All year long, kids look forward to summer break. But come the first day of vacation, all you’ll hear is, “I’m bored.” While you could (and should) schedule fun activities, sometimes all you need to do is take a trip to your backyard. That’s right, there are so many exciting things to do right outside your home that will keep them entertained. So if you’re looking for an easy way to keep your kid occupied, these backyard games to play together as a family are guaranteed fun for everyone.
Summer days can be sun-filled, but they can also be super long, especially if your child is home with nothing to do. Despite wanting to find a way to quell the complaining, you might not want to leave the cool comfort of your air-conditioned home and take your kid to an activity that they’ll probably want to leave after only an hour. Luckily, you can create some fun in the sun that’s mere steps from your back door that don’t require a ton of setup.
Whether it’s on a weekend or a toasty Tuesday, you might love backyard games to play together as a family that encourage physical activity and better bonding, too.
Get wet and wild with your kids in this fun backyard summer game. Simply bring your portable CD player outside and put on some Caribbean tunes. Then set your hose nozzle on hard stream and have each player bend back, not forwards, and slowly slide his or her body under the water spray. The objective, of course: no getting wet or touching the ground. Lower the hose after each round until one child remains. Kids won’t care if they lose—a good soaking is the prize on a sizzling summer day. In fact, go crazy with the hose at the end to give everyone a wild and wet good time.
To play an outdoor version of the classic game, you’ll need some grass that you don’t mind being spray painted. Get four colors (red, blue, yellow, and orange can work well) and spray even circles to form the board. Once the paint has dried, use the spinner from the game or DIY one of your own. Then watch everyone twist themselves into crazy positions.
Sure, you might have played a tabletop version of Jenga, but have you ever played a life-sized version of the stacking game? See how many blocks you can remove without having the entire structure topple over on you…literally. While the goal of the game is to be the last player to successfully draw a block from the tower and place it back on top before it falls down, it’s a great for teaching patience, taking turns, and learning how to master self-control by thinking strategically.
When it’s sweltering outside, you’re going to need a way to cool off quickly. That’s when water balloons are a great go-to summer activity. They’re fairly inexpensive, and all you need is a hose to fill them up (and a fairly decent throwing arm) to hit your opponent. To make it more fun, form teams and see how soaked you can get the other players. The team with the most lands wins. No one will mind this cool way to cool off.
Taking a bike ride is a signature summer activity. But if you want to make it even more fun, break out some sidewalk chalk and make a crazy course on your driveway or street. Create wavy or wiggly lines that riders will have to follow. Be sure that everyone is wearing helmets and knee pads as they try to tackle the course.
Put On An Outdoor Play
Set the stage for a Shakespearian tragedy (or even a Bluey puppet show) when you create an outdoor amphitheater. Kids can don costumes while a clamoring crowd snags their spots on the grass and sips adult bevvies.
You don’t have to head indoors when the sun sets. Armed with some flashlights, kids can play Capture the Flag as night falls, and use flashlights to find the other team’s flag and bring it back to their base. Once the game ends, kids can sit around the campfire eating smores and use their flashlights to tell spooky stories.
Tic Tac Toe
Using markers or a non-toxic spray paint, create a Tic Tac Toe board on a large piece of cardboard. Anything can serve as X’s and O’s, from alphabet fridge magnets to cereal pieces. Kids will love playing this game on a grander scale.
Parents either love or loathe a trampoline. Still, there’s no denying the fun that bouncing up in the air (and being unsure if you’ll stick your landing or not) is exciting. So let your kids jump for joy on a trampoline this summer. Just make sure that it’s safe to use by having a secure net — and always supervise your kids.
Typically, a game played by intoxicated adults, you can recreate this game for PG-rated audiences. Fill cups with water and place them on plastic trays. Have the kids spin around (10 times should do the trick) and give them the tray to hold while they attempt to run in a straight line. Spoiler: they won’t be able to do it — and you won’t be able to contain your laughter.
Finding new ways to entertain your child during the summer months isn’t an easy task. But backyard games to play together as a family can truly be done anytime of the year as a way to connect and maybe even connect to the playful part of yourself, too.