This summer has been a little tough for me as far as coming up with ideas for having fun and making memories. We’re not able to get out of the house and enjoy summertime like we normally would, and the stress has been taking its toll on everyone. I knew my kids (and myself) needed something more. So, over the weekend I had the idea to start a new summer tradition and we held our 1st Annual Backyard Summer Games.
~This post contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase, at no additional cost to you. ~
When the whole family is cooped up in the house day after day, the tension gets thick. Whether it’s a financial situation, maybe it’s a time issue, or this stupid coronavirus that we’ve all come to hate, some of the things we love to do just aren’t possible.
This summer a vacation has been out of the question for us. We haven’t felt comfortable allowing the kids to take advantage of the Kids Bowl Free Program. The movie theaters have been closed, so no Summer Movie Express. Even dining out, which my kids think is the best thing in the world, hasn’t been on our radar.
Yet, out of this mess that is Summer 2020, has come something great for our family. We started a new summer tradition and held our 1st Annual Backyard Summer Games.
Preparing the Backyard
To make this more than just another summer day in the backyard, I did my best to go all out and tried to create the feeling of an official tournament.
We pulled out the canopy tent to create a cooling/hydration station. Under the tent we used the kids’ picnic table to hold things like sunscreen, beach towels, and a bucket of ice filled with drinks and ice pops. We also placed our lounge chairs under the tent so we could stay cool while watching the kids have fun. I even pulled out some unused balloons I had in the closet and decorated the front of the tent. Topping it all off, our favorite radio station blared in the background the whole time.
One thing I had planned to do, but ended up not doing, was plugging in a large shop fan and running the cord from the patio to the tent. Then placing a bucket of ice behind the fan while it runs. If you’ve never tried this, it is a game changer. Placing a bucket of ice behind the fan creates a flow of cold air versus cycling hot air. It’s like having air conditioning outside. And truth be told, about 15 minutes into the fun, I was regretting not doing this because it was HOT out. Next summer, this will be a MUST.
Regardless of the heat, at this point the backyard looked a little more official and we were ready to start our backyard summer games.
Let the Backyard Summer Games Begin!
My kids already have a bunch of stuff for backyard fun, so when I was thinking of games to play, I incorporated only what we already had. I didn’t spend any extra money to make this day special. And although I incorporated things the kids use and enjoy all the time, this day was different because we were doing it ALL and more!
Things We Used
- Kiddy Pool
- Slip ‘N Slide
- Homemade Bubbles
- Glove-A-Bubbles Wands
- Banzai Bop Bright Battle Pack
- Bunch O Balloons Water Balloons
- Dive Rings
- Diskee Toss
- Soccer Hurdles
- Donut Float
Games We Played
Bop Bright Battle – There was really no creativity here, but just a straight forward battle. The kids put on their Bop Bright blow up orbs and tried to knock each other down. They also used the hand orbs to punch each other.
Water Balloon Toss – Using a donut float, dive rings and myself, I created a point-based water balloon game. The kids thought this was fun because they got to throw water balloons at me instead of each other.
- Pop the water balloon in the donut float = 1 point.
- Pop the water balloon in the collection of dive rings = 2 points.
- Hit me with a water balloon = 3 points.
Bubble Warrior – Blow bubbles while your kids pop as many as they can.
Diskee Toss – The kids lost the frisbees that go with this backyard game, so we improvised and used the dive rings. The goal was to get as many rings in the buckets as possible. The further away the bucket, the more points earned.
Obstacle Course – I used anything and everything in our backyard to create an obstacle course and the kids ran it several times.
After the games were over, the kids spent another couple of hours just playing in the pool, on the slip ‘n slide and we also hooked up the sprinkler at one point. They also took a dip in the water in between games, just to cool off. This Florida heat is no joke.
Other Backyard Games
I get that you may not have some of the same backyard games that we have, which is completely fine. Here are some other backyard game ideas, including games you can purchase and DIY backyard games.
Backyard Games You Can Purchase
DIY Backyard Games
- Water Balloon Baseball from Overstuffed Life
- DIY Ring Toss from The Inspired Workshop
- Outdoor Tic-Tac-Toe from Sustain My Craft Habit
- DIY Cornhole from Scrappy Geek
- Frisbee Golf from Chas’ Crazy Creations
- Balloon Darts from She Knows
- DIY Giant Dominoes from The Country Chic Cottage
- Backyard Game Board from 36th Avenue
- Lawn Twister from One Good Thing
- Backyard Dice Game from Me and My Inklings
- Water Gun Shooter Game from Planet of the Apels
- DIY Backyard Ker-Plunk from All Parenting
- Human Ring Toss from Kid Friendly Things To Do
- Bean Bag Toss from Chica and Jo
Two of my three kids are still too little to be true competitors in games like this, so our 1st Annual Backyard Summer Games was more for fun. But once they get a little older, it’s going to be a full on competition, with prizes and all. I think it would be fun to display gold, silver and bronze medals, and give them out to the winners at the end of the games. Luckily, having three kids, each one would leave the games with a medal, so no crying.
Another option is to have just one medal or trophy, and give it to the winner each year. I think this a better idea for older kids and even adults who join in on the games. Just think of the bragging rights the winner would have, at least until the next year when they have to earn it back. Or oh, the upset when another family member takes the win. The bragging rights will have shifted.
I can’t wait for that level of competition in our backyard!
I can only imagine what next year’s Backyard Summer Games will look like because I’m sure throughout the year we’ll add more games to our collection and even use some of the DIY games listed above. What I’m most excited about though, is that an idea that started in what’s probably the crummiest summer of my generation, is something that will bring my family memories for years to come!
Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.