Need some activity ideas for your next summer barbecue? Here are 50 fun backyard games that you can play as a family or with a gang of friends.
2. Kick the can
3. Hide and seek
4. Capture the flag
5. Musical chairs
6. Red rover
7. Red light, green light
9. Double dutch
10. Simon says
11 Kick ball
12. Four square
14. Steal the bacon
15. Duck, duck, goose
16. Octopus tag. As players are tagged, they lock elbows with the player who is "it," and then work together to tag other players.
17. Flashlight tag. Tag played at night with a flashlight.
18. Shadow tag. In this version, the person who is "it" must tag the other players' shadows using their feet.
19. Freeze tag. When players are tagged they must "freeze" in place until they are "untagged" by another team member.
20. TV tag. Similar to freeze tag but in this version, the person unfreezing the frozen player has to call out a TV show title. That show then can’t be used again during that game.
21. Rock, paper, scissors tag. Divide the players into two teams. Teams huddle together and choose which hand signal to throw (Remember rock crushes scissors, scissors cut paper, and paper covers rock). Both teams line up in a faceoff and on the count of three throw out their hand signal. The losing team must race back to their own base before getting tagged by the other team. Any player who gets tagged must join the other side.
22. Blind man’s bluff: The person who is “it” wears a blindfold and tries to tag the other players.
23. Marco Polo. In this classic game, one player is "it" and must keep her eyes closed while searching for the other players. Every time she hollers, "Marco," the remaining players must yell back, "Polo," thereby briefly giving away their location.
24. Dolphins and sharks. Participants are divided equally in half as either "sharks" or "dolphins" with either end of the pool serving as the safe zone for one or the other team. One person is then assigned to call out either team name, and when they do, all members of that team must try to swim to their safe zone without getting tagged by the other team. If they do get tagged, they become part of that team. The game ends when all participants are on one team.
25. F-I-S-H. Similar to the game H-O-R-S-E that is played with a basketball, in this version, players perform a skill in the pool — such as a flip, handstand or dive — that the others must repeat. If they can't do it, they get a letter. The first person to spell FISH loses.
26. Follow the swimmer. Just like follow the leader, but this version is played in the pool and all players must mimic exactly what the leader does. To keep it fair, players should have the same swim skill level.
Games with toys
27. Backyard bowling
31. Jump rope/double dutch
33. Cat's cradle
41. Hackey sack
42. Hula hoop
44. Potato sack race
45. Obstacle course
46. Relay race
47. Three-legged race
48. Frisbee tic-tac-toe. Create a tic-tac-toe grid on the back of a shower curtain. Set six frisbees out and have the kids stand behind a line and see who had the best aim!
49. Trashbag piñata. Fill a lightweight trash bag with water. Tie it shut and hang it up. Blindfold the kids and let them swing at it with a stick or broom until it breaks and they get a refreshing shower. Make sure the other kids stand clear of the piñata!
50. Sponge brigade. Divide players into two teams and have team members lie down side by side on the ground. Have the first player on each team hold a large, soaking wet sponge with his feet. Teams must use their feet to pass their sponge down the line and back. If a player drops the sponge, he may sit up to recover it but only with his feet.
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