Today, I am going to share over fifty backyard board games that your family will love. We’re going to take a trip down memory lane with some old favorites. Be ready to feel nostalgic! And then I’m going to introduce you to some awesome backyard games that your kids and teens will flip for!
Ready, set, gooo!
50+ Backyard Board Games Your Family Will Love
The Value Of Playing Games Together As A Family
There are innumerable benefits to sitting down and playing a game with your children and teens. You’ll never, ever look back at the time spent playing and feel any sort of regret. I’m willing to bet that, ten years from now, you’ll wish you had played more games with your kiddos!
Here are just a few benefits of playing board games with your children and teens:
Playing board games is good, old-fashioned fun!
Let’s start with the most obvious benefit: play is fun! Studies have shown that play benefits the whole child. That means that play has a positive impact on your child’s cognitive, physical, and social-emotional development. Moreover, we don’t outgrow play. Research has indicated play is good for all of us, and that includes our teens (and us “big kids” too!).
When you gather around a board game, your family has the opportunity to connect.
Connection is super important! Taking the time out of a busy day to connect with your children and teens is crucial. It helps to strengthen familial bonds. Plus, connected kids tend to be more cooperative when it comes to things like homeschooling and chores.
Playing games together helps to relieve stress
We live in a go-go-go world. It can be hard to slow down and live in the moment. I promise you, even if you don’t think you’re stressed, you’ll feel 900% better after playing a game with your kids!
As you play, your children and teens will be learning.
If you’ve been hanging around with us for any length of time, you knew this one was coming. As a school psychologist and homeschool mom, I have witnessed the power of play when it comes to children and teens’ learning again and again. You need only glance over this site, pop into Never Board Learning, or listen to a few of our podcasts to see what I mean!
Make memories to last a lifetime!
If you loved games as a kid, what do you remember? Who were you playing with? Where were you? Did you play Parcheesi on your nana’s porch? Did you play a raucous game of spoons with your cousins while camping in the summer? Was it cribbage every Saturday with your dad? Games, and the connection they provide, make memories that will last a lifetime!
Why Not Take Family Board Games Outside?
What to Look for in a Backyard Game
My kids love to take their favorite board games outside to play on the patio, in the treehouse, or on the driveway. If you want to try that, make sure you select a game that won’t blow away easily. Board games with pawns or tiles often work better than card games (think: Chess, Parcheesi, Scrabble, etc.).
Another thing to consider when taking the play outdoors is that there are a plethora of fantastic outdoor games on the market today. These games are designed to be played outdoors and can make for countless backyard memories!
When selecting an outdoor game for backyard play, here are some factors to consider:
How many players does the game require?
Make sure that the backyard game you select works well for your unique family. And then, I always recommend that you do some research to see if the game plays well for the number of players you have in your home. For example, some games might say “2-4 players” but, in reality, the game plays poorly as a two-player game. (A great place to check for this information is Board Game Geek!)
What age levels or skills are required to play the game?
When selecting backyard games for your family, keep in mind the ages of your children. You want a game that you won’t soon outgrow, but you also want to find a game that, developmentally, won’t be incredibly frustrating for little ones.
Is the game portable? Is it easy to assemble?
The beauty of backyard games is that many of them travel well. If you find a game that is portable and requires minimal or no assembly, you can take it anywhere, including:
- Local park
- Camping trips
- Game or concert tailgating
Is the game made of quality materials? (Is it worth the cost?)
Let’s face it: games can be expensive. When choosing a game for your family, you want to make sure the game is made of quality materials. This is especially important for outdoor games as the weather can do some serious damage!
How much space is required to play the game?
If you plan to play outdoor games in your front yard, driveway, or backyard, be sure you have enough space for the game you have your eyes on.
50+ Backyard Board Games Your Family Will Love
As promised, here are 50+ backyard games that your children and teens will adore! When you’re finished reading, I would love it if you could leave a comment with your family’s favorite outdoor games. Did I miss your favorite? Let me know!
