There’s no better time than spring and summer to play outdoors. The sun is shining, the grass is always green, and the air fresh. It can be tempting to spend your free days locked inside with air conditioning and online distractions. However, there are plenty of fun garden game ideas to get you out of the house, especially if you have plenty of little ones! So, to give you some ideas on how you can have some fun in the sun this spring and summer, here are the best garden game ideas for you to have some more outdoor fun.
Table of Contents
- Garden Game Ideas
- Bocce Ball
- Giant Jenga
- Ring Toss
- Bubble Kits
- Kite Flying
- Jumbo Checkers
- Jumbo Chess
- Gladiator Games
- Lawn Bowling
- Giant Dominoes
- Giant Connect 4
- Suction Cup Archery
- Lawn Darts
- Red Rover
- Tug Of War
- Nerf Gun Games
- Lawn Twister
- Bump and Bounce Games
- Hula Hooping
- Ladder Ball
- Giant Playing Cards
- Three-Legged Races
- Marco Polo
- Simon Says
- Musical Chairs
- Garden Mini Golf
- Pogo Sticks
- Water Balloon Fights
- Scavenger Hunts
- Water Gun Wars
- Four Square
- Capture the Flag
- Egg and Spoon Races
- Paper Airplane Competitions
Garden Game Ideas
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Bocce Ball is a simple game that is fun for the whole family. You can compete against one another, or form teams to see who can get the highest score.
The best part? It’s easy to learn, so all ages can play! The goal is to throw your coloured ball as close to the silver ball. The closest one wins.
There are plenty of games that you’re probably used to playing indoors, that can be even more fun outdoors! Giant versions of indoor games make for a great way to spend time outside.
One of our favourites is the giant Jenga game! These block games allow you to play together as a family or give your little ones a chance to play with blocks.
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This is another fun game for people of all ages. If you have younger kids, you can buy a plastic set for ultimate safety. However, there are also metal sets that make it more competitive for adults. This is an exciting game that’ll get the competitive spirit fired up!
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- ★Package Includes: The set includes 9 throwing rings, 8 stacked cup...
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Ring Toss is similar to horseshoes but even easier and safer. So, if you’ve got young children, this is a great way to make sure that they keep having fun! This game is easy to set up and easy to clean, so you’ll never have to worry about making a mess.
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Everybody loves bubbles! Playing with bubbles is a fun outdoor garden game that leaves a minimal mess, but provides maximum fun.
Buying a kit that allows for either giant bubbles or creative ones will keep you and your kids occupied for hours. Just remember, it can get sticky!
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Kites come in hundreds of fun shapes, colours, and styles. You can buy basic shapes or beautiful animals. No matter what your kids are interested in, you’ll always be able to find a kite that they’ll love! Seeing the kite fly high in the air is only half the fun.
The other half is setting it up! This is an activity that you can spend your whole day preparing for, making sure that you get to spend some quality time outdoors.
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Checkers is a game that’s been around for ages, and will likely never go away. Indoor sets are fun, but jumbo checkers is even better! You can lay it out on the grass or patio and play for hours with one of these jumbo checkers sets.
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Chess may be a little bit harder than checkers, but it brings just as much fun. Whether you’re a chess loving family, or have yet to learn, playing it on a larger scale makes it all the more exciting.
Using chess as a garden game idea will also help improve concentration skills, planning skills, and some deep thinking.
- Gladiators ready! Battle it out with this gladiator inflatable duel...
- First one to knock their opponent off their marker wins!
- A fun outdoor game of skill and balance for the whole family.
We’ve all seen these games on reality television. The goal is to push your opponent off their mat with an inflatable weapon. While it seems dangerous, there have been plenty of safe versions for kids!
You and your children will love playing gladiator games with these safe, inflatable tools. They can also be used inside of outdoor pools for ultimate fun.
You don’t need to go to a bowling alley to bowl! Outdoor and indoor bowling sets are perfect for setting up on the patio. Children can play by themselves or against a friend, too!
If you don’t want to buy a real lawn bowling set, you can always get creative with some materials. Empty cereal boxes can be used as bowling pins, and any regular ball, like a soccer ball, can be used in place of a bowling ball.
