38 Best Outdoor Games To Keep You Busy This Summer

September 13, 2019
outdoor games for kids

Summer is coming and it's time to get ready for all those backyard barbecues you’ll be hosting.

Want to be the hot spot to be this summer?

Setup some of these  outdoor games and get everyone talking! 

Some of these ideas you can simply buy online and play, others are going to take some creativity and time.

38 Best Outdoor Games For The Summertime

1. Tic-Tac-Toe Frisbee Game

Buy yourself a cheap, white shower curtain and some colored tape of your choice to create a large tic-tac-toe board that can be laid out on the lawn.

Then, purchase six Frisbees, preferably of two different colors.

Tic Tac Toe Frisbees

Taking turns, each person will begin throwing Frisbees onto your game board to see who can get three in a row first.

Find the Tic-Tac-Toe Frisbee Gameon Amazon.

2. Jumbo Jenga

Everybody loves a good Jenga game.

It’s always hilarious to see who will make the entire tower fall, but how much more fun would it be to play in the backyard and have humongous pieces?

Jumbo Jenga

You can make this on your own with some scrap wood cut down to whatever size you choose, just be sure all the pieces are cut to the same specifications.

If you don’t have the time to make your own game, consider buying one already made for you, then you can just get started playing.

Find Jumbo Jenga on Amazon.

3. Jousting

Make some homemade jousting sticks out a 2-inch long PVC pipe and two 2-liter soda bottles.

Simply slide the bottle over each end of the PVC pipe and secure it with some tape.

If you want to add a stylish touch to your jousting sticks, try out some spray paint.


Then stand on two tree trunks or areas that you create and get jousting! If you aren’t into making your own, consider buying some similar combat material.

Find jousting equipment on Amazon.

4. Outdoor Twister

Feel like getting tied up in knots while enjoying the outdoors?

You can buy yourself an outdoor Twister game or you could go to the extreme and make a large play area outside on your own.

It’s simple to do.

Outdoor Twister

Start with a round object and place it on poster paper. Cut a template of the circle and take it to your lawn. Position your circular template where you want the dots and get spray painting your lawn; red, blue, yellow and green.

If you don’t have a Twister spinner, that’s not an issue either. Simply create blocks of red, blue, yellow and green out of poster board.

Put a left hand, left foot, right hand, and right foot on one of each color. Then place them upside down in a basket for one person to pick from.

Find Outdoor Twister on Amazon.

5. Inflatable Basketball

Basketball isn’t just for a court anymore! Take the game with you anywhere.

You can grab a version to wear on your head with an inflatable hat, in the pool with a floating goal, or even a giant hoop to put in the backyard.

Inflatable Basketball

Just be sure to secure whatever you choose when the wind kicks up or you just might lose your game!

Find Inflatable Basketball on Amazon.

6. Yard Yahtzee

Take this classic game outside! You can either purchase yourself a set of Jumbo Yard Dice or make your own.

Doing this as a homemade project might be a little work, but could turn into a lot of fun all by itself.

Yard Yahtzee

Cut six 3 ½” pieces of a 4x4. You might not have known this, but a 4x4 is actually 3 ½” thick so you're going to have a perfect cube!

Sand down your cubes until they're smooth and then take a pencil to mark the dots on each side. You can either drill shallow holes for the numbers or mark them in any way you please.

When you're done, you’ll have some pretty neat yard dice.

Find Yard Yahtzee on Amazon.

7. Squirt Gun Water Races

Just try not to get wet while having these races!

Tie some string through the bottom of a regular plastic cup and then tie the end to a post or tree.

Squirt Gun Water Races

Give each opponent a squirt gun and see who can get their cup over the finish line first. If you have a pool, this is a lot of fun to do over the length of the water. Keep in mind that the better the water gun, the faster the game will go.

Just remember that wherever squirt guns are involved, you’re sure to end up in a battle and will inevitably get wet.

Find Squirt Gun Water Races on Amazon.

8. Backyard Ker-Plunk Game

Ker Plunk Image

Make a larger version of this well-loved game with just a few simple supplies.

Screw together 16-inch 2x4 boards to make a square and then you’ll take 10-inch 4x4 boards and screw them to the four corners of the square to give you legs. 

Paint the wood platform your favorite color and allow it to dry.

Next, take a wire net and make it into a tube secured by wire. Use a staple gun to secure your tube onto the table you’ve created. 

