The Best Yard GamesBY RUMA AKTER | OCTOBER 22ND, 2019 | LAWN CARE, OUTDOOR
Remember the good old days, before our phones became our primary tool for recreation? Back then, family games ruled summer in the yard, and no one would dream of not owning a game set to bust out along with the barbecue. It’s time to bring back the good old days by bringing out the best yard games.
Exercising is becoming rare, starting in childhood. Pediatric occupational therapist Angela Hanscom says, “Ideally, kids should be playing outside three hours each day.” She also believes the skills gained in play help children learn how to make friends and successfully interact with others.
So how do you pick the lawn games the whole family will enjoy? As long as you have two functional thumbs and an Amazon account, a world of yard games new and old await you.
The Classic Lawn Games
- Bocce Ball
- Lawn Darts
What baby boomer doesn’t remember growing up playing badminton? All you need is a net, birdies, and racquets. Portable badminton sets allow you to take the game to the neighborhood park or a friend’s house. Bocce ball is another portable game that comes with a carrying case. It’s a national pastime in France and can be played on a court or a lawn. Pack it up and take it to your next tailgate party.
No tailgate party or camping trip is complete without a cornhole set. This classic game is arguably the most popular bean bag toss game of all time. The rules are simple: Throw bean bags toward corn hole boards, aiming for the hole. A deceptively simple, undeniably great game.
While some form of croquet has been around since the 1300s, modern croquet caught on in 17th century England. It was such a craze that, according to the London Telegraph, “only tobacco smoke spread faster through the English empire.”
It maintained its popularity with help from “Alice in Wonderland” and the movie “Heathers,” and no wonder: It’s a cutthroat yard game disguised as a mild-mannered, upper-crust entertainment. Play on a large lawn, but in a version of extreme croquet, almost anything goes. Six players play at a time. If you prefer a more aerobic game, grab a frisbee and head out to the backyard. You’ll need good hand-eye coordination, and a willingness to jump and the flying disk. Step it up, and get a team together for a game of ultimate Frisbee.
The original game of lawn darts was a longtime favorite but was deemed too dangerous to sell after one accident too many. Fortunately for us, there are versions of the game available with weighted darts that lack the metal spikes that made the original so dangerous. Same old fun, without the trips to the ER.
Modern Lawn Games
- Flickin’ Chicken
- Giant Connect Four
- Giant Jenga
- Ladder Toss
If you’re not interested in the games your parents played, a new wave of yard games is making the backyard party rounds.
Flickin’ Chicken is a new twist on the classic ringtoss that features effortlessly easy rules made to be broken. And you get to toss rubber chickens. Great for the whole family and little athletic ability required. Another kids’ favorite is giant connect four. It’s not the most portable lawn game, but worth the trouble.
You’ll need a flat yard, or at least a flat surface if you want to play giant Jenga. Just like the tabletop version, only much bigger, this is one of those outdoor games that you can play with two or 20 people.
Another great game for parties and camping trips, ladder toss is a game where you toss bolas (which look like large golf balls) at a “ladder” for points. Sometimes known as ladder golf and ladder ball, play this game in groups of four with two teams of two.
Looking for a twist on the traditional volleyball game? Try your hand (or hands) at spikeball. This reinvented game from the ’70s got a boost from appearing on the TV show “Shark Tank.” A cross between volleyball and four square, it’s best played two-on-two. Teams take turns bouncing the ball off a mini trampoline-like net and your opponent tries to return it. You score points when the other team misses.
Choose the Best Yard Game: 5 Questions
Start by asking yourself the following:
- How athletic are the players? To avoid over-exertion, stick to cornhole, croquet, or ladder toss. Spikeball and badminton are for players seeking more cardio.
- How much space do you have? Frisbee, croquet, and bocce ball are for bigger yards.
- How old are the people who will be playing? Small children will certainly enjoy giant connect four and giant Jenga more than games that require a lot of hand-eye coordination, while much older players may not appreciate a vigorous game of bocce ball.
