Look having a green lawn is a great way to improve the value of your home, but it also makes a great place to hang out with family and friends.
And what's the point of spending so much time caring for the lawn if you aren't going to make use of it?
So once you have perfected your lawn, why not spend some time in it with the family?
Below you will find 15 often overlooked activities that you can enjoy with your family today, and all summer long.
So once you have the yard cleaned up, what are you waiting for? Let's dive in!
1. Bean Bag Toss
“My favorite family-friendly backyard game is bean bag toss. It's very easy to play and setup - cheap too! You just need some bean bags and 4 or 5 bowls or containers. You then choose a throwing line (you can draw one with chalk or just use a stick) and put the bowls at different distances and assign them scores depending on how near or far they are - 5 points for the nearest, 10 the next etc. up to 50 for the furthest. Each player gets 5 throws and then whoever has the highest score at the end wins. It's very simple but the kids love it and even adults find themselves enjoying and getting into it. Especially the competitive ones!”
- Sally Gibson Founder and owner of Someone Sent you a Greeting
2. What’s the Time Mr. Wolf?
“This is great for little kids as it encourages counting as well as being fun! One person plays Mr Wolf and stands facing away from the other children, who stand in a line some way back from Mr Wolf. The children ask Mr Wolf what the time is and they must move forward as many steps as he answers (e.g. 5 o’clock = 5 steps forward). At any point in the game, Mr Wolf can announce it’s Dinner Time and he must chase all the other children and catch one who becomes Mr Wolf in the next game.”
-My name is Zoe and I run a family website called Loopla
“One of my family's favorite backyard activities is playing with a frisbee. We enjoy throwing the frisbee together, but also set up a few simple games. We will set up a target and see who can land the frisbee closest. Or play frisbee baseball where a player throws the frisbee and then runs around bases. The best part about frisbee play is that it's easy to keep a collection of frisbees on hand and to find them on a moment's notice. This is helpful when the kids want to just get outside to play.”
-Natalie A writer for One Simple Party.
4. Outdoor Movies
“As compact, high-quality digital projectors become more common and more affordable, the back yard is becoming a better and better place for family movie night or even for playing video games. Take advantage of those nice nights when they come along. Get everyone comfortable on the patio, pop some popcorn, and enjoy a movie together.”
-Todd Saunders, CEO of Flooring Stores.
5. Red-light Green-Light
“The rules are simple; someone will play the “traffic light.” He/she will face the wall or stand at least 5 meters away from the other players while saying red light/green light. When the traffic light says green light, other players must run from the starting line to the finish line. Then once the traffic light says red light, everyone should stop moving. Anyone caught moving by the traffic light while on a red light should return to the starting line. The first player who gets to the finish line first wins the game.”
-Arvie Narido, writer and gift researcher for Gift Rabbit.
“When I was a child, my parents would play skittles with me and my siblings in the backyard. It was always a lot of fun despite getting really competitive at times. One of the joys of family life is spending time together playing games. These memories are often some of the most cherished ones we have. I found that playing games together helped to build strong family bonds and provided a lot of laughs and merriment and so I wanted to create this wonderful experience with my own growing family.”
“Playing skittles in the backyard is a great way to spend time with your family and get some exercise in the process. It's also a fun game that helps improve your hand-eye coordination.. Skittles can be played by people of all ages, so it's a perfect activity for a summer afternoon. It's also a great opportunity to teach your kids how to play a sport and learn some important life skills, such as how to handle disappointment and how to win and lose gracefully.”
-Catherine Wilde and I am a homeschooling mom of three, founder of Soul Care Mom
Curious on how to play? Here are the Rules for Skittles
7. Scavenger Hunt
“A game or activity we like to play, as a family, out in the backyard, is a special type of improvised scavenger hunt we came up with. We basically all take turns naming a color, or a specific trait of some kind, and then everyone gets 30 seconds to quickly find something in the backyard that matches up. One point is won for every round you successfully find something that matches, and it can go on for as long as we want.”
“During the summer, when it gets hot, we like to add in a water punishment too. So if you don’t find something, you get a bucket of water thrown over you. It’s great for staying nice and cool and adds that little extra fun.”
-Rachel Fink, CEO & Founder, Parenting Pod.
