Creative Child

10 Backyard Games for Parties or Family Fun

by Rebecca Eanes

These backyard games are great for birthday parties, sleepovers, get-togethers, or just plain ole family fun! I’ve pulled together ten simple yet super fun games to make your house the best place to hang on the block!


  1. Outdoor Twister is a fun game that is fairly simple to create. You’ll just need a circle stencil and spray paint in red, blue, yellow, and green. Here are instructions for creating a board big enough for a party! Alternatively, you could just bring the regular mat outdoors and make it messy by adding shaving cream to the dots. I’m not sure how they’ll keep from slipping and sliding all over the mat, but I bet there will be lots of laughter!

  2. Make your own bean bag toss game. There are instructions for a proper cornhole board here but if you’re looking for something a little more simple, a sturdy white trifold poster board will work well for a kid’s party. Just draw a monster on it and cut a hole for the mouth. Done and done!

  3. Turn your back yard into an obstacle course. I did this a few years ago with a few beams of wood, 4 old tires, a kiddie pool, and a homemade slip and slide with shaving cream. The objective was to run across the “balance beams,” sprint through the tires, slide down the slip and slide and end with a splash in the pool. You can use anything you have lying around – hula hoops, cones, ladders, etc.

  4. Create a Nerf battlefield. A few weeks ago, my tween son had several friends over for a birthday party. I pulled together a simple backyard Nerf war in about 5 hours. First, I purchased several cardboard packing boxes of different sizes. Leaving them flattened out, I secured them to wooden yard stakes and spray painted them. I hammered them into the ground in various locations for the boys to take cover behind. I also purchased several folding poster boards (like you use for school projects) and made them into targets. It was lots of fun for the kids and cost under $20.

  5. Play Use Your Noodle with a few pool noodles, about 20 blown up balloons, and a laundry basket. As explained on Parents, the kids must get the balloons into the basket using nothing except their pool noodles. Fun!

  6. Glow in the dark capture the flag is your next sleepover party hit! You’ll need two different-colored glow sticks for the flags. Divide the kids into teams and give team A glow bracelets that match their flag and team B the other color glow bracelets. Here are instructions on how to play capture the flag.

  7. How about a race with a blanket run game? It’s simple! Just pull your partner on a blanket across the yard as fast as you can. You can find the full instructions at Sweet Dreams are Made of These.
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