- How many people will be playing? Some games have unlimited numbers of players, and others are more suited to two-on-two or even one-on-one.
- How competitive are the players? Spikeball and croquet will bring out the competitive juices; giant Jenga, giant connect four, or flickin’ chicken less so.
So put away the cellphone and the hammock, and break out the games. We promise more fun at your next get-together! And your body will thank you for the physical activity.
Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard!
- Lawn Mowing and Maintenance in Fort Worth
Fort Worth has something to make everyone smile – plentiful sunshine, a square-jawed Western heritage, taco and barbecue joints everywhere and museums and universities galore. And lawns. Lots of lawns that need mowing watering and trimming. Here’s a guide to how to keep your Fort Worth lawn happy so you can spend more time on […]JULY 8TH, 2019
- Pflugerville, TX Homeowners: How to identify and eradicate these 6 common weeds
Living in Pflugerville, Texas certainly has many benefits. Being a suburb of Austin offers Pflugerville residents big city amenities and attractions close to home while still enjoying the charm of a small Texas town. However, a problem that plagues both big city and small town alike are common landscape weeds. Homeowners often find that if […]FEBRUARY 13TH, 2019
- Dallas Homeowners: How to Care for St. Augustine Grass
Caring for St. Augustine grass St. Augustine grass thrives in Dallas, Texas making it a favorite for homeowners in the area. The grass is tolerant to the Texas heat, can survive small periods of droughts and can grow in just about any soil type. The grass is characterized by its dark green hue and dense […]JULY 3RD, 2018
- The Definitive Guide: St. Augustine Grass
An Overview St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), also known as ‘Carpetgrass’, is native to the Gulf of Mexico coast lines, the West Indies and Western Africa. Records from long ago have reported the presence of St. Augustine grass as a seashore pioneer along the Atlantic coasts of Africa and the Americas. Prior to 1800, the […]APRIL 28TH, 2019
- The Worst Weeds in Your San Antonio Lawn
Here are the five worst weeds that San Antonio area homeowners have to contend with, from chickweed to thistle.JULY 12TH, 2019
- Worst Weeds in Jacksonville (and How to Get Rid of Them)
Finding any weed in your Jacksonville lawn can be frustrating, but some are easy to control with common lawn sprays. But, there are a few weeds that require a bit more work.AUGUST 6TH, 2019
- The #1 2019 Phoenix Watering Guide: Conserving Water
Phoenix, AZ is no stranger to tumultuous droughts, especially during summer and spring seasons. The conservation of water is especially important in this area to support local guidelines in year-long drought protections. While a green lawn may seem unattainable here, there are watering techniques that make grass very efficient in conserving water with not very […]APRIL 3RD, 2019
- Native Plants For Virginia Beach
Native plants are low-maintenance and beautiful, adding color to your garden without guzzling a lot of water. Here are five of the favorite native plants for Virginia Beach.AUGUST 9TH, 2019
- How to Edge a Lawn
Proper lawn care is more of an art than a chore. Nowhere is that more evident than in lawn edging. Your neighbor’s perfect lawn and crisp edges might make you jealous, but with a few simple tools, a little patience, and a lot of practice, you can achieve the clean lines of perfect edging. Here […]OCTOBER 15TH, 2019
- The Worst Bugs in Dallas (and How to Get Rid of Them)
Texas is bug heaven. With 100,000 types of insects known to exist in the United States, one-third can be found in the Lone Star State. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “Texas has more different kinds of insects than any other state.” With our long, hot summers and 40 or so inches of […]JUNE 18TH, 2019
- Guide to Summer Lawn Care in Tampa
Whether you care for yard grass yourself or hire a lawn service, it would be a mistake to neglect it, that is, unless you really want an invasion of weeds, thatch and insects.JULY 31ST, 2019
- Kansas City Watering Restrictions
There are no current watering restrictions in Kansas City, which gets an abundant supply of water from the Missouri River. But conservation is still a good idea.AUGUST 1ST, 2019