Slide bamboo garden stakes through the holes of your wire net from all different angles and then fill the tube with ball pit balls.

Have players slowly remove one garden stake at a time and collect any balls that fall through. The player with the least amount of balls at the end – wins!

For a more detailed review of how to make Ker Plunk at home visit all parenting.

9. Obstacle Course

home obstacle course

Any obstacle course can create a lot of backyard fun, but why not take it up a notch and turn it into American Ninja Warrior style.

Consider making some PVC pipe hurdles or some sloped steps out of pallets and wood. You can also use pressure treated 4x4s as balance beams.

If you don’t have tree trunks near each other to jump between, throw down some stepping stones in strategic places.

If you're creative enough, you might just be able to make the warped wall!

10. Pool Noodle Ring Toss

pool noodle

We all have pool noodles lying around the house in the summer time, why not turn them into something fun?

Simply turn the noodle into a circle and duct tape the ends together. Then do the same thing again with a second pool noodle.

Take a third pool noodle and cut it in half. Stake each noodle to the ground, at an appropriate distance apart, so it creates a standing pole.

Then, it’s just a race to see whose ring ends up on the pole first.

Find pool noodles on Amazon.

11. Pool Noodle Hopscotch

You didn’t really think that was all I had to say about pool noodles, did you?

Just when you thought you couldn’t have any more fun with pool noodles, you were introduced to pool noodle hopscotch.

Probably the easiest game to make, you simply take 10 pool noodles and make circles out of them. Tape each end with duct tape and lay them in the grass in hopscotch formation.

Jump through the course and test out your skills.

12. Ladder Toss Game

This is a simple game but always tons of fun.

Each game consists of two or more players and each player is going to have three golf ball bolas.

In case you don’t know, a bola is two golf balls attached together by a nylon rope.

Ladder Toss Game

The main object is to get your bolas around the steps of the ladder. There are lots of quality sets available for purchase, or if you’re adventurous you could attempt making your own.

Find the Ladder Toss Game on Amazon.

13. Life-Sized Connect 4

Take this classic game outdoors with a life-sized Connect 4 type structure.

I can imagine that there would be tournaments of this fun matching game played at my place.

The basic rules are to get four of your colors in a row first while working hard to block your opponent.

Life-Sized Connect 4

Make sure you get creative in your gameplay and try distracting your opponent so he misses the best moves. When playing the game outside, be sure you choose one that’s durable and weatherproof.

Find Life-Sized Connect 4 on Amazon.

14. The Greatest Slip N’ Slide Ever

slip n slide

I know, a slip n’ slide isn’t really a game, but it’s some of the best summer fun around.

Stay clear of those high priced, small versions and go all out with a homemade slide.

Figure out how long you want the slide. If you use six pool noodles (I know, those pool noodles again), it would be about 35-feet long.

Take a long piece of heavy-duty plastic and attach your pool noodles down each side. Wrap the plastic around the noodle and use Velcro to keep them tight.

Stake one end of the slide and then stake the bottom after ensuring that you’ve pulled the slide taut.

Turn on the sprinkler and get ready for the ride of your life.

15. Giant Bowling Set

Skip the trip to the stuffy bowling alley and play a game outdoors.

Don’t just play any bowling game, however; make sure you get a giant set for the optimum amount of fun.

There are wooden versions, but they aren’t nearly as big as the inflatable sets.

Giant Bowling Set

Just pick the one you will have the most fun with. The inflatable version would be easier to store over the long haul, but the wooden set will probably be more durable.

Find the Giant Bowling Set on Amazon.

16. Spikeball

This game was featured on the hit show Shark Tank and is perfect for 2 teams of 2 players each.

It’s played a lot like volleyball except you are hitting the ball off the net.


Once you shoot it off the net, your opponent has three hits, just like volleyball, to control the ball and hit it back down to the net. The nice thing about this game is its portability.

You don’t need to keep it in your backyard, take it to your friend’s house as well.

Find Spikeball on Amazon.

17. Angry Birds Fun

angry birds outdoor game

If your kids are Angry Birds fans, they're going to love this idea.

Gather together lots of boxes and create a strategic playing area.

Consider using white and blue spray paint to make some of them ice cubes and maybe even some gray paint for stones.

Gather red, blue and yellow bouncy balls and find a template online of the various faces you need to paint on them. Paint green bouncy balls as the pigs and set them on Mason jar lids in the box maze.

Now, launch your birds and knock out the pigs. Pretty awesome, right?

