9 Super-Fun Backyard Games Made Up by Creative Families

Wendy Robinson | Jul 8, 2015 Big Kid

kids water balloons
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When my husband and I were looking for our forever house, we weren't too picky. I didn't need granite countertops, I could live without stainless steel appliances, and I was even open to only having one bathroom -- as long as I had a fenced backyard. Like many families, we practically live in our yard during the summer months. This is why I'm so excited to share these nine ideas for backyard fun created by families just like mine.

With these in mind, I'm pretty sure I can get through the whole summer without hearing the dreaded cry of "I'm bored!" Summer just got a little sweeter!

  • Water Balloon Bocce

    1

    "We love playing bocce ball, but we've added our own twist -- water balloons! We play two ways: The first is where we replace the bocce balls with water balloons, and if they pop when you toss them, you lose.

    The second way is when we allow whoever wins the round to throw a water balloon at the other player of their choice.

    It keeps us cool and is fun for everyone in the family, except for my husband, who is the favorite target for balloons!" -- Tamara I., Saint Paul, Minnesota

    More from CafeMom: 50 Awesome Summer Activities for Bored Kids (No Parents Required) 

  • Super Spies

    2

    "We invented a spy game where the kids are 'super spies' who have to figure out a mystery my husband or I create. We leave clues for them to find outside and they get to 'spy' on us while they look for the clues.

    The clues usually lead to a little toy or a coupon for a frozen treat from the freezer.

    I love that it both encourages critical thinking and leaves me with time to relax in the hammock." -- Kristin D., Grand Rapids, Michigan

  • Cardboard Car Course

    3

    "We get boxes out of the recycling bin and make race courses for toy cars. The kids get to paint them and set it up. They have a ramp from the stairs, a curve around the garden, and a straightaway under the slide.

    As they race the cars, my husband and I use a hose to create a water hazard, or we time them to see who reaches the finish line fastest." -- Morgan S., Seattle, Washington

    More From CafeMom30 Summer Memories Every Kid Should Have 

  • Pool Noodle Jousting

    4

    "We had some extra pool noodles, so my husband cut them in half and taught the boys jousting. Now they start on opposite sides of the yard, wearing their bike helmets and pads, and then joust from bicycles or scooters.

    I'm the 'fair maiden' and get to decide the winner." -- Lacey D., Tucson, Arizona

  • Outdoor Gym

    5

    "Our whole family is trying to get into better shape, so we do a game where we all take turns being the personal trainer. When it's your turn, you have one minute to decide an exercise everyone will do. My 5-year-old loves to stick us with burpees.

    We also created a fun but challenging obstacle course to go with this; it includes pull-ups on the monkey bars and push-ups on the slide. Our goal is to make fitness fun, and it's really working!" -- Sara W., Greely, Colorado

  • Ice Block Treasure Hunt

    6

    "I made up a game where I freeze things, either small snacks (like fruit snacks or gum in plastic wrap) or little toys, in blocks of ice. Everyone gets a block and has to figure out how to get their item the fastest.

    My husband usually tries to break his open by dropping it off the deck, and he's also been known to stick it under his shirt until he's yelping from the cold. The kids think this is hysterical." -- Katie A., Edina, Minnesota

  • Beach Ball Badminton

    7

    © iStock.com/Chris Bernard Photography Inc

    "We got a badminton set and then realized it was a terrible game for the kids. The little birdie was just too small for them to hit and they'd get so frustrated.

    So we substituted a beach ball and the results are hilarious and fun for all of us." -- Olivia W., Flagstaff, Arizona

    More from CafeMom: 20 Wonders of Summer That Will Make Your Kid's Childhood Complete

  • Homemade Stilts

    8

    "My 11-year-old bought wooden stilts with his birthday money, and his younger siblings were instantly jealous. They were too young for me to feel comfortable with them on real stilts, so I made some homemade ones out of recycled cans and rope (drill a hole in two sides and string the rope through, walk with open side down)

    Now we all have some version of stilts and do races or obstacle courses. I'm sure we look insane to the neighbors as we all totter around the yard, but it is really fun." -- Krista B., Romeoville, Illinois

  • Summer Snowball Fight

    9

    "Every winter, we put snowballs in the deep freezer and bring them out for a summer snowball fight in the backyard. It is so much fun that now several other families near us do it too, so there's a big neighborhood snowball fight.

    We also do snowball relay races and use food coloring to try to 'paint' the balls before they melt." -- Melanie B., Billings, Montana

    More from CafeMom25 Things Every Kid Should Do Before Kindergarten 

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