Badminton is a racket and shuttlecock game for 2-4 players. This is a perfect backyard game. I used to play this game with my cousins when I was little and it always brings a sense of nostalgia. If you love badminton, check out its new cousin, Speedminton, a mash-up of badminton, and tennis, that does not require a net.
Bean Bag Bucketz
Bean Bag Bucketz is an outdoor game for 2 or more players. There are multiple ways to play this game, but all gameplay involves tossing bean bags into “bucketz” to earn points. This easy-to-assemble game travels well and is a favorite for families, parties, camping, beachgoers, and tailgaters.
Bocce, or bocce ball, is the classic lawn game that can be played as a 2-player game, or with 2 teams. A standard bocce set has eight colored balls (four for each player/team) and one small ball called the pallina/pallino (also sometimes referred to as the jack). There are variations, but the primary objective is to get your bocce balls closest to the pallina.
Bottle Bash is an outdoor disc-throwing game for 2 players or teams. In this game, bottles are placed on top of poles. The object of the game is to throw your frisbee toward the other team’s bottle and knock it off of its pole.
Bump and Bounce Body Bumpers
Bump and Bounce is a 2-player game of inflatable hilarity. There is a kid version and an adult version. The goal is to don an inflatable suit and bump into each other. The only question is: is it funnier to be in the game, or to be an observer?
Carnival Game Set
During the summer of 2020, when we were all hunkered down, my kids were so upset that we couldn’t do our traditional fourth of July with Nana and Papa on Cape Cod. I impulsively purchased a carnival game set and surprised the kids on the 4th with The Curley Olympics. We had potato sack races, egg raises, three-legged races, and more. We missed Nana and Papa a ton, but we turned lemons into lemonade. It’s one 4th of July that we’ll always remember.
Cornhole is a beloved backyard lawn game that can be played with two players or in two teams of two players. In this game, players take turns tossing bean bags at an angled board hoping to land their bean bags in the board’s hole.
Croquet is a backyard game played with mallets, colored balls, and wickets. The game can be played with two, four, six, and sometimes eight players. The goal is for players to maneuver their ball through the six wickets in the proper direction and tap the peg earning points along the way.
Crossnet is a new-to-me game. I first observed it this summer and oh my gosh, what fun! Crossnet is a four-square volleyball game for four or more players.
Disc Golf is a disc-throwing game that has been exploding in popularity. Play is similar to golf, but instead of balls and clubs you throw a disc and instead of a hole in the ground, you have a basket-like target that is referred to as the hole. The goal is to get your disc in the hole in the fewest amount of strokes. You can play a version of disc golf in your backyard, or you can find local courses by searching Google.
Flickin’ Chicken is a hilarious target game for 2-4 players. One player will throw the target and then it’s time for flickin’ chickens. The target is 2-sided so points will depend on which side is facing up. Players take turns tossing their chickens at the target. If a player reaches the target on the first try, it’s called a pollo-in-one.
Floating Board Game Table
This isn’t a game, but I couldn’t write a post on backyard board games without including this family favorite! This floating board game table is perfect for humid summer days when you want to keep wet. Add some waterproof games and you’ve got yourself a perfectly playful summer day!
One of my oldest’s favorite memories from our trip to Jamaica in 2019 was playing giant chess with his brother and father. What fun! We have visited other places with giant chess or checkers, too. There is something magical about playing a giant-sized version of a favorite game.
Giant Connect 4
Giant Connect 4 is such a fun sensory experience for kids. I have such fond memories of visiting a museum that had Giant Connect 4 and I swear my kids could have just stayed there and played the entire time!
Giant Jenga is a family favorite! Take turns removing oversized Jenga pieces from the tower and replace them carefully atop the tower. If your move causes the tower to crumble, the game is over!
Giant Sorry is an oversized version of the classic Sorry game from your youth! With oversized pawns and a vinyl playing board, you can take a gigantic walk down memory lane!
