Family Games for Life Out Here
7 backyard competitions that are easy to set up, unique, and just plain fun
If you’re searching for ways to pass time with your family, look no farther than your backyard. With a mix of miscellaneous items you have laying around your house, you can play unique and quirky games that will provide a lot of laughter and memories. The best part? Most of the games require little to no real skill—so everybody can join in and have a blast!
While we’ve outlined rules and guidelines below, we encourage you to make these games truly your own. If you don’t have an item listed below, or you have another idea to make the game more competitive, feel free to improvise. You can mix and match one to two games to play, or you can put together a blown-out family Olympics competition with prizes for the winners—even if they’re just bragging rights.
To up the stakes even more, we’ve created a printable bracket for your family to use to challenge your friends and neighbors, near and far. Challenge them via social media, email, or text, and get the games going.
Whichever way you decide to play, you’re guaranteed to have a great time.
Suggestions Before You Get Started
- For optimal fun, we suggest playing with 4 or more people. Use our printable bracket below to challenge your neighbors to a game.
- Get spirited! Choose a team color and name.
- Go all out with an opening ceremony. Sing a song or learn a dance to kick off the games in a memorable way.
Here are seven backyard games to try with your family and friends:
1. Egg Race:
Competitors place the handles of a standard spoon in their mouths. Then they balance an egg in the bowls of the spoons. While balancing the eggs on the spoons, competitors race from a designated point A to point B. The first person across the finish line with a fully intact egg wins!
2. Whipped Cream Face:
Divide up into teams of two. Use a sticky, safe substance, like whipped cream or shaving cream, and rub it all over your partner’s face. Then grab light snack food, like small cookies, chips, or cheese puffs, and toss them at your partner’s face from a reasonable distance, trying to get the cookies or chips to stick on the face. You and your partner have to keep your feet planted in designated spots, though. After the allotted amount of time is over (we suggest 1 to 2 minutes), the team that has the most snack foods stuck to their member’s whipped cream face is the winner!
Note: This game is a good option to use our printable bracket and challenge your neighbors!
3. Rubber Chicken Toss:
Mark a designated throwing spot. The person or team to throw their rubber chicken the farthest from that spot wins. If you don’t have rubber chickens lying around, find something similar in light weight to throw safely.
4. Marshmallow Launch:
This one is simple, and all you need is marshmallows. Every participant places a marshmallow in their mouth and the person or team that can spit it the farthest wins. No hands allowed!
5. Wheelbarrow Relay:
This is a game you can truly make your own. Using items you have on hand as obstacles or check points, set up a relay race that can be done with one person steering a wheelbarrow and another person sitting inside the wheelbarrow. Have the teams weave through cones, pick up items on their way to the finish line, or something else; the more obstacles or tasks, the better! If you want more of a challenge, blindfold the person inside the wheelbarrow so they can’t warn their partner of upcoming obstacles. The first team to finish the relay and cross the finish line wins.
6. Frisbee Fill:
Fill frisbees to their rims with water. Set up a race route, and have participants carry the water-filled frisbees across. If they spill, they have to go back to the start. The person to make it to the finish line first wins. If you don’t have frisbee’s on-hand, find another item that is shallow in depth and will easily spill. To make the game longer, add an extra element at the end: have competitors fill up a bucket with water only using their frisbee.
7. Dizzy Whiffle:
You’ll need a whiffle ball bat and ball for this game. Lean the bat handle-up on the ground. Have the participant lean over and place their forehead on the end of the bat sticking up and spin around 5 to 6 times, until they’re sufficiently dizzy. Then have the person stand up straight, have another person toss them the whiffle ball, and the dizzy player attempts to swing and hit the ball. Play as many rounds as you want, but the team to hit the most balls wins. You’ll definitely get a laugh out of this one!