outdoor games

Fun Outdoor Games for the Whole Family: 10 Ideas for Fun and Active Backyard Activities

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Video games, social media, and streaming platforms have us spending most of our free time indoors, glued to screens. But there’s an undeniable charm in the age-old tradition of outside games that no digital platform can replicate. Remember the rush of wind as you raced your friends, the thrill of a well-thrown ball, or the satisfaction of winning a challenging game under the open sky? To rekindle those memories, we’ve compiled a list of 10 fun outdoor games that promise to sweep you and your family off the couch and into a world of laughter, camaraderie, and health competition.

outdoor games

Whether you’re planning a family get-together, a neighborhood challenge, or want to relive those playful childhood moments, our list has something for everyone. Dive in and let the games begin!

1. DIY Obstacle Course 

Looking for competitive family games? Then set up a DIY obstacle course. You can challenge each family member’s agility and speed using simple household items. 

For part of your course, you could take large cardboard boxes, open both ends and line them up to create a tunnel. Then have a chair limbo with a pool noodle or broom laid horizontally between two chairs – get creative! Time each round, cheer for the fastest, and have a blast.

2. Nature Scavenger Hunt

One of the most interactive family outdoor games is a nature scavenger hunt. Kids love the thrill of discovery, whether in your backyard or a nearby park, making it one of the most educational and fun outdoor games.

3. Water Balloon Volleyball

Perfect for summer, this game adds a splash twist to conventional volleyball. Using a towel between two teams, teams toss water balloons back and forth, trying not to let them burst.

If you want more of a challenge, use volleyball rules – no one can catch the balloon; everyone has to bounce it back and forth quickly.

4. Giant Outdoor Board Games

Taking board games outside is a great way to supersize fun and bond as a family. This concept combines the joys of fun outdoor games with timeless board game classics. For instance, you could set up a game of giant checkers, using chalk to draw your board and frisbees for checker pieces.

You can make almost any board game a giant outdoor version with a bit of creativity. Think about games like Snakes and Ladders with players acting as the game pieces, or even a massive version of Scrabble with homemade, big letter tiles.

5. Flashlight Tag for Nighttime Fun

As the night settles, the fun doesn’t have to end. Flashlight tag combines the thrill of tag with the mystery of the night. It’s the kind of outdoor children’s game that’ll have kids eager for sunset.

You could even turn it into a game of capturing the flag by dividing your property into two areas with teams defending flags on each end. When someone gets hit with a flashlight, they must wait for a teammate to rescue them.


6. Lawn Bowling

Lawn bowling is the perfect way to enjoy bowling outdoors. Take ten empty plastic bottles as your pins and substitute the bowling ball for a rubber or small soccer ball. Use chalk or tape to mark the starting line.

You can also add a bit of sand or water to the plastic bottles to make them more stable and challenging to knock down. Divide players into teams for a collaborative and competitive family game.

7. Tug of War

This outside game is a test of strength, teamwork, and strategy, and it’s a great way to promote communication. All you need is a long, sturdy rope, a piece of cloth tied to the middle of the rope, and chalk or tape to mark the middle ground and pull limits. Just make sure you fairly divide your teams up, keeping their strength in mind.

You can place a kiddie pool at the center for an added twist. The losing team may end up in the water, increasing the stakes!

8. Backyard Mini-Olympics

Capture a slice of the Olympics excitement in your own backyard. A backyard mini-Olympics is a series of fun outdoor games and competitive family games channeling the Olympic spirit.

This activity encourages physical activity, teamwork, strategy, and a bit of friendly competition. Host an opening ceremony and pick a theme for added fun. You can use some of the games for this list or borrow right from the Olympics – a javelin throw with pool noodles or soft foam rocks.

9. Outdoor Pictionary

Pictionary can be a fun outdoor game that offers laughter, challenge, and the occasional display of questionable artistic talent. Bringing this classic game outside with the help of sidewalk chalk makes for one of the most fun outdoor games, combining creativity and physical activity. 

Whether your canvas is a driveway, backyard patio, or a public sidewalk, outdoor pictionary offers a colorful and engaging game for all ages.

10. Story-led Adventure Games

Dive into a world where stories come alive, and the backyard transforms into a fantasy realm of quests, mysteries, and challenges! Story-led adventure games combine the immersive power of storytelling with the interactive fun of outdoor games.

Have your family embark on a journey following a narrative, completing tasks, solving puzzles, or facing challenges to progress in the story. You can use a story script or outline to start and build your adventure from there. Get props like costumes, treasure chests, maps, and prizes or rewards for the story’s conclusion. 

For instance, you could set the scene with a story about a pirate who buried treasure in your backyard. Provide maps or clues, leading participants on a scavenger hunt. Along the way, they might face challenges like “crossing shark-infested waters” (walking on a plank) or “fending off rival pirates” (balloon swordplay).

Dream It. Build It. Live It.

While you’re outdoors, laughing, playing, and enjoying those fun outdoor games with your family, have you taken a moment to look around? Does your backyard truly represent the oasis you dream of? If the space around you doesn’t match the joy of the memories you’re making, it might be time for a makeover.

At LiveWell Outdoors, we believe that your backyard should be more than just an open space; it should be a sanctuary, a place of relaxation, entertainment, and beauty. Our team, boasting over 20 years of experience, specializes in creating luxury outdoor living spaces tailored to your dreams. From enchanting pools and patios to outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, we offer various services to transform your backyard into an outdoor oasis.

Don’t settle for a backyard that’s anything less than your dream. You can explore our extensive portfolio and get inspired. When you’re ready to live well outdoors, let’s talk. Schedule a call with us, and we’ll pave the way to your personal piece of paradise

Get Inspired!

Check out our free luxury Outdoor Oasis Dream Guide with some amazing ideas for building your luxury experience.
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