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5 Great Games to Play in Your Yard

Updated on August 23, 2012

Great Lawn Games for Fun!

Are you looking for great games to play in your yard? There are many great backyard games to choose from. If you don't yet have any yard games you need to start stocking up now. Yard games are fun for playing on the weekend, gatherings with friends, family reunions, football tailgates, and many other reasons.

One of the best thing about yard games is their portability. It is easy to bring your favorite game to a friend’s house, on a vacation, or to the ballgame. You will appreciate how much fun you can pack into a small space in your trunk by bringing along a yard game.

These fun lawn games are not only great to play but also to watch. It improves the atmosphere of any backyard gathering to have a game or two in progress. For those not playing, being spectators may be just as much fun, especially if there is a little taunting going on.

Lawn games are inexpensive and make great gifts for dads, young married couples, college students, or kids. They are unexpected but appreciated holiday or birthday gifts that will get a lot of use over the years.

If you are looking for some great choices for popular yard games, consider these favorites.


Bocce is a classic game that is great fun for 2-4 players. This is one of the best spectator games as well, as almost anything can happen, especially if the entire yard is used to play.

In bocce a player simply tries to roll his ball closest to the target ball to get points, but in the back yard this game gets real interesting, especially if you avoid too many rules and bring your landscape and terrain into play.

You will be amazed at how close some balls get and how bad others are. That makes the spectator value of bocce pretty high. It's also a game that everyone can handle, from kids to seniors.


Washers is a game that you may not have heard of but it is one of the great backyard tossing games. Washers doesn't take much space, making it a great choice for a small yard or tailgate.

In this game you attempt to toss your washer into a small box to score points. A circle in the middle of the box is worth more, and teams play to a set limit. Washers is good for 2 or 4 people and is easy to pack up and bring along in the car.

Another great thing about washers is that you can make it yourself if you are handy. Just piece together a box and use a 4 inch PVC pipe for the center hole, get some washers from the hardware store, and you're set.

Ladder Toss

Similar to washers, ladder toss is a tossing game but instead of a box you are tossing connected balls to a "ladder", usually made of plastic or PVC material. Ladder toss is fun to play and watch, and the crazy thing that happen during play will keep every player in it right to the end.

This game needs a little more space as the balls tend to be thrown rather high but it is all as fun as washers and also targets the 2 or 4 player set.

Like washers, you can make your own ladder toss game if you really want to. Just use PVC pipe and fit them together to make the ladders, then drill a hole into two golf balls and use epoxy to attache a cord. Simple.


Croquet used to be in every yard in America but seems to have been somewhat forgotten. It takes more space, but a whole set of people can plan and it is fun to watch. Croquet is one of the classic summer yard games. Here you attempt to be the first to maneuver your croquet ball through a series of hoops and poles.

The game ends up with interesting twists and turns as players may strike each others balls and players who go past a hoop must backtrack. At some point a player may also be faced with the choice of knocking an opponent back or moving on, which can be interesting.

When buying a croquet set, opt to spend a few dollars more to get past the entry level sets. The mallets will be of higher quality and last much longer. You'll be happier in the end.

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If you have the space and the need to entertain more people in the activity a net game like badminton is just the thing. Here you can accommodate a few more people. Though badminton is great for one-on-one or teams of two, more can play if you have the space.

You will need a grassy space for this game since the nets are staked into the ground, but setup is easy and both pack into a bag that is easy to put in the car. Badminton really doesn't take up much space in storage or in the yard, and the shuttlecock that is used is pretty safe for nearby people or windows.

If you want to really accommodate a group, move up to volleyball. Otherwise, badminton is a great compact choice.


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