Giant Yard Pong
Giant Yard Pong is an oversized version of pong. Take turns tossing your balls to land them in the cups. If it’s a windy day, fill the cups with a little water (or sand if you’re at the beach).
Glow-in-the-Dark Capture the Flag
Capture the Flag is a childhood classic! It’s always a win among my kiddos. But did you know that there is a Glow-in-the-Dark Capture the Flag? It’s true and it’s just as much fun as you imagine! It’s one of my children’s favorite summer night activities.
Horseshoes is a horseshoe tossing game for 2 players. Each player has two horseshoes and they take turns tossing them, trying to get them to land on the stake. This game always reminds me of playing horseshoes in the backyard with my uncles and cousins!
Kan Jam is a disc-throwing game that my husband loves. In this game, teams of 4-8 players take turns throwing their disc in an attempt to get it into the can, while opposing players attempt to deflect the disc. The first team to score 21 points wins the game. (And there’s a glow-in-the-dark version, too!)
Kickball is a classic backyard game. The game is played in teams of two, with each team having 9 players. The game is played very much like baseball, only you’re kicking the ball.
Kubbs is a game that reminds me of one of our favorites, Molkky (keep reading to learn more about Molkky). Kubbs is played in two teams of up to 6 players each. Players take turns trying to knock over the opposing team’s kubbs by tossing wooden batons.
Ladder Toss is a backyard game for 2-4 players. In this game, players compete to secure the most points by tossing their bolos onto the rungs of a ladder. Depending on which rung they land on, they score 1-3 points.
Laser Tag is one of my youngest’s favorite outdoor games. He asked for this laser tag set years ago and it’s still going strong. It’s a favorite game to play when he has friends over.
Lawn Bowling is exactly what it sounds like: bowling for your lawn. If your kids love to go bowling, this is a fun way to bring the bowling alley to you!
Can you tell our family loves to play glow-in-the-dark games? Yes, these Glow-in-the-Dark Lawn Darts are another favorite over here for post-s’mores backyard play. Glow in the Dark Lawn Darts are
How low can you go?? Limbo is a classic game of dancing, movement, and flexibility. Limbo can be played with any number of players. Players line up and take turns bending backward under a bar. If a player touches the bar, they are out. In each round, the bar is lowered one notch until only one player remains.
As I mentioned earlier, Molkky is one of our family’s favorite outdoor games. Players earn points by tossing their dowels and knocking over pins. If a player knocks over one pin, the score is the number of points written on the pin. If they knock over more than one pin, the player’s score is based on the number of pins knocked over, rather than the numbers noted in the pins. After each turn, pins are returned to standing in the spot where they landed after the last turn. The pins start close together and spread farther apart each turn. The goal is to be the first player to reach 50 points without going over. If a player goes over 50 points, their score drops to 25 points. (There is a lot of stealth math in this game!)
Ninja Line Obstacle Course
Ninja Line Obstacle Courses are a great way to wear your kids out! (Ask me how I know, ha!) These are a great backyard sensory experiences and kids can’t get enough. I can’t find the exact version that we have in our backyard, but this one has excellent reviews and more equipment than ours does!
Pickleball is a game in which two or four players hit a hollow ball across a net using a wooden paddle. The game has soared in popularity lately. It’s funny because we used to play pickleball in gym class all the time in high school. I told my college roommates about it and they had never heard of the sport. Now, it’s everywhere!
The pool that we belong to in the summer has an outdoor ping pong table and it is my boys’ favorite thing to do during swim breaks. They love to play with Dad, too! Ping Pong is an addicting game for 2 or 4 players.
Pop Darts are darts with suction cups on both ends. The game can be played indoors or outdoors, so long as you have a smooth surface (i.e., table, window, sliding glass door, etc.). To play, the orange target is placed anywhere on the playing surface. Players take turns throwing their darts, trying to get as close as possible to the orange target. The first player to reach 21 points is the winner.