- A classic game of skill that's fun to play with family or friends
- 28 durable lightweight EVA foam dominoes
- Suitable for 2 or more players
Dominoes is a complicated game to get used to. Fortunately, even the blocks are fun to play with if you haven’t nailed the game! Giant dominoes are fun to set up all throughout your yard, or can just be used for basic building blocks, too.
No matter how you choose to play with dominoes, it’s always a great garden game idea!
Giant Connect 4
Connect 4 is one of the easiest games to learn, but a tricky one to master. It’s simple enough for all ages to play, and a giant version will only make it more exciting!
Suction Cup Archery
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Kids and adults of all ages will love to play archery. Finding safe sets that use suction cups instead of a real bow and arrow kits make it a safe game that’s easy to play in any garden or backyard. Sets will come with a target and a bow.
However, you can always find your own targets to aim for!
- Giant outdoor darts game for playing on grass
- Includes four giant darts (two red, two blue) and two target rings
- Classic game of skill for ages five and up
Lawn darts is a game that is played in the exact same way it sounds. You get the fun and competition of aiming darts at a target, but without the added danger of how sharp they are. Lawn darts use darts with a flat or curved point instead of a sharp metal point, and simple hoops to use as a target.
This is a perfect garden game because the difficulty level can easily be changed. You can set the targets far away, close up, or with any obstacles in the way. So, no matter how old your dart throwers are, you won’t have to worry about it being too easy or too hard.
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Red Rover is a game that needs a pretty big group of kids. So, it can be a bit hard to play if you’ve got a smaller family. However, you can always adjust the rules of the team, or have kids play against parents.
Sort the group into teams. It’s important to make sure that no one team has too many players who could easily beat the others, so make sure it’s a fair game. Once you’ve set up your teams, have them separate themselves by about 10 to 20 feet. The defensive team will lock arms or form a barrier. Once ready, they’ll call out “Red rover, red rover! Please send _____ over”. Whichever name gets called from the opposite team will need to run at their opponents with the goal of getting through the barrier.
Tug Of War
You can play tug of war using a rope, skipping rope, or collection of tied material. In addition to the rope, you’ll need some kind of marker for the center. The goal will be to pull the other team across this marker. With at least one kid on each side, blow the whistle and let them try to pull their team into victory.
The best part about a game of tug of war is that it can be played with as little as two kids, and with as many as can fit on the rope. If you have the accessories for it, you can also set up a kiddie pool filled with foam or bubbles for the losing team to fall in once the winners have pulled them across the marker.
Dodgeball may bring back memories of gym class, but it’s always a fun game to play. You can play with light and softer balls or get creative and use things like stuffed animals if you don’t have any other safe options.
All you need to do is lay out a jump rope in the grass as a barrier, lining up your balls on the rope. Blow the whistle, and the games begin! This is more fun with a larger group, but can always be played with as little as 4.
Nerf Gun Games
Playing with nerf guns brings things like water guns to the next level. They’re safe, however they still maintaining the illusion of an exciting battle game. You can even give kids certain characters to play, like cops versus robbers.
This game is recommended for the older child who wants to amp things up a little. Set up obstacles to get your kids to use as shields or to hide themselves with to make things even more interesting.
Twister can be easily moved outside, and you don’t even need the mat! Use garden safe lawn colouring paint or chalk to draw coloured circles on the grass. You can also build your own colour wheel, or have a game maker in charge of who moves where!
You can also play on the patio, but the grass ensures safety if a tough fall happens. This is a great game for kids and adults, and will never get boring!
Bump and Bounce Games
- Bring home some summer fun.
- Simply inflate and you’re ready to play.
- Well padded, so let your imagination run wild.
Think bumper cars, but without the car. From afar, Bump and Bounce may look like a scary or dangerous game. However, it’s actually quite safe!
These fun and inflatable suits protect your body, giving games like soccer or tag an extra special incentive. You can also have your kids throw on the suits and play like they normally would, but with some extra fun and protection all at once!
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Hopscotch is one of the most budget-friendly and easy games for children. All you need is some chalk and a sidewalk! This game never gets old, as you can keep adding to your hopscotch game with more squares to jump through.
If you don’t live in an area with a safe-to-use sidewalk, you can always buy a version to set up in the grass.
