For kids (and adults, too), summer is all about being outside and finding a million different ways to have fun. From swimming to simple games, we found a few options that’ll keep your kids safely entertained for hours and hours right in your own backyard.
Of course, when you need a break in between games, check out these other ways to have fun in your backyard. Create your own outdoor movie night, grill up a tasty meal, or even explore the cosmos once the sun goes down. The good thing about summer is that there are comfortable temperatures and plenty of free time to try out all kinds of family-friendly activities.
Swim in An Above-Ground Pool
Serve Up a Game of Badminton
Level-Up Your Throwing Skills with Cornhole
Try Glow-in-the-Dark Lawn Darts
Blast Away in a NERF Gun Battle
Claim Your Stake in Croquet
Fire Away with Super Soakers
Hit the Mark in Bocce
Connect Four ... for Giants
Bump into Friends in a Bumper Ball
Strategize in Stealth with Laser Tag
Hands down, the best way to stay cool during summer (while having fun) is a pool. Investing in an in-ground pool is costly and requires year-round maintenance, so skip that and go with an above-ground pool instead. They’re way less expensive and are easier to fill up and keep clean. While a small kiddie pool is all you’ll need for toddlers, a medium-sized pool is your best bet for large families because it’ll provide plenty of space for splashing. Don’t forget to have music at your pool party, too!
INTEX 26723EH 15ft x 42in Prism Frame Pool with Cartridge Filter Pump
The 15-foot x 42-inch prism frame pool includes a cartridge filter pump.
If your family is competitive, Badminton is a great game to play. It’s inexpensive to purchase, and it works for teams as well as for epic one-on-one throwdowns. Thanks to its simple rules, it’s easy enough for kids to play, too. The shuttlecocks and rackets are lightweight as well, so they’re not likely to cause injury or break anything.
EastPoint Sports Badminton Sets Outdoor Games – Easy Setup Badminton, 4-Way Badminton, and Badminton Racket & Shuttlecock Sets
This regulation badminton set includes four rackets, two shuttlecocks, and a fold-up net and stand.
Though Cornhole’s roots come from tailgating, it’s become a popular backyard game and even a staple at restaurants and pubs, too. It’s fun for kids, but honestly, it’s super fun for adults to play, especially if you space the boards out super far. You can make the game your own by adding punishments or extra challenges for each side to complete.
Triumph Premium 2x3 Cornhole Set - Includes 2 Portable, Scratch Resistant Bag Toss Boards and 8 Cornhole Bags
The set includes two portable 2x3' boards, four red toss bags, and four blue toss bags.
Sure, regular ol’ lawn darts are a hoot and a half, but think about how awesome it’d be if it glowed in the dark so you could play it at night! The game is simple and the giant darts are soft and lightweight, making them easy for adults and kids of all ages to throw. It’s up to you where you place the glow-in-the-dark targets—on the ground or hanging from a tree branch for an added challenge. Be sure to let them charge beforehand if you’ll be using them at night, however. Game on!
Lawn Darts Game – Glow in The Dark, Outdoor Backyard Toy for Kids & Adults | Fun for The Entire Family | Work On Your Aim & Accuracy While Having A Blast
The two glow-in-the-dark rings and four darts come in a convenient carrying case.
Make sure you’re well-equipped for your next NERF battle. The colorful guns and their foam-tipped darts are fun for everyone, and you’ll be sure to win your next fight if you’ve got the right one in hand. You’ll also probably win if you’ve got a few of the larger ones stashed away in a bush somewhere for backup against your opponents. And don’t forget to bring your tactical vest that’s stocked with extra ammo.
Nerf N Strike Elite Strongarm Toy Blaster With Rotating Barrel, Slam Fire, And 6 Official Nerf Elite Darts For Kids, Teens, And Adults(Amazon Exclusive)
The Nerf N Strike Elite Strongarm blaster has 6 darts and a rotating barrel.
