Dana – give this a summer publish date, and add some affiliate amazon links? Thanks!
School’s out for the summer, and all around the country moms are busy coming up with activities to keep our kids happy and active. One great way to do this? Get everyone outside for some family fun time. Although there are plenty of traditional games from which to choose like bocce ball, badminton and Marco Polo, you can also add your own twist to things. You and your kids will all love these backyard activities:
Most kids adore playing Twister. To play the game outside, take some of their water-based paints and enlist their help painting large circles in a grid right on your grass. You can also use ground-marking spray off Amazon; the water-based paint won’t hurt your grass, and it will eventually wash away. Use the traditional red/blue/green/yellow color scheme or have everybody select a favorite color. To be sure the lines of dots are straight, lay some string across the grass as a guide. Once the dots are dry, grab your spinner from the game and get ready for some serious “right foot red” and “left hand blue” fun.
Swimming Pool Games
If you are fortunate enough to have a pool, you can really up your outdoor game ante with the kiddos. If you and your kids love golfing, surprise them with the Pro-Chip Island from In The Swim; you can take turns chipping golf balls from the side of the pool onto the floating green, while one of you holds the floating target in place in the water. The Pro Chip Island comes with a dozen colorful golf balls and an 18th hole flag.
Another fun pool game is Pool Noodle Jousting; head to the dollar store and stock up on those ubiquitous pool noodles. To play, one or more kid can ride on inflatable rafts and use the noodles to try to knock the other kids into the water.
Badminton With a Twist
Head to your local big box store and pick up a badminton game. Once they tire of the traditional game, make it a bit more challenging by covering the net with a sheet; this way, players aren’t able to see the other players, and it’s more difficult to predict where the birdie will fall. Also try playing sitting down or backwards. If you have tennis racquets and balls on hand, you could also try volleying tennis balls over the net. Set up a friendly competition with your kids and reward everyone with fudgsicles and a movie on DVD.
Cornhole With Water Balloons
Instead of using bean bags, play cornhole with water balloons. You can either purchase a cornhole board from a local sporting goods store, or you can make one yourself by following these directions from the DIY Network. Although a regulation cornhole board must be a certain size, you can certainly customize it with paint colors. Then, instead of the regular beanbags, fill up some water balloons and see who can toss them into the hole. Younger kids can stand closer to the board and the older kids can try it from across the yard. When you are done playing, have an old-fashioned water balloon battle.