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Hula hoops are a budget-friendly toy that can go a long way. They can be used as a fun way of playing alone, or with friends. You can also take hula hooping to the next level and set up a competition. Some ideas on how to make it a game can include the longest one to keep the hula hoop going, the one who can do the most tricks or dance moves, or the one who can stop with the beat of the music.
This activity requires some physical effort, so it’s also a healthy way to get your kids moving! Hula hoops also come in all sizes, so it’s a great activity to do yourself and join your kids.
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You don’t need to fill your backyard up with a big net to enjoy a game of badminton. Rackets and a birdie are a great way to play the sport. It’s easy to learn for any age, and a birdie is a harmless tool that’s safe for anyone.
This game is equally enjoyable in large lawns and small ones, so you can play with any amount of space.
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Do you have a big family or want to make a garden party extra fun? Breaking out the limbo set is always a great way to spice up a party, whether it’s with kids or adults.
You can play by using a jump rope and a few people to hold it, but limbo sets make it even more exciting. So, bust out the music and get a competition going at your next event!
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Ladder ball is an easy game to set up and a great way to make sure that the kids are having fun at your next garden function. The goal of throwing tied up balls at the ladder seems easy, but will immediately prove to be a fun challenge for younger kids of any age.
Giant Playing Cards
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Go fish, poker, crazy eights… No matter what card game you and your family like to play, it’s made even more exciting when you’re playing with giant cards! These giant cards can be used inside, but they make for a great excuse to move the game to the garden.
One of the oldest and most simple games out there is tag. There will always be something exciting about needing to tag the next person while running away from whoever is “it”!
This game is easy to teach and learn, so anybody can play. However, it is most fun when you have a big enough yard to have the space to run around.
Hide-and-seek may seem like an indoor game, as you may have more spaces to hide when you have plenty of rooms to choose from.
However, the creativity needed to win a game of hide-and-seek while outdoors is what makes it exciting. You can use the yard, the garage, the patio, and more for some fun places to get your kids to hide.
Races are simple to set up but can get boring fast. Organizing three-legged races is a great way to keep a larger group of kids entertained no matter where you are.
You can use bandanas or ties to keep them tied together, or even just tie their shoe-laces together. As with any fun race you can also build obstacles into their paths, making sure that it isn’t too easy.
This game is optimal when played in a swimming pool, but can easily be played on land. It’s basically hide-and-seek, but you want to be found!
You don’t need any tools to play this game unless you choose to play blindfolded rather than just closing your eyes. This can also easily be played with only two people, so you don’t need to gather up a big group to have some fun.
Simon Says is another classic game that’s played all around the world. All you need is a few players and someone to act as Simon! It’s a great way to help your kids learn to follow instructions, and you can come up with plenty of creative things to get them to do! They can be anything from “Simon says to act like a monkey!” to “Simon says to clean up your game”.
You can even use variants of the name, putting your first name in to replace Simon’s. If you’re playing with children, you can also designate a prize to the winner, such as letting them become Simon or something else like an extra snack.
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This fun indoor game can also be done outside. They make for the perfect birthday party game, but can also be done just for fun! Set up lawn chairs or outside-only seating and blast the music!
To ensure that nobody feels left out, you can always let the last person that lost pick or control the music.
Garden Mini Golf
- This is a set of plastic golf toys.
- Made of lightweight materials, this makes it easy for children to play...
- Colorful toys will attract the attention of children and are suitable...
Mini golf is always a great, kid-friendly alternative to the competition of real golf. You can set up plastic goals and design fun challenges throughout your yard to make it even more exciting.
You’ll have the best luck playing garden mini golf if you have a lawn with well-trimmed grass. However, you can play no matter how bumpy or flat your lawn is! In fact, some small hills or curves in your yard can boost the challenge.
- 4 Mallets
- 4 Coloured balls
- 10 Croquet hoops
Croquet is a game that requires a little strategy but can go on for hours. The game is similar to golf, but ideal for backyards. Since you get to design the layout for your croquet game, you can make it as easy or as hard as you please.
It can also be played individually, or with teams. So, you can embrace your family’s competitive spirit, or just play for fun!
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Pogo sticks are a great way to keep kids of all ages entertained for hours. They can play alone, or jump alongside friends. If you have enough pogo sticks to play with, you can also start competitions for who can jump the longest or jump to certain locations.
