Few things spell trouble (or property damage) like a bunch of kids who have already gone through every board game in the house. Now, with summer just around the corner, parents all around the country are busy preparing new ways to keep their little squads pleasantly occupied, from fun backyard games to frequent trips to nature. Let’s find out what are the fun things to in your backyard when you are bored.
It is downright impossible to spend the entire three months of summer vacation at a beach house or summer cottage – and in many parts of the world, fairs and carnivals are not quite possible yet. So it will be up to you to have a few tricks up your sleeve!
So what are some fun things to do in your backyard when you are bored? The answer for large groups includes scavenger hunts, hide and seek, obstacle courses and balloon fights. For older or smaller groups (and even restless couples), board games, bonfires or a DIY project may be the key to home fun.
Fun Backyard Activities You Can Try Out
The activities we have included here all require a backyard, a group of inventive people, and some preparation. However, they will provide wonderful at-home events and create lasting memories for the whole family. Don’t forget the sunblock!
For large groups with small kids
These activities will be ideal if you are in charge of entertaining a group of 6 people or more, or if it includes kids under the age of 10.
Nature Scavenger Hunts
A nature scavenger hunt combines some hands-on contact with nature with a healthy dose of competition. Plus kids love the opportunity to play detective – so why not channel that into physical activity?
Organizing a nature scavenger hunt is not as difficult once you know where to start:
- Choose a theme
- Pick a big prize and 5 small prizes with clues hidden inside them
- Sprinkle the clues around the backyard: use bushes, a tree, flowerbeds or the dog house!
- Set the starting point and the deadline, and scream “GO!”
Hide and Seek
This timeless game always manages to show up on any list meant to showcase activities for kids. There’s a good reason for this: the mechanics are simple, everyone knows the rules, and it has just a bit of a physical component that will get all the kids appropriately tired before dinner time.
If you want to spice things up a bit, try out:
- Sardines: instead of one seeker and an unlimited number of hiders, try one hider who tries to escape from everyone else.
- Secret wave: whenever the seeker finds someone, they team up to find everyone else.
- Blocko: Assign a spot to act as base or “blocko”. The seeker must start their search at this point, and the hiders must try to find their way back to the Blocko to be “safe” from the seeker.
An obstacle course
When compared to the other activities on this list, building an obstacle course at home is a more involved project. That being said, you won’t need to hire a carpenter to install a few safe obstacles for your kids to jump through.
Try it out with jumping on top of discarded tires, zigzagging between traffic cones, tiptoeing on top of pool noodles, or even hanging some water balloons that the kids should try to squeeze between.
If you have a pool cabin or a treehouse, turn it into the final line!
For smaller groups and couples
If you have a smaller group of older kids, or if you are one half of a restless couple, the following activities can replace the usual board games or movie nights.
Also known as Viking Chess, Kubb is a surprisingly addictive backyard game in which two people or two teams try to knock wooden “kubbs” by throwing batons.
Sounds simple, right? The game is very easy to pick up by new players. However, it includes shifting lines, luck, and good-eye coordination – so you may need a rematch!
To get started with Kubb, you’ll need a Kubb game set. Here’s the best we have found so far.
Bonfires require adult participants, or at least, adult supervision. Even if you won’t keep all snacks PG-rated, one is never too old to roast marshmallows and bake mud pies.
If your backyard is small or your home is made from wood, bonfires may not be the safest alternative. Try building a smaller version on top of a BBQ grill instead.
Most people don’t think of water fights as casual and friendly fun, which is why we are including this in the “grown-up” section. However, if the crew can promise to keep their aggression in check, nothing will make an evening go by as quickly as a water fight.
Keep things safe by staying outside and wearing comfortable, easy-to-wash clothes. You can also spice things up by organizing a “conquer the hill” scenario, where a team has to make their way through a bucket of water balloon “grenades”.
Having to stay at home this summer is no excuse to be bored. A staycation is a great opportunity to build lasting memories with your immediate family. These are just some of the backyard activities and games that your kids will love – you just need to set a date to organize everything.