8. 40-40 Home
“The premise is there is a home base at the center of the backyard, with one person guarding the base. Everyone runs and hides in the garden while the guard closes their eyes and counts to 50. The goal is to reach the home base and yelling out '40:40 home!' at the top of your lungs, without being seen by the guard. If you get caught, you are out. We could play this for hours with the entire extended family, including mom and dad, uncles and aunties. Most definitely one of my favorite pastimes as a child.”
-Chris from GardenBenchTop.com
9. Lawn Darts
"One of our favorite family-friendly backyard games is lawn darts. It's a great game for getting everyone moving and having some laughs. It's also a game that can be played by people of all ages. To play, you simply throw the darts at the target and see who can get the closest to the bullseye. This is a great game for warm summer days spent outside with family and friends."
-Amir Behrozi of My Home Dojo
10. Corn Hole
“While the game has been around for centuries, it's recently seen a resurgence in popularity, especially in the American South. I'm talking about Cornhole, of course. Similar, but definitely unique in its own way, to horseshoes, cornhole is a game of skill. However, it's not so complicated that small children can't join in on the fun either, which makes cornhole such a popular choice for families. You don't need very many supplies, and what you do need is simple enough that most people make their own cornhole set. You'll spend hours in the backyard, either playing against your family or with a larger group of family and friends.”
-James Green, Owner, Cardboard Cutouts
“The best backyard games are those that you can play spontaneously with your family whenever the opportunity presents itself. In our family, that means an activity that is good for a wide range of ages, doesn’t require any special equipment, doesn’t need more than a few players, and doesn’t need tons of open space (in case we’re at home and not at the park). Tag fits the bill perfectly! The classic backyard game is classic for a reason - it’s easy to play, and fun for all ages. Plus, you can always add variations to keep things interesting, like freeze tag, or ghost in the graveyard.”
-Alexandra Fung, CEO of Upparent
12. Cotton Bull Run
“The challenge is to move the cotton from one container to the other, blindfolded and using the spoon. Whoever transfers the most within a certain time wins. To make it a more fun activity, you can add a few rules such as “no one can use the other hand” or “picking the same color for the team”, etc. Though it seems easy to carry from one place to another, the real fun begins when you put the ball in the spoon and start moving. The ball drops and you only shift the “air” to the other pot with lots of waves of laughter.”
-Ronald Williams, founder of Best People Finder
13. Tug of War
Tug of War is a well-known outdoor game. When you have a sizable group of individuals of various ages, it is really enjoyable. Just make careful to evenly distribute the teams as much as you can. Using a rope designed for tug of war will prevent any subsequent hand injuries, and selecting one with a length of about 35 feet will leave ample space for everyone. It is the best and most fun game to play outdoors with your family.
-Tara Orcutt Writer of Veggieslicious
14. The Hopscotch Game
Chalk is all you need to start a game of hopscotch if you have a pavement or concrete deck. You will need to create a lengthy grid of interconnected squares. One square may be followed by two squares centered on it, but never more than two squares may be drawn side by side. Each square should have a number added to it, starting with one. You must hop on one foot for single squares and two feet for double squares to reach to where your rock landed after taking turns tossing a rock at the hopscotch board. It is really fun to play this game with friends and family.
-Rousseau Vestal, Founder of Find The Aisle
15. BBQ and Camping
"Backyard BBQ and camping are two of my favorite summer activities with my family. During summertime, we usually schedule our weekends with these activities as we love doing them as a family. My husband is a great cook so he's very good at preparing grilled meat. Then, we spend our afternoon doing some simple games like charades, tag, and other games that the kids love. Then at night, we do stargazing and take notes of the changing skies. We have been doing this for several summers already and until now, we are enjoying it. "
-Rachel, Co-Founder and Medical Practitioner of National TASC LLC
Enjoying the Lawn With Your Family This Summer
Look, you put a lot of pride into caring for your lawn. But it is important to take some time to enjoy it in the summer.
These outdoor games and activities can help you get hours of enjoyment out of your lawn this summer.
For the best results on your lawn this summer check out these steps to avoid a brown lawn.
And if your lawn has turned brown from the summer heat, don't worry. You can fix it easily by painting the lawn. Just make sure it's dry before you and your family get out and play!
And for more great tips for enjoying your lawn, check out our lawn care blog for homeowners.
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