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Lawn Darts: The World's Most Dangerous Toy

Updated on August 29, 2017

The Deadly Toy We Loved

When I was in college, my teenage brother had a set of Lawn Darts. We loved to play whenever I came home for the weekend. We would spend hours in the backyard, tossing the deadly spears back and forth at little plastic rings on the grass.

Sometimes the sharp metal tips of these Lawn Darts would land near our sandalled feet, and we would make our wide-eyed gasps of "close-call" delight. The element of danger was part of the fun. This was no kids' game!

Lawn Darts were banned in the United States in 1988, after multiple deaths due to the sharp points of these metal-tipped projectiles. Safer replacements have since been produced, and the updated Lawn Darts, called Jarts is still a fun lawn game.

Photo credit

The Original Jarts Lawn Darts - Now Banned

Here is a close-up view of the original game of Jarts Lawn Darts with the metal tips.

A Safer Version of Lawn Darts - Jarts

The old version of Lawn Darts with metal tips has been replaced by a safer version. Jarts is played the same way, only the deadly metal tips have been replaced by plastic weights.

Enjoy this fun lawn game at your next backyard barbecue or camping trip!

The Updated and Safe Version of Jarts - Safe Lawn Darts

These gentlemen demonstrate the new, safe version of Jarts. Looks like great family fun!

Lawn Darts Poll

Did you have a Lawn Darts game?

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Two boys playing lawn darts in the 1970s

Two boys playing lawn darts in the 1970s
Two boys playing lawn darts in the 1970s

Give Your Opinion on Lawn Darts

Do you think Lawn Darts should have been banned?

lawn darts
lawn darts

How to Play Lawn Darts

Lawn Darts is played much like the game of horseshoes. The game can be played by two players or two teams, who stand across from each other. Each team has a goal, a ring of plastic placed on the ground, and the objective is for each team to toss as many of their darts into the other team's goal as possible. Each dart landing inside the ring scores one point.

When playing Lawn Darts, each player must take care to remain out of the other team's firing range. The original darts from the 1980s contained deadly metal tips which were capable of penetrating the human skull when thrown by a strong adult.

Lawn Darts Are Dangerous, Banned & Illegal

The U.S. Government banned the sale of lawn darts in 1988 and advised anyone who had these games in their possession to immediately destroy them. If you have one of these deadly games, please destroy it for the safety of people and pets who could be harmed from its misuse.

Lawn Darts Poll

Are the new versions as fun as the original Lawn Darts?

See results

Videos of People Playing Lawn Darts

Whether you love lawn darts or another backyard game, tell us about it here!

Did you play lawn darts? Do you and your family have a favorite backyard game?

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    • MomwithAHook LM profile image

      Sara Duggan 

      6 years ago from California

      I think the safer version of lawn darts would be more popular among parents. This is something I think my boys would love to play. Our favorite game to play outside is water tag.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Safer toys is just a smart thing to do.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      We always play horseshoes in the summer when I visit my family in the mainland.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Another really dangerous thing for children is trampolines. I've seen many videos (supposedly funny) of children being injured on these.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 

      6 years ago

      "Squid Angel blessed."

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 

      6 years ago

      Yikes. they were pretty deadly. Sorry that some actually died. You look at those sharp things, and think, well duh!

    • lkamom profile image

      Heather McGlaughlin 

      6 years ago from Marryland

      We loved those type of lawn darts. When I was a kid I didn't think about the dangers of them. However, now as a mother myself, those things could put an eye out. Great lens.


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