By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
While you may not be able to go to as many events and attractions as you might like this season, it’s easy to create fun in your own backyard with lawn games. Challenge your family to these fun games.
Go big! “Giant” games, like Giant Connect-4-in-a-Row (www.target.com, $49.99), work just like your table games only bigger and better—and sturdier—for outdoor play. Find Jenga-style balancing blocks at Overstock (www.overstock.com, $80.99) and MegaChess (www.amazon.com, $179). Even though your children may not play board games inside, the novelty of playing them outdoors changes everything.
Available at Overstock, cornhole and other beanbag toss games (starting at $43.99) provide an easy game for children of all ages to learn how to play—even toddlers—yet they challenge adults’ skill. Like pitching horseshoes, you can give adults a handicap by increasing their distance from the target.
While metal horseshoes are traditional, Overstock’s rubber set ($22.39) is quite a bit safer for children to play if their aim is less than perfect.
Ladderball (www.target.com, $49.99) is fun for anyone who can throw a ball. Play on teams, individiually or even improve your skills thowing solo.
If you like variety in your lawn games, Target also offers a 4 Game Combo Set ($30), which includes flying discs, a volleyball, catching scoops and a small ball, two badminton racquets, birdies and a net.
At Kohl’s, (www.kohls.com), you can select from a few glow-in-the-dark or standard lawn darts ($19.99 to $29.99). Younger children may enjoy Giggle N Go’s Flarts set (www.amazon.com, $29.99) of inflatable darts. The set includes a standard dartboard on one side of the target and either a monster or a cute unicorn print on the other.
Kohl’s also sells a classic wooden ring toss game ($19.99). Don’t forget other classics like bocce ball (www.overstock.com, $49.49), driveway shuffleboard (www.overstock.com, $53.95), croquet (www.amazon.com, $46.99) and lawn bowling (www.amazon.com, $31). While they may seem old-school to you, if your children have never played these games before, it’s all new and exciting.
Change up your play with KnockOff!, a mash-up of flying disc and disc golf (www.amazon.com, $29.99) that challenges players to toss a flying disc at each other’s targets. Or, try the Phlat Ball (www.overstock.com, $26.99), which is a disc that pops open into a ball shape while flying through the air for a quirky game of flying disc.
Spikeball (www.target.com, $59.99) mixes elements of handball with volleyball, as two teams volley a small ball on a trampoline-style net. If you don’t have enough room or people for volleyball, Spikeball fills the bill for two to four players 12 and older. Flying disc courses are like golf for flying disc’s, so bring home the challenge with Innova Disc’s set (www.walmart.com, $29.95).
Flickin Chicken (www.barnesandnoble.com, $19.95) is like minature golf, but played with goofy, bouncable rubber chickens. The concept is simple, but the game is challenging.