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Yard Games

Yard and beach games have been a staple of many of our lives since we were children. There are a variety of benefits to enjoying some fun outdoors and away from video games. One of the best aspects of playing these kinds of games is that they are very versatile and can either be enjoyed by the whole family, friends, or even just played alone for fun. Depending on the game, you may find that many of these are much less expensive to get started than what one would typically expect and are great games to play at home if you’re bored. For the price of a night out at the movies with the family, a premium version of a yard game (i.e. cornhole) can be had for a lifetime.

Two happy women playing big chess in yardGiant Board Games

Now, there are some games that have stood the test of time – and one of these is Checkers. What better way is there to enjoy this classic game than outdoors on an outsize carpet style board with all those waterproof pieces? There is a version available from Amazon that is simply perfect. One side if Checkers and the other is tic tac toe. Perfect for the entire family from y9ungest to oldest. At $20 or less, you are not going to find a classic game that offers better value.


Cornhole has become an American classic that is rapidly spreading across the world. It’s easy to learn and fun for everyone. As a bonus, you can easily transport one of the newer types of foldable boards to a friend’s house to enjoy fun in the sun. The simplicity of the game makes it ideal for a number of audiences – from college students to the family enjoying a day on the beach. It’s one of those games that has become a classic for outdoor fun – and for good reason.

Giant Jenga

The idea of an evening playing Jenga on those cold winter nights is one that has attracted many people to this game for decades. It’s another game that is easy to play – but requires a strategy that makes it incredibly fun. But there are versions that will transport that fun from the living room to your backyard – and provide outsize excitement to boot. For those who want a healthy dose of fun and laughter some of the outsize Jenga type sets that are now readily available check all the right boxes. They are tremendously easy to set up and every game is completely different from the one before. It teaches the younger members of the family hand/eye coordination and provides hours of fun for everyone. There are a number of manufacturers that manufacture the giant blocks from renewable sources and the wooden construction makes this game a welcome alternative to the plastic that seems to be more and more a part of our lives. Besides this, the younger members of the family will enjoy setting up that challenging tower that will foil the best efforts of the older bunch.

Set of balls for playing bocce on the lawnBocce Ball

If you and the family want classic fun and want to simply enjoy a challenge then a Bocce Set is the way to go. This is a variant of the ancient game of boules. Or the French variant of pétanque – however, it takes these pursuits to new levels of fun and is perfectly suited to both young and old. It combines strategy with hand-eye coordination as one attempts to get closest to the ‘jack’ with weighted balls that can be made of clay, or even plastic – but many purists prefer the metal type made popular in the French version of the game. This is a game that can be a wonderful distraction or as competitive as one likes. Playing on grass or sand can reward a competition between two people or teams. Also, learning how to make a Bocce Ball court of your own is relatively simple. Once again, a game simple to learn but fiendishly difficult to master. Strategy and accuracy are rewarded a wayward throw should be treated by howls of laughter.


Now, there are certain games that have stood the test of time – and remain firm family favorites across the world – and one of these is horseshoes. It’s a game that is incredible in its simplicity – but remains a challenge to those who have never played it before. Of course, the original with an iron base to aim at and the classic horseshoes makes many parents or caregivers uncomfortable – but today there are alternatives. Several manufacturers, such as Champion have elevated safety to new heights. Cheaper versions use plastic shoes – but they simply do not have the heft of iron. The Champion version uses heavy rubber which gives a far more authentic experience – but is that much safer than tossing pieces of iron around.

Beer Pong

Beer Pong is what students do. But there is a wonderful outdoor set that consists of 12 huge buckets that can be filled with water or sand. The standard rules (at least set by frat boys) might apply – but this game can make it fun for the whole family. Sink all of the balls and win a cupcake – or a cocktail, the choice is entirely up to you.

Spikeball (Roundnet)

Spikeball is relatively new to the outdoor game genre as it has only been around for a decade or so. Considering it is so new, it is surprising how quickly it has caught on and become popular. The game is inspired by volleyball and consists of a ball and a net. While it is derived from volleyball, it is vastly different in many aspects. The ball is made of plastic and is much smaller. Furthermore, the net is a small round net instead of a rectangular net attached to 2 poles. The object of the game is very simple. Two – four players surround the net and attempt to make the ball as hard to return, after bouncing it off the net, as possible for the opposing team. Although the game is simple to learn, a solid spikeball strategy can make the game much more compelling.

Fire up that barbecue, take the pool cover off, and dust off the dog -let’s just get out there and have some fun with those we hold nearest and dearest. Make some memories in the sun.


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