Monday, May 27, 2013

8 Awesome Summer Backyard Activites!

This summer you can turn your backyard into the hot spot for your kids, their friends and all your neighbours.   Try a different one of these activities each week or put them all together for a backyard carnival.


Tic Tac Toss:

An old sheet or tarp can be transformed into a giant tic-tac-toe board.  With Frisbees as your markers, the game just got taken to a whole new level of fun!

Tic Tac Toss - backyard fun
Image & Idea:

This is a great game because you can use beanbags for younger kids and Frisbees for the older ones.  Frisbees will increase the challenge.

Materials Needed:

  • Large sheet or tarp
  • Duct Tape
  • 8 bean bags or Frisbees - you need 4 of each of two colours


The instructions for a making your own Tic-Tac-Toss game are very simple and don't really need explaining.  But for check out some tips for playing over at

Backyard Twister:

Every kid likes to play Twister.  There's something about getting all tangled up with your friends that is exciting for kids.  But why keep the fun indoors?  Let your lawn be your canvas!

Spray Paint Twister - Backyard Fun
Image & Idea: Eucharisteo

Materials Needed:

  • Spray paint in Green, Blue, Yellow & Red
  • Circle template cut out of cardboard
  • Spinner - either from the original twister game or homemade


This is your classic game of Twister and Eucharisteo's photo is very self explanatory but she does have a great method for making her circles and keeping them lined up perfectly that you might want to check out. Need to make your own spinner?  The DIY Showoff has a great pictorial for you.

Bean Bag Toss:

Transform inexpensive colourful bowls from the dollar store into a fun bean bag toss.  Simply line them up, give them a point value and you've got yourself a great carnival type game!

Bean Bag Toss - Backyard Fun
Image & Idea: One More Moore

Materials Needed:

  • 5 Large Plastic bowls in various colours
  • 5 bean bags
  • Cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Markers (optional)
  • tape


I'm sure you've all tried the bean bag toss at some point in your life and know how to play.  One More Moore's point values are so cute and definitely worth aspiring to.

Soccer Croquet:

This game is a combination of soccer and croquet and is made by re-using old pool noodles (remember this fun idea for pool noodles).  With a wide open space the kids can practice their dribbling skills, run races, and have a jolly good time mixing two of England's favourite pastimes.

Soccer Croquet - Backyard Fun
Image & Idea: Inner Child Fun

Materials Needed:

  • Pool Noodles
  • Exacto Knife or scissors for cutting pool noodles
  • Garden stakes
  • Ball(s)


Valerie at Inner Child Fun explains how to stake the pool noodles so that they will stay and has some fun variations for play.

Balloon Chopsticks:

The kids will be challenged by this game at first as they try to pick up as many balloons as possible and put them in the baskets using only pool noodles but eventually they'll learn that with teamwork the whole thing gets a lot easier.

Image & Idea:

Materials Needed:

  • Pool Noodles - cut in half
  • Balloons
  • Laundry Baskets


The object of the game is to get as many balloons in the basket within an allotted amount of time.  See the simple lesson kids will learn at

Water Balloon Pinatas:

When the weather turns hot and the kids need to cool off, here's a fun alternative to the sprinkler and works wonders if you don't have a pool.  What kid doesn't like a pinata and these ones are filled with water!

Image & Idea: Scrap Happy Heather

Materials Needed:

  • Balloons
  • String
  • Water
  • Bat or stick for breaking balloons


Basically you need to fill your balloons and hang them from somewhere that the kids can reach them.  But, that being said, Heather at Scrap Happy Heather has some good tips about the amount of water to use and how best to secure those balloons.

Giant Kerplunk Game:

Okay, this one takes a bit more skill to make and costs a bit more too but once you've done it, you'll have it forever.  What a great addition to a cottage.

Image & Idea: This Old House

Materials Needed:

  • ½-inch birch-veneer plywood
  • 2x4 for the legs
  • 4-foot welded-wire garden fencing
  • 2-foot bamboo plant stakes You'll need at least 90
  • Plastic pit balls - Get about 100 (available at major toy stores)
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Stain-blocking white primer Spray paint in three colors
  • ⅞-inch wood screws
  • 2 ½-inch trim-head screws
  • Wood glue
  • Wood filler
  • Painter's tape


I can't begin to tell you how to make this but lucky for us This Old House has a video instruction for those of you who want to take on the challenge.  Just making it might be your fun summer activity!

Snack Toss:

Lastly we'll get back to something super easy, super silly, and bound to be a hit if you pull this out of your back pocket when the kids say they're bored.  

Image & Idea:

Materials Needed:

  • Shower caps
  • Shaving cream (alternatively - whipped cream from a can)
  • Cheesies 


Teams must put on a shower cap, apply the shaving cream and then toss cheesies at their teammate.  The team with the most cheesies sticking to their cap is the winner!  Scared the kids might eat the cheesies with shaving cream on them, substitute whipped cream for shaving cream!

I hope you and your family have some fun with these ideas this summer.  I know we will!


  1. Awesome ideas....for the past six years we host a block party in our back yard at the end of the summer. We are all retired folks and are always in search of fun games.... some of these are just what we were looking for! Thank you!

    1. I'm so glad you found the post! Your block party sounds fantastic. We've had a neighbourhood party for the last 10 years, it is such a great way to reconnect after the winter.

  2. What a fantastic list of activities! I'm pinning this to refer to it when we feel like slathering ourselves in defense of the mosquitos to go play outside! ;-)
    Thanks so much for linking up at the Real Family Fun link party! Hope to see you next week.

    1. Those mosquitoes get in the way of everything. I hope you do try some of the activities and the mossies leave you alone for a fun afternoon.

  3. wow. These are awesome ideas. I wish my kids were a little older... thanks for linking up at the pin it proudly link party. I can't wait to see what you link up this week.

  4. Enjoying summer with family is the best and unforgettable things in our life. thanks for this impressive tips.

  5. For Tic Tac Toss, what do you use to pack everything into when your done? It looks like a fun game for kids and something they would really enjoy. Also probably helps motor skills.

  6. I like all of your ideas except for the snack toss. I just thing that a better item that is not a food could be used instead. We are so blessed with food every where that we forget what a precious resource it is for others. I understand that cheese puffs are barely food but as much as they are junk food, they are food non the less. Food, unless is going to be consumed later, should never be wasted in the name of fun. Since food is cheap enough to waste, how about buying food to donate to a food pantry and skip this wasteful game.

    1. You could use packing foam peanuts. They are shaped just like the cheesies.

  7. All of these ideas are fantastic!! Including the food!!! Thanks for all the ideas!! I'm hosting a party for older people and I think everyone of these will bring them joy and lots of laughs.

  8. All of these ideas are fantastic!! Including the food!!! Thanks for all the ideas!! I'm hosting a party for older people and I think everyone of these will bring them joy and lots of laughs.


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