18. Giant Yard Pong

I’m not sure this game needs much explanation because, well, it’s Giant Yard Pong!

Great for those backyard parties, this game is made out of buckets instead of cups.

It is in fact created at the exact scale of

Giant Yard Pong

your favorite beer pong games so it’s like playing the original, just bigger.

Remember to fill the bucket part way with sand or water so it doesn’t blow away.

If you aren’t concerned with having an exact size, you could purchase your own buckets and make your own version.

Search Giant Yard Pong on Amazon.

19. Human Hungry Hippos

Ready to laugh harder than ever before?

Fill an area of the backyard with ball pit balls and lay four people, stomach down on gym class scooters.

While someone is moving the “human hippo” forward onto playing field, the person on the

Human Hungry Hippos

scooter is going to lift a pot and attempt to catch the balls underneath.

Then, after being dragged off the field, they will release the balls into their stash. The person with the most balls at the end of the game wins.

Find equipment for  Human Hungry Hippos on Amazon.

20. Scoop Ball

This game is a classic and consists of plastic scoops that are designed to throw and catch a hollow and plastic ball.

This is a game that's perfect for adults and children alike and is great for strengthening hand-eye coordination.

Scoop Ball

This is often considered to be a safer alternative to lacrosse.

Find Scoop Ball on Amazon.

21. Putting Greens

best putting green

Have some golf fans coming to your party?

Grab a fun putting green to throw outside and everyone can try out their golf skills.

The best part is that it comes with built-in sand traps to really test your maneuvering abilities.

When you’re done playing, it simply rolls up to store back inside.

Find Putting Greens on Amazon.

22. Frisbee Golf

Now you can enjoy a par 3 round of disc golf right in your backyard.

With six mini Frisbee discs and a golf target, everyone in the entire family can get in on the action.

The metal chains are designed to catch even your hyzers, s-curves, tossing, rollers, and more.

Frisbee Golf

Weighing just over 2 pounds, this set is great to take camping or over to a friend’s house as well.

Find Frisbee Golf on Amazon.

23. Water Blob

water blob

Want an outdoor activity that's going to keep the kids busy for hours (and maybe some adults too)?

Fold a large, thin tarp in half and tape the three open sides shut with duct tape. Make sure you leave a little hole in one of the sides for easy filling. Slide your water hose into the opening and fill up your tarp.

You can also add things like blue food coloring, confetti or gummy worms for some extra fun. Once it’s full, tape up the remaining hole and watch everyone roll around and have fun.

24. Fly Swatter Balloon Badminton

balloon badminton

Nothing says fun like fly swatters!

These cheap inventions are great when you want to swat around a few balloons in the backyard.

Get creative with the games and set rules.

You might even want to set up a little makeshift net to play with. The nice thing about this game is that you can have the entire family play together.

25. Water Balloon Volleyball

Looking for something fun to do on a hot day?

Fill a bucket of water balloons and set your team up strategically. In groups of two, each person will hold the end of a towel.

Start a balloon in the middle of the towel and launch it over a net to another group of players with a towel.

water balloon volleyball

They’ll need to catch the water-filled balloon in the towel and launch it back.

Obviously, you’re going to get wet if that balloon misses the towel, so be careful!

26. Lawn Darts

Try out your aim with a fun, family game of lawn darts.

It’s a lot like horseshoes but with flying darts instead.

Take turns tossing darts through brightly-colored target rings and see who can score the most points.

Lawn Darts

Since this game is completely portable, it’s also fun to take camping, tailgating and even to the local playground.

Find Lawn Darts on Amazon.

27. Pool Noodle Target Station

pool noodle

Just when you thought I was done talking about pool noodles, I came up with another one!

Make six pool noodle rings as I instructed you earlier. Use that handy duct tape to attach them together; three on top and three on the bottom.

Then take two pool noodles and tape them to the six rings; one on either side. Hammer two dowels into the ground and slide your pool noodle target station on top.

Now you can hurl your other pool noodles through the targets. If you want to get really competitive, you can even assign different point values for each hole.

28. Swingball with Tether

To be used on any flat surface, swingball is ready to play anytime.

Simply fill the base with water or sand and hit the ball with your paddle to beat your opponent.

The ball will swing freely in a circle and will travel up and down the attached spiral pole.

Swingball with Tether

Whoever can wrap it around the pole first is the winner.

