Family Lawn Games for Kids to Play Outdoors
Trying to get your kids off the screens and outside? Or looking for ways to spend more time together as a family? These lawn games for kids and families are the perfect way to tempt them away from devices and outside for some serious family fun and bonding time.
Whether you want a fun DIY lawn game project you’ll use all summer long, or a game that’s already done for you, this list has you covered. These are our favorite family yard games with something for everyone from games for older kids and adults to yard games perfect for your toddlers to join in the fun too (there’s even one with bubbles!).
(Looking for more outdoor family fun? Check out this list of 25 camping games for kids!)
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25 Popular Lawn Games Kids Love
My husband and I made this lawn game 10 years ago, and we have gotten so much use out of it!
The game is very similar to bowling in that you set up logs that act as pins with the goal being to knock them over.
It only takes about 30 minutes of hands-on time to turn some old logs into a lawn game your family can enjoy for literally a decade or more to come.
Lawn darts have been around since the 1950’s, and they’ve stayed popular ever since. I remember when I was just a little girl playing with a set at my grandparent’s farm, so I have some serious nostalgia tied to this beloved game.
We recommend this set as a fun update and upgrade to the old fashioned fav. It’s… wait for it… glow in the dark! That automatically makes anything cooler for kids right? Easily entice them into some twilight family lawn games in the backyard with the cool factor.
Dice are used in so many fun games! And many of them can be played outside in the yard.
Of course, you can purchase some yard dice, but making them adds an extra activity you can do together with older children. Not to mention it might be a little cheaper if you have some of the materials just sitting around your house.
Once you make these really easy DIY yard dice you can reuse them for so many different family lawn games (Yard Yahtzee!). I can even picture using these for teaching little ones to count, add, and subtract!
Now that you have your yard dice, DIY or purchased, Put them to use with this simple, but addicting game.
Cooties brings back some memories for me. I remember Cooties being a fixture in a lot of my elementary school classrooms. It’s a classic game, but using yard dice gives it a fun twist.
Plus, it’s easy enough for even preschoolers to get in on the action, but engaging enough for the whole family to do together.
Croquet is a quintessential family lawn game, and it’s even fun with kids.
While I’m a great DIYer, I think creating a wooden mallet from scratch is a bit above my skill level. Which is why I love this croquet set.
The easily assembled mallets are made of hardwood, the balls are weather-resistant, and the steel wickets have a vinyl coating. So they’ll be durable, even with the abuse children can inflict on toys, and even toddlers can handle these mallets to join in the family fun.
Off with their heads! I can totally see reading and watching Alice in Wonderland with the kids and then dressing up for a game of croquet outside. Plus these DIY flamingo croquets are just sooo cute!
The best part is they look really impressive, and would be perfect for a themed lawn party, but they are deceivingly simple to make. That’s because you don’t make the mallet from scratch, but rather give a croquet mallet a little makeover with some paint, a drill, and the good ole plastic yard flamingo.
You could use any croquet set or mallets you’d like. The ones we shared above would work perfectly, or even keep an eye out at second-hand stores or yard sales to score a cheap deal.
JEEEENNNGAAAA! I couldn’t help it. I still yell it out in my head whenever I see the game Jenga. It’s just too fun. (Tell me I’m not the only one who remembers those 90’s Jenga commercials, am I?)
This DIY project supersizes the fun with a gigantic set of Jenga, coming in at three feet tall! It’s big but short enough that toddlers and preschoolers can play with you. A great game for them to work on some motor skills while the whole family has fun too.
And this isn’t just fun for the yard. It makes a great family game in the house too. We once had an epic giant Jenga tournament at a family Christmas party indoors.
And if you’re not much of a DIY-er, buy your family’s giant Jenga set here on Amazon!
If you’re looking to DIY a fun lawn game for the family, but aren’t into woodworking, try this one!
To make this DIY tic tac toe game you don’t need any wood, saws, or paint. Just some foam board, a sheet, and duct tape plus a few simples tools. A more mature child could make this one all on their own with minimal supervision (depending on how much you trust them with an Exacto knife).