Water Balloon Fights
Like water guns, water balloon fights are a great way to beat the heat on the hottest summer days. Using designated water balloons, fill up as many as you can. You can give an equal number to each kid, or get creative and leave baskets full of water balloons in secret locations to make it a harder competition.
Another way to make water balloon fights fun is to allow the use of both water balloons and water guns, making it an ultimate water soaking war.
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There are two exciting ways to make scavenger hunts a fun garden game. The first is the easiest, which is to hide some items around the yard, patio, and outdoor area. If you have only one child playing, you can give them a list and ask them to see how many they can find. You can also set up larger groups of kids into pairs, or have them compete against one another to see who finds the most items on the list!
The second way to make scavenger hunts fun is to make up a list of things that already exist within your backyard. These can be specific kinds of flowers, rocks, or others. You can also add “squirrel” or “bird” to your list, and have them snap a picture when they find it! Since you probably don’t want your children to rip flowers from your garden, you can have them write down where they found each item, take a picture, or draw an image of the item.
Water Gun Wars
Water guns can be purchased at almost any store during the summer. You can find simple squirt guns or massive water machine guns. They’re a great way to have fun while cooling off in the hot sun, and are an easy alternative for when you want to play water games but don’t want to buy a pool.
Kids can play in teams or as a free for all. Another awesome reason to buy water guns is that they can bring almost any game to the next level by incorporating them into the game. Use them to make other competitions harder, or let the winners soak the losers.
Four Square is a commonly played school game that can also be set up in any back yard. Have a square drawn on the lawn, patio, or driveway, with four sections. Each section will be filled with a player, and one will start off with a ball. You’ll need to aim the ball so that it bounces at least once before the person in the targeted square can catch it.
You can play just for fun and let the bouncing be the main goal. However, you can also follow the rules of King, Queen, Jack, and Baby. Randomly assign each player to one of the titles, and their square will be the “king’s square” and so on. Each time a player incorrectly plays, they’ll get shuffled to the lowest rank (baby). Your goal is to stay inside the king’s square for the longest.
Capture the Flag
Capture the Flag is a great way to stir up some competitive spirits in your kids or teenagers. Each team can come up with team names and come up with strategies to best capture the flag of the other team. The objective is simple, and all you need to do is to capture the flag!
Teams should ideally consist of at least two people per team, but can always be one-on-one if they’re willing to get a little creative.
This is another game that is ideal for bigger yards but can be adjusted for any amount of space. All you’ll need is some bandanas or other simple fabric to use as two different flags. You may also want some yard chalk or a skipping rope to use as the designated flag areas.
Egg and Spoon Races
These races are awesome ideas for birthday parties or other events. However, they’re also just fun to play in the backyard with your family! You can play with a real egg or with something less messy, like a chocolate egg, golf ball, or another small object.
If you’re playing with a non-messy prop, you can always make fun variations with the game. You can have players compete to give other players certain handicaps, like having their shoelaces tied together. Another option is to have multiple levels, making it harder each time. This can include making obstacles to have to race around, or having to hold the spoon over your head.
Paper Airplane Competitions
Learning how to make paper airplanes has become a universal experience for children and adults everywhere. It makes for a great competition game where you can build your best paper airplane to see which one can go the farthest.
This game can be made even more fun by awarding prizes for the most creative airplanes or most artistic airplanes. You can give coloured pencils and markers to each competitor, allowing them to design their airplane in addition to building it. Other awards can include the farthest flown, the highest altitude reached, or the straightest path of flight.
Playing frisbee is another simple game that can be done creatively. You can play with as many people as you want, and use creative locations or distances to make it even more fun. If you only have one child who wants to play or want to play on your own, you can always set up goalposts in your yard to aim the frisbee instead of tossing it to another person.
If you have enough people to play with, you can also start a game of ultimate frisbee. The rules are similar to soccer or basketball. The only difference is that you’re using a frisbee instead of a ball.
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There are so many awesome garden game ideas out there. You can play them alone, with a friend or child, or with big groups. All of the ideas make for great party games but are also fantastic games to encourage your kids to get outside of the house. It’s easy to forget how fun it is to play outside when you’re surrounded by technology. So, dedicate more time to turning off your phone and playing outside this summer! However, you can always try to incorporate some technology into your garden game ideas. Things like walkie-talkies for kids can bring garden games to the next level, making it easier to communicate while playing!