in the sand and set some basic rules, e.g. no over arm throws. The basic aim of the game is to see who can throw the thong the furthest and consider having a couple of rounds to extend the game time. Remember to use a small pair of thongs for the little ones, to make it easier. The winner gets to choose the next game - why not!
2. Egg & Spoon Race
Why should we save an egg and spoon race for birthday parties. It’s one of the simplest and funnest games for families of all ages. If you’re worried about losing too many precious raw eggs, boil them first and the winner can eat them as a reward. Set the challenge appropriate to the age of your children and have smaller children race with the spoon in hand, while older kids or adults could hold the spoon in their mouth. Mark a finish line in the turf and the player who gets to the line without spilling the egg wins. Simple and fun for an easy summer afternoon on the back lawn.
3. Scavenger Hunt
Another non-ball or contact game is a challenging scavenger hunt. Who doesn’t love hunting and sleuthing their way around a course in your very own backyard. Kids of all ages love the challenge of collecting items or deciphering clues to win the prize of choosing dinner or a box of chocolates. Make it even more interesting by setting a time for all items in the scavenger hunt to be collected.
4. Bubble Blowing
This is definitely one for the younger members of the family and all you need to do is use a basic bubble wand or something similar and see who can blow the biggest bubble. Simple fun for the whole family outside in the fresh air and loved by babies and toddlers the world over!
5. Backyard Eye Spy or Topics
Who said that Eye Spy should only be used in the car during a road trip. Keep your kids engaged outdoors and create a game of backyard eye spy to identify hidden treasures in your very own patch. Once the sun goes down you can also play a similar game called Topics where players choose a topic and have to name something within the topic category and not repeat what has already been said. These are great games for young kids to exercise the brain and muscle memory. If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard fire pit, Topics is a wonderful game to while away the hours under a blanket of stars.
6. Backyard cricket
Moving to more active lawn games, backyard cricket is an activity the whole family can get involved in. Take away any danger, intimidation or risk of broken windows and use a tennis ball and even a plastic back (beach cricket style) so everyone of all ages and abilities can have a go. Recruit the neighbour’s kids also and spread the skill evenly across the teams. You could opt for a short 10 or 20-over game to see who can make the most runs, or tackle a 3-day, long-weekend test match or five-day game and keep the interest going with daily scores and updates. You could even print off basic cricket score sheets from the internet to keep track and even enlist a scorer - perhaps a family member unable to take part in the action.
All you need is a tennis ball, or two (if you lose one down a drain or over the back fence) a cricket bat and wickets can consist of traditional stumps, or even a bin, chair or esky. There are no excuses for not dragging the whole family out into the backyard for an epic backyard cricket match - fun and fitness for everyone! And, if your crew is super serious about their cricket, you can even mow your lawn a little shorter to identify the pitch and mark the crease with lawn safe chalk or paint.
Finska is a basic backyard tossing game using strategy and cunning that anyone in the family can play. Consisting of 12 numbered wooden pins, the winning team is the first to reach exactly 50 points. Finska is a simple lawn game for everyone and can be purchased from most home or lifestyle stores. You could even make your own!
You can’t beat a simple frisbee for basic fun and fitness, and you only need a minimum of two people, unless of course you have an active canine friend keen to chase and catch for hours on end. Ask us about our Coolabah Turf frisbees.
Requiring a bit more equipment, croquet is traditionally a game for older people, however you can definitely get kids involved if they are over the age of 10 years. Croquet can be played with two, six or four players and is a simple course of six hoops to be negotiated in the correct order. The person or team that completes the course first, wins! Source a set here.
10. Lawn bowls and Bocce
While lawn bowls and bocce are closely related, the latter is probably your best bet for a backyard lawn game the whole family can play. Unless of course, your lawn is at an adequate bowling green standard. If this is the case, well done and send us a picture of your backyard bowling green.
As the round shaped bocce ball is thrown underarm and not rolled like a lawn bowl, it’s better suited for the average backyard lawn and lots of fun for the whole family. The aim of the bocce is to get your team closer to the pallino (jack) than your opponents. Buy a bocce set here.
Another game of hand and eye coordination, but a little simple for children as young as three, is the tradition quoits, which has been around since the days of medieval Britain. It’s longevity and traditional wooden stand and rope rings has become the retro game of choice for the cool kids and young adults alike. It’s a pretty simple aim, which involves the winner getting the most rings on the stick. Don’t bother with the plastic version, your backyard deserves the traditional set that can be picked up at all good sports stores and at Big W stores.
12. Water play
When the summer heat fully kicks in, water play is always great for the whole family, and we’re not just talking about the pool. Simple water play can be awesome fun for everyone including basic water pistol action and also water balloons - don’t forget to dispose of the broken balloons responsibly. If you have the space in your backyard, the good old Slip ‘n Slide can be huge fun and if your lawn needs some water, turn on the sprinkler for the kids to cool down - toddlers love this one!
So there you have it, 12 lawn games to get your crew outdoors and into the backyard this summer. Not only will they help keep your family fit and healthy, but they’ll sleep like babies after a full day of backyard games and have memories to last a lifetime.
Get out there and enjoy your backyard gamethon this summer!