Ramp Shot is a game for 4 players. The game is played in teams of two. The goal of the game is to get your balls in the net. When it’s a player’s turn, that player has two balls and tries to get them in the net for 3 points. If their teammate catches a ball, they get one point. Meanwhile, one player from the other team is trying to steal the incoming balls so that they don’t get in the net.
Ring Toss is a childhood classic for 1-4 players. There are some variations in how to play, but the main goal is to toss your rings on the stakes.
Rollors is another game that is new to us. It is a mashup of horseshoes, bowling, and bocce. The game is played with two players or two teams of 2-3 players. Each player/team has a goal and a set of rollers in either blue or red. Players/teams take turns trying to roll their Rollors through close to their goal. Each rollor has different points on each side, so points depend on where the rollor falls.
Scoop Ball is a fun twist on catch. Players toss a ball back and forth to each other using their scoops. They have to catch the ball in the scoop. It’s so simple, but I adored this game as a kid!
Growing up, we used to rent a house on Cape Cod with some family friends. The house we rented every year had a shuffleboard court and so, for me, shuffleboard means hot days, warm pavement, and fun with friends, all while listening for that ice cream truck! Shuffleboard is played with either 2 players or 4 players. The object of the game is to shoot your puck/disc to gain points. You can also knock your opponent’s disc off the board on your turn.
Soccer is loved the world over and I’m quite certain most people reading this article already know how to play. I just wanted to let you know that my youngest has a glow-in-the-dark soccer ball that has provided hours of backyard entertaining post-s’more roasting!
Spikeball is a highly-addicting game that was on Shark Tank. It is played with 2 teams of 2 players. It involves a ball and a trampoline-like net. To play, one player spikes the ball onto the net so that it bounces off. The opposing team has three touches to get the ball back on the net. Play ends and points are awarded when the ball isn’t returned to the net within three touches, the ball hits the rim, a bounced ball lands on the net or rim, or the ball rolls across the net.
Tetherball is a game for 2 players. The game is played with a ball that is attached to a rope and pole. The object of the game is to be the first player to wrap the rope around the pole by hitting it with your hands. Players take turns hitting the ball in opposite directions. (This always reminds me of playing with some neighbor kids many moons ago and my neighbor got stuck to the pole and needed to be untangled by another kid’s mom, ha!)
Throw Throw Burrito and Throw Throw Burrito Extreme
Oh my gosh, these games are hilarious! Throw Throw Burrito is a game of cards and squishy-burrito chucking for 2-6 players. Players race to collect sets of cards while dodging burritos. It’s also available in an extreme outdoor version with gigantic inflatable burritos!
Tiki Toss is unbelievably addictive. We once stayed at a VRBO with a Tiki Toss and it got so much use! The game is mounted to a wall. It has a hook and a ring attached to a string. The object is to get the metal ring on the hook and it sounds sooo much easier than it is!
Toss Across is outdoor tic-tac-toe using bean bags. It’s good, old-fashioned simple fun.
We have several friends with trampolines and my teens love to play trampoline basketball! (And they sleep soooo well after an afternoon of bouncing and shooting hoops!)
Velcro Toss and Catch Game
Washers are a favorite among all of our dad’s friends. It is played as a 2-player game or in teams of two. And it’s very much like horseshoes. The goal is to get your washers into the cup by tossing them. The game is super portable and is a frequent flyer at our local pool.
Yard dominoes are a fun way to take your love of dominoes outdoors. We once attended a birthday party during which the kids played a few domino games with giant dominoes. It was a HUGE hit!
Yardzee and Farkle
More Games For Family Fun
If you’re looking to add more play to your family routine, check out the following resources:
And don’t miss these amazing resources:
- Never Board Learning
- Gameschooling 101: How to Add More Play to Your Homeschool Day
- FREE 7-Day Gameschool Kickstart
I hope you’ve enjoyed our favorite backyard games. If we’ve missed your favorite, please leave a comment below! We love hearing from you!