Family-Friendly Backyard Games

Don't spend summer as a couch potato. Get active outdoors with these fun (and cheap) ideas.

Create an obstacle course. Walk a garden hose tight rope, shimmy under a broom stick laid across two chairs, jump from hula hoop to hula hoop, skip in a straight line, and throw tennis balls or bean bags into a laundry basket turned onto its side. Want to get competitive? Use a stop watch to time each family member as they move through the obstacle course. The person with the best time wins.

Play pick pocket tag. Place handkerchiefs, face cloths, or other strips of fabric in each child’s back pocket (or tucked into the back of their pants). Have the children try to grab each other’s cloths without getting their own taken. The one who has the most cloth strips at the end wins.

Try a game of ball war. Use a garden hose to divide the backyard into two sides. Divide the family into two teams and place an assortment of balls on the line. Once “go” is shouted, each team member tries to grab a ball. Team members are not allowed to cross the line. The balls are then thrown at members of the other team. If the balls are caught, the thrower is out; if the person is hit with the ball, he or she is out. The team with the last person left wins the game.

Organize a backyard campout. You don't need to travel to a National Park or go far into the woods to create a camping adventure your kids will never forget. Create the ultimate campout right in your own backyard! Here's how to pull it off step-by-step…without leaving home.

Photo: Getty

This post is sponsored by Mott's.