You can easily adjust the height of the pole so anyone can play and when you’re done, it folds up for easy storage with the attached carrying case.

Find a Swingball with Tether on Amazon.

29. Jumbo Checker Game

Grab a checkerboard rug and take the game outdoors to get “kinged” in the beautiful sunshine.

If you prefer to make your own board, there are many tutorials online with some ideas.

Jumbo Checker Game

One simple idea is to spray paint a pewter stepping stone. Use your imagination on what to use as the playing pieces.

Find the Jumbo Checker Game on Amazon.

30. Rubber Horseshoes

Everyone loves a good game of horseshoes when having a family picnic, but here’s a safer way to play with a rubber set.

The fact that they’re made of rubber also makes them lighter weight for even young kids to play.

Rubber Horseshoes

If it starts raining at your party, you can take this game indoors.

The bright colors make it easy for you to see the target which also means there are no excuses when you miss.

Find Rubber Horseshoes on Amazon.

31. Fishing For Marbles


Great for summer weather, simply fill up a kid-sized plastic pool with not just water, but also ice and marbles.

Have four people stand in the freezing cold water.

Using just their toes, they have to retrieve the marbles from the pool and place them into the pitcher designated for the team. You’ll want to set a specific time for this game and then see who has the most marbles at the end of the time.

If you want to add a team aspect to it, have a player tag another member and swap out of the pool for a fresh set of feet.

32. Rollers Backyard Games

Imagine playing a game of horseshoes, bocce ball and bowling wrapped up in one.

That’s exactly what Rollers is. Use large, wooden pieces to score as many points as possible.

Rollers Backyard Games

This game won the Dr. Toy Top 10 Active Games & Creative Child Seal of Excellence Award and the 2015 Men’s Journal Gear of the Year Award.

Find Rollers Backyard Games on Amazon.

33. Bean Bag Ladder Toss

Take a step ladder and label each individual rung with a different point value.

Stand a specified distance away and throw beanbags at the ladder to see who can score the most points.

Bean Bag Ladder Toss

Maybe you want to let the kids stand a little closer to make it fair, or maybe not! 

Find the Bean Bag Ladder Toss on Amazon.

34. Glow-In-The-Dark Capture The Flag

Play this great family favorite with a little twist.

There is a game you can buy called Capture the Flag REDUX that includes 33 light up game pieces and lasts for up to 24 hours on the batteries.

You can use it anywhere that there's enough space to run and it's perfect for retreats, camping and more.

Glow in the Dark Capture the flag

If you'd rather make your own version, you could play a fun game of capture the flag with some glow sticks. Just be sure to buy a different color for each team.

Find Glow-in-the-Dark Capture the Flag on Amazon.

35. Dunk Bucket

dunk bucket

Want to get your friends and family wet? It’s really simple to make your very own dunk bucket.

Cut out a target of some wood and then use more wood to make a base for your 5-gallon bucket.

Using some hinges, you’ll want to attach your bucket to the tree. Make sure you also attach your target to the tree. Find a way to hold the bucket upright, maybe some washers.

Sit your loved one in front of the target and fire away with some tennis balls. For an easy refill, make sure you set up a filling system with some piping.

36. Giant Lawn Matching Game

Giant Lawn Matching Game

Grab some cork tiles and spray paint to make the memory tiles.

Spray all the cork tiles with white spray paint and allow them to dry.

You can use some stencils to make different images on the tiles. Using spray paint of different colors, paint your images on the tiles, make sure you have two of the same image for matching purposes.

Once dry, you can set them up in your yard upside down. Each player will turn over two tiles at a time, attempting to make a match.

The player with the most matches at the end of the game will win.

37. Giant Pickup Sticks

Do you remember playing pickup sticks as a kid?

Talk about hours of fun!

Now they make giant pickup sticks that can be played in the backyard.

Giant Pickup Sticks

This set includes 25 jumbo, colorful, pine wood pickup sticks perfect for two or more players. Play on your lawn during any backyard party for a good time.

Find Giant Pickup Sticks on Amazon.

38. Shuffleboard

An age old game that always brings fun to the table is shuffleboard.

There's a great version available that can be played right on your picnic table.

It features a solid wood frame and there's no assembly required; just set up and play.

Find a Shuffleboard on Amazon.


That's All Folks

With all the games I’ve found for you, you won't be getting bored this summer! Play one or all at your next get-together for ultimate fun and endless laughs.

What are your favorite games to play outdoors?

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