10 easy to make games for the backyard

Have you thought to make games in your own backyard? If you're low on entertainment funds or just want to get your kids out more, I've got 10 great ideas here for you. Plus - playing games sharpen social skills and life skills too!

Make games for outdoor fun

Warm weather is slowly approaching which means the wheels in our minds are thinking of fun and creative ideas to be able to get outside and enjoy that much-needed sunshine and fresh air.   It’s so simple to think of places to go away from your home to be able to enjoy fun activities, but have you ever stopped to think about all the fun activities that you can create right from the comfort of your own backyard?  Why not make games out there and get some health benefits while you’re at it?!

If packing all the kids up sounds like a bummer, or you’re low on funds, there are some great ideas below to keep them entertained this Spring and Summer.

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Social skills & life skills practice

The best part of this easy and inexpensive fun?  Games are the perfect way to help children learn and practice social-emotional skills.  Through games, they practice skills like:

  • Taking turns
  • Sharing
  • Waiting
  • Winning & losing gracefully
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  •  

    In addition to these social skills, if they help you make games, they may also have the opportunity to practice life skills as well like:

    • Measuring
    • Painting
  • Using & identifying tools
  • Cleaning up
  •  1. Twister

    Not just any twister…a giant version of twister, spray painted right on your grass.  Yep, no mat needed for this version.  Grab your spray cans of paint, create your colored circles on the grass and then spin away and follow the Twister prompts.  The fun part is that while it is still a classic game, it’s novel since it’s so unique to be done directly on the grass.  Don’t worry, by the way, after your grass grows a bit and you mow a few times, those twister circles will disappear until you’re asked to make them again!

    2. Outdoor Tic Tac Toe

    Seriously, this game couldn’t be any simpler –  It’s one of the easiest to make games!  All you need is a semi-flat surface and a few objects that can be used as the markers to fill the squares.  Have the kids use rocks that they can paint or decorate, or chalk to draw in their squares.  And literally, that’s it.  You’ve successfully created a backyard tic tac toe board for all to enjoy.

    3. Water Balloon Hot Potato

    Nothing screams summer backyard fun more than water balloons.  Add a touch of difficulty by having the kids play hot potato with filled water balloons.  Toss ’em back and forth to see whose won’t break!  Costco usually has those neat ones you don’t have to tie, but I’d check first on how recyclable the filler tubes are…

    Have you thought to make games in your own backyard? If you're low on entertainment funds or just want to get your kids out more, I've got 10 great ideas here for you. Plus - playing games sharpen social skills and life skills too!

    4. Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

    Send the little ones on a journey around the yard with an outdoor scavenger hunt.  Make a list of items that they need to find, collect and bring to you located anywhere within your property line.  Give them each their list, time them and listen for the laughs so start rolling in.

    5. Mini obstacle course

    Have you got the next America Ninja Warrior in your family?  Keep an open mind as you make games – they don’t all need to be classics or modifications of classics.  Create a safe and fun obstacle course for them in your yard.  Have them crawl through tunnels or army crawl under netting.  Having a friendly family competition can be tons of fun!  Always supervise closely during an event like this for safety as well.

    6. Tug-of-war

    This is definitely simple and inexpensive!  You may want to closely supervise this one too, but it’s great for balance and you can use it as an object lesson for physics as well.  You may want to consider using gloves with your little ones or wrapping the rope with tape.

    7. Slip-n-Slide Challenge

    No matter the age, slip-n-slides are so much fun for all involved.  The adrenaline and excitement of running and sliding are enticing to everyone!  Why not create a fun challenge to see who can slide the furthest on the slip-n-slide?  Give everyone the same rules and have fun taking turns.  We’ve seen friends “build” their own with a tarp and sprinkler (and a slight hill) with great success!  My kids wouldn’t get off of it…😄

    8. Sack races

    An oldie but goodie.  If their coordination allows, grab some larger sized pillow cases that can be easily slipped over the feet, then have everyone hop their way to see who can finish first!  Bonus points if no one falls down!

    9. Soccer

    If you have a soccer ball, you’re in luck because creating a soccer goal is as easy as using a large box to have as a target to kick the ball into.  No need to rush to the store and spend money on nets.  Use what you have around the home and practice on those soccer skills.  Spray paint can also mark out your field!

    Natural Twisted Cotton Rope by FMSNatural Twisted Cotton Rope by FMSLittle Tikes Turtle SandboxLittle Tikes Turtle SandboxDaball Toddler Soccer Ball (Terry TheDaball Toddler Soccer Ball (Terry The

    10. Sandbox seek and find

    And now, the last one on my list of games you can create.  If you have a sandbox, this game is super easy.  Simply take smaller items and hide them throughout your sandbox.  Then, have your children find those items.  Make it more challenging by timing them or having them look for just one or two specific items while only being able to use one hand to dig around.  If you don’t have a sandbox, you just need to have sand and a container to put the sand and objects into.

    An easy way to create hours of fun in your own backyard with some slight variations!

    Enlist the kids in helping you think of games you can create

    Have fun preparing for the warmer weather by think-tanking with the kids about other fun games that can be created in the convenience of your own backyard.  Who knows?  With the ability to create exactly as you want, you may create the next big outdoor gaming hit for all to enjoy!  It also keeps you away from the screen a bit more. 😍 😉

    -Jill

    Your Turn: Which game sounds like the first you’ll try?

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    Author: Jill C

    Jill is a Christian, homeschooler, "boy mom", and special needs parent. Jill has ADHD and has learned firsthand how adapting environments can be key to finding success! Her current mission is to empower parents whose desire is to homeschool their special needs children and helping them squash their self-doubt!

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