Tic tac toe might be a basic game but it can also get quite competitive, and the simplicity of it allows a wide age range to play together.
We played this game at my kid’s birthday party. And I can promise you, hilarity will ensue if you play this game.
This game is really easy to put together with just a few materials you probably already have. Yay for upcycling those Amazon boxes!
And it’s easy to play. The only downside is the cardboard feet aren’t super durable. So, they get beat up pretty quickly. Plan to make new sets on the regular if you play often.
Luckily they are easy to put together.
An essential yard game. This one has been around for basically ever. Horseshoes were derived from a Roman game from as far back as the 1st century.
However, I don’t really want some iron stakes that are permanently pounded into the ground in my backyard. It just doesn’t seem quite kid-friendly.
This set I’m recommending though, is lightweight and rubber, making them much safer and easier for little arms to throw.
If you need a kids’ lawn game for a big group, this one is a winner. There is no limit to the number of people who can play, and kids from 4 and up can join in the fun.
This unique game is kind of like a mix between charades and rock paper scissors. It’s easy to play, and will definitely lead to lots of giggles and silliness.
Cornhole is a staple in anyone’s lawn game collection. Sets can get pricey, especially if you want a customized set. To cut down on costs, why not make your own?
This tutorial only requires a few pieces and steps, and they even clearly lay out how to do more challenging steps, like cutting out the hole in the board.
Plus, are these cornhole boards snazzy looking, or what? You’ll definitely have the coolest cornhole set at the family reunion next summer!
If you don’t have the tools or skills (or time or desire) to create a cornhole set from scratch, but want to do a *little* DIYing, this set is perfect for you.
This wooden cornhole set comes assembled and ready to go out of the box with bean bags, a tote, and a carrying case. It is also made of wood that is easily painted and customized.
Either start playing right away, or put your creativity to work personalizing the boards with the design of your choice.
You’ll need bean bags with your newly DIY’d cornhole, right?
This tutorial has instructions on how to make your own bean bags, and even a way to turn them into an additional bean bag toss game. I like this tutorial because they tell you how to reinforce the bean bags so they are well constructed and hold up to plenty of tossing.
Just like the DIY yard dice above, bean bags are also really versatile and can be used in a lot of different games so your work will go a long way.
I was kind of shocked by how many awesome games you can create with the humble pool noodle.
This tutorial has four different pool noodle games you can easily create at home. We might be focusing on lawn games for kids and families right now, but a couple of these pool noodle games could easily be adapted for indoor family fun too!
Sponge bombs are the perfect family lawn game for hot summer days! It’s like a water balloon fight, but reusable.
Instead of having to constantly buy latex balloons over and over again, which is bad for your wallet AND the environment, make these sponge water bombs instead.
All you need are sponges, twine, and some scissors to make these sponge water bombs. Soak them in water and you’re all set for some serious backyard fun that’s perfect for a hot day.
If you went all in on making the sponge bombs above, you can also use them for this game of sponge toss!
I love when you can use a DIY project for more than one use. It feels like all the effort (and money) I put in was really worth the investment.
The sponge toss game is as effortless as setting up buckets to toss your sponges into. Move them further and further away to increase the difficulty!
I also let me kids take these sponge bombs in the pool to toss around. So, they are really pretty versatile for summer fun!
And don’t put away those sponge bombs yet. They would be the ideal projectile to use for this water tarp yard game.
This game is basically bringing a carnival game into your backyard using some pretty basic supplies, which you might even be able to improvise in a pinch.
I’m sure this setup looks pretty impressive to kids (and adults too!). But no worries, it’s not too complicated, and the tutorial walks you through every step of the process.
Plus you can choose to make only parts of it at a time if you’re not ready for the full carnival set up in your backyard.
I couldn’t make a list of yard games without including bocce ball. Like a few others on the list, this one has a long and treasured history and is a well-loved game in my family.
This game is literally ancient, with documentation of it dating back to even 5200 B.C.
But you don’t have to raid an ancient Egyptian tomb to get yourself a set. We love this one. It comes in a classic resin option or a soft rubber option which would be perfect to use with kids who might not be the most accurate with their throws.
