7 Great Outdoor Games for Families

7 Great Outdoor Games for Families

Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or you just want to get outside and play as a family, you’ll want to enjoy some great outdoor games for families.

The games you’ll enjoy with your family need to be age-appropriate, which can be challenging when some kids are in their teen years while others are barely much more than toddlers. Still, even with a wide age gap between kids, some games can be a lot of fun, especially when you head outside to play.
Here are seven great outdoor games for families to enjoy together.

Bean Bag Toss

Whether you create a holiday-themed cardboard cutout for your kids to enjoy tossing bean bags through or you purchase a cornhole game, there are some great ways to play with bean bags while outside. Another fun way to play with them is to set up a tic tac toe board and allow the bean bags to represent the X’s and O’s on the board. Tossing bean bags while enjoying some company and the warm weather is a great way to spend time outdoors together.

Capture the Flag

If you’ve got a neighborhood of kids or you’re having a family gathering, one of the best outdoor games for families is Capture the Flag. All you need is two flags which can be two different pieces of fabric or paper. Divide the outdoor space and split the players into two teams. This game is best with at least six players. The idea is to grab the other team’s flag without being tagged out. The team that captures the opposing team’s flag successfully is the winner of this fun outdoor game.

Horse (or Pig)

Horse is a classic basketball game that can be played if you have a hoop next to your driveway or patio. All you need is a hoop and a basketball. If you have younger kids, let them use one of the smaller Little Tikes hoops to play. The idea is to get the other person to spell horse by making shots that they can’t. When you make a shot, and the next player misses, they get a letter. This goes on until HORSE is spelled out.

Kick the Croquet

Instead of mallets and hard balls, set up a croquet court using a kickball and hula hoops. The hoops work as the wickets for kids to kick the ball through toward the goal. Each child that completes the