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IBX Insights

Let the Games Begin: Backyard Fun and Competition for Families

By August 1, 2019July 25th, 2023Well-being

A mother and daughter play with hula hoops in the park.

Summer is here and the kids are out of school — it’s the perfect time to get outside! But, you may notice that your kids would rather sit inside and watch TV, play video games, or scroll through their social media.

If you’re looking for ways to get the kiddos active, why not get the whole family together (or even the entire neighborhood) for fun outdoor games and activities and a dose of healthy competition — right in your backyard. Bonus: it’s a great way for the family to spend some quality time together this summer, too!

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

Setting up your own backyard competition doesn’t necessarily require a lot — all you need is some open space and a few pieces of equipment. From old-school classics to new favorites, you can mix it up so that there’s something for everyone!

Ready to play? Here are some ideas for fun games and activities that will get the kids outside and the good times rolling:

Old-school classics

  • Hula hoop contest. Get moving and shaking with this classic toy! Hula hoops are inexpensive and straightforward to use. Challenge each other to get the hula hoop spinning around your waist and see who can keep it going the longest. You can even add some music to make it more fun!
  • Kickball. Bring on nostalgia from your days in the school yard with this classic favorite. Similar to baseball, kickball is played with one ball, two teams, and four bases. The object is to score more runs than the other team by kicking the ball and running all the bases. When not kicking, the opposing team must prevent the other team from scoring runs and getting them out by catching the ball.
  • Three-legged race. In this game, two participants complete a race with the left leg of one runner strapped to the right leg of the other. It will take teamwork to get to the finish line without falling over in laughter!
  • Tug of war. Bragging rights are on the line for this one! In this contest of pure physical strength, dueling teams tug on opposite ends of a rope until one drags the other over a central line.

New favorites

  • Spikeball. It’s the new sport sweeping the nation! Described as a combination of volleyball and foursquare, this game is played in teams of two. The game is started by a player serving the ball down onto the net so it ricochets up at his opponents, who has up to three hits between team to return the ball back onto the net.
  • Kan Jam. This incredibly popular and interactive game is played with flying discs and two cans. Play consists of four players divided into teams of two. Score points by tossing and deflecting the flying disc.
  • Ladder Golf (also known as ladder ball). This lawn game is perfect for families — it’s played with two or more players or teams. Each player has three golf ball bolas. The object of the game is to wrap your bolas around the steps of the ladder.

Go All Out!

When holding your own outdoor summer games, feel free to get creative! You can host an opening and closing ceremony, make your own medals or crown the winners, and even create uniforms (different colored shirts are an easy option). The most important thing is to have fun and get moving with your family!

Looking for more ideas for summer activities for kids? Check out this list of 101 Fun Things To Do in the Summer from Parenting magazine.


Veronica Serrano

Mother. Wife. TV junkie. Shopaholic. That’s me in a nutshell – outside of work. As a copywriter at IBX, I enjoy learning about the health and wellness topics that I write about and hope to incorporate more healthy habits into my daily life to give me the energy to keep up with my baby girl.