We’ve had a lot of fun with this backyard game over the years at barbecues and family parties. And I’m sure we’ll continue to “bocce” for years to come.
This game is similar to cornhole, but instead of bean bags you use washers. There are also three holes in the boards, each hole being worth different amounts.
This tutorial is probably the most difficult one on the list, but for someone who has done any woodworking in the past, it’s fairly straightforward. There are plenty of pictures to help walk to you through, which is really helpful.
I’ve seen this lawn game all over the place! From tailgating to backyard parties, kids and adults alike absolutely love playing this ladder toss game.
This set that we recommend is easy to assemble and comes with a carrying case. So you can take it from your lawn to others in a snap.
It might be a little more difficult for little kids, but that is also what makes it more fun than something like cornhole for the older kids and adults.
If you want to save some cash, or are just DIY obsessed like I am, you can totally make your own ladder toss game.
The materials are basically some PVC pipe, rope, and balls with just a few tools needed. It looks like a really straightforward tutorial, and if you have some of the materials around your house already, then give it a try and keep some money in your pocket.
Who doesn’t love a pinata? Every time I go to a kid’s birthday party (or throw one) the pinata is a major highlight. And this easy DIY version lets you make this party favorite a more ordinary day kind of thing! How excited are your kids going to be? Yay!
Plus, I’m obsessed with paper mache. First, it’s a throwback to the days of doing craft school projects. Secondly, my kids love it too.
This is a DIY even the little kids can help with is so much fun, and it will keep them entertained for a long time. Plus, there are a few different steps to complete over the course of a few days, so it could really be like a week-long family project.
You could even have everyone make their own! And then the pinata fun can happen over and over again.
Blow your kids’ minds with DIY giant bubbles!
I’ve seen kits to buy for making these in the past, but being able to make them yourself is really cool. The materials you need are simple and inexpensive. You probably have most of them already.
And my kids have had a ton of fun with this as a backyard game. Who doesn’t love bubbles? And they are definitely a the bigger, the better kids activity.
5 Reasons to Play Family Lawn Games
1. Family Yard Games Create Bonding time
As kids get older they spend less and less time with you. So any opportunity to spend some quality time together is precious.
Playing family lawn games together creates memories you’ll talk about for years and years to come. I still remember playing yard games with my cousins, aunts and uncles, and parents at my grandparents’ house when I was a child.
2. Getting the Family Outside
Fresh air and sunshine are some of the best medicines out there. Going outside with the family away from the distractions of TV’s, tablets, and phones provides a much needed break from technology.
Plus a chance to reconnect with nature so the whole family can recharge. When anyone in my family is in a funk and having a grumpy day, I get us all outside. It completely changes our attitudes, getting us back into a good vibe.
3. Lawn Games are Good Exercise
We have a tendency to think of exercise as this thing we have to force ourselves to do. Like it’s hard and can’t be fun.
But the truth is that chasing your kids around the back yard with some DIY sponge bombs is every bit as much exercise as an elliptical machine.
Not to mention so much more fun! I know I’d rather be outside with my kids playing yard games than at a gym.
4. Backyard Games Can Help Kids Develop Skills
The best way for children to learn and develop in the early years is through physical activity and playtime. A lot of the yard games for kids on this list help kids develop tons of skills like counting, addition, gross motor, and more!
5. Lawn Games are Fun for Family Gatherings
There are so many times I go to a family function and see some cousins I Iove but haven’t talked to in years. It can be a little awkward to renew those relationships.
Lawn games you can play with your family are perfect for making family gatherings a lot more exciting and a chance to get to know each other all over again.
Plus lawn games are great for inter-generational play when you have family members across all age ranges.
The Best Yard Games for Families
Finding your go-to lawn games to play with your family will make this (and many more) a summer to remember. You can’t go wrong with any of the yard games on this list.
Whatever you choose to do, whether it’s building cornhole boards from scratch or getting wet with some sponge bombs, it will be a chance to bring your family closer together and create memories you’ll treasure forever.