Kids Tactical Vest Kit for Nerf Guns N-Strike Elite Series with Refill Darts Dart Pouch, Reload Clip Tactical Mask Wrist Band and Protective Glasses for kids Boys & girls
The Nerf Guns N-Strike Elite tactical vest has extra darts and protective glasses.
Croquet is a game about patience and strategy … and knocking other players off the map. Croquet sets work for two to six players and can be set up in infinite configurations. Even though it’s supposed to be played on a flat grassy area, we won’t tell anyone if you wanna go nuts and set it up in the part of your yard that’s got dips or an incline for an added challenge.
ropoda Six-Player Croquet Set with Wooden Mallets, Colored Balls, Sturdy Carrying Bag for Adults &Kids, Perfect for Lawn,Backyard,Park and More.
This six-player set has colorful wooden mallets and matching balls, 9 wickets, and 2 ending stakes.
It’s hard to picture a more iconic summer activity than chasing around your siblings and friends with a water gun. They’re a great way to stay cool while running around, and they’re cheaper than buying a pool (bonus points if you’ve got both, though)!
2 Pack Super Water Gun(No Leaking), High Capacity Water Shooter Soaker Blaster Squirt Toy for Swimming Pool Party Sand Beach Game Outdoor Summer Fight Activity for Child Kid boy and Girl
These two water guns with unique colors can shoot 40 feet and hold over 16 ounces of water.
Bocce, or Italian lawn bowling, is yet another game that makes use of your target practice skills (and your competitive side). You’ll throw the pallino marker ball, then take turns trying to throw your team’s balls closest to it. Traditionally, Bocce is played with two teams, but you can purchase larger sets with gear for four teams if you’ve got a big group.
Bocce Ball Set – Outdoor Backyard Family Games for Adults or Kids – Complete with Bocce Balls, Pallino, and Equipment Carrying Case, Black, 7" x 3.5"
Store the four red balls, four green balls, and pallino marker ball in the cute carrying case.
Connect Four is already a fun game for the entire family, so of course it’d be even more fun in giant form. Team up and take turns trying to line up four coins of the same color horizontally, vertically, or diagonally in order to win. Don’t forget to strategically block your opponent from doing the same, however.
Amazon Basics Giant 4-In-A-Row Set - 3-Foot, Wood Finish
The wooden frame measures 3 feet and is sturdy enough to sit on grass or cement, and includes 21 coins in either color.
Inflatable bumper balls are fun for older kids and adults, and they’re a great way to stay active. Battle a friend and run into each other without worrying about getting hurt. Don’t worry—bumper balls have handles inside along with shoulder straps for added stability, and they’re highly resistant to wear and tear. Some brands even have confetti pockets or built-in LED lights for extra fun. Just remember to not overinflate them!
Keenstone Two Bumper Balls Inflatable Bumper Ball 1.2M/4ft 1.5M/5ft Diameter Bubble Soccer Ball Blow Up in 5 Min Inflatable Durable Bumper Bubble Balls for Kids Adults Physical Outdoor Active Play
The two inflatable bumper balls measure 5 feet and have interior handles and adjustable shoulder straps.
Sure NERF guns and super soakers are fun, but nothing beats a great game of laser tag! Pick teams and sneak around the trees and bushes in your backyard trying to tag the other team. It’s also worth investing in laser tag vests that have adjustable sizing, and guns with features like gun types, battle modes, team formations, life value indicators, speakers, and more so players can have a realistic laser tag arena experience.
Infrared Laser Tag, Upgraded Blasters Gun Toys with Vest Infrared Battle Mega Pack Set of 4 Indoor and Outdoor, Group Activity Fun for Kids Age 6 7 8 9 10 11 12+ Boys Girls by kidpal
This set includes four color-coded guns with four game modes and four vests with adjustable straps.
All of these games are great ways to have fun with your family outside this summer, but they’re not your only options. You’re only limited by your imagination. Hopefully, they keep your kids entertained or inspire you to create some new backyard games of your own!