As summer gears up and the picnic’s and backyard bbq’s start to ramp up, the kids are inevitably going to be looking for fun summer outdoor games. The great news is that there are host of new outdoor games that are geared towards kids of all ages and we’ve reviewed them all (all that we know of). So if you are tired of horseshoes, croquet and bocce, we’ve got some of the best outdoor games for kids.
Topping the list of exciting new outdoor games is Kan Jam. This relatively obscure game originates from Buffalo, NY where tailgating fans invented the game using a Frisbee and a garbage can. The game starts out like horseshoes where teammates stand at opposite goals, but the key aspect (and this is what makes it so much more fun or exciting than other horseshoes-like game) is that teammates work together to score points. One player throws the Frisbee towards the goal (the Kan) and the other player can use his hands to help redirect it towards the goal.
The game is fast paced and exciting with games usually lasting between 5 and 10 minutes. It’s great for kids of many ages and you can adjust the space between the goals as necessary to suit the age of the players. And because both teammates are involved it keeps the kids engaged where other games might not.
If you’re looking for a relatively cheap and easy outdoor game that your kids will love for years, we recommend picking up a Kan Jam set.
If you are looking for a fun and whimsical game for younger kids, you’ll really love Boochie. Putting a spin on the traditional Bocce lawn game, Boochie can be played both in and outdoors. One player will throw out the 12-sided Boochie “ball” (similar to a Jack or Boccino) that becomes the target. This 12-sided ball has special instructions written on it for special bonus points. Each player has a bean-bag style ball and a hoop and turns are taken throwing each one towards the 12-sided ball. The closest 1 and 2 items score points. The real fun is in the special instructions that are on the scoring tracker you wear on your wrist. Things such as “throw the ball between your legs”, “stand on one leg”, “make a noise when you throw” are commands that are given to spice up the game and each tracker is different so it’s hard to get repetitive.
The game is played up to 11 points so the play is pretty fast paced and the kids will love it. It says for ages 8 and up, but that seems a little high as 4 and 5 year olds love playing along too. This is a quick and easy game that is great for the kids to play both indoors and out.
This game has been around for a few summers now, but it’s hard to get enough of it. Having been called “Ladder Ball”, “Ladder Golf” and a host of other synonyms, Blongo ball is one of the best outdoor games for the family. The game consists of a PVC “ladder” that has three rungs and teams take turns throwing a bolo (consisting of a string connecting two golf balls) towards the rungs of the ladder. Depending on which rung you land on you get 1, 2, or 3 points. Teams play to 21 exactly and it gets interesting as you get close as that’s when strategy and defensive play takes over.
This game is great for just about any age, although young children may have a hard time getting the hang of throwing the bolo. Not to mention things getting out of hand and whipping golf ball-bolo’s at each other.
Despite the dirty sounding name, this game can be a great outdoor game for kids. Basically a modified version of horseshoes, the Cornhole game utilizes corn filled bags (or bean bags) that are tossed to an inclined board with a hole in it. The scoring is pretty much like horseshoes where you score three points for getting a bean bag in the hole and 1 point for landing it on the board, but the main difference is that both teams can score points and the difference is what’s recorded.
This game is simple to learn and, while trickier than it looks, is easy to play for kids of all ages. Simply adjust the length between boards and you have an age appropriate version of horseshoes that you can pack up and take anywhere. Not to mention that boards are customizable.
If you have children that love miniature golf and need something for the back yard then you should check out Sholf. Sholf is a combination of Shuffleboard and golf and combines the skill of miniature golf with some strategy. The Sholf game comes with a putter, 4 golf balls for each team, a roll-up putting matt and two ropes to stop stray balls from going everywhere. While not as high paced as some of the other ones, Sholf is a great game for a deck or driveway. Which is its only real downfall is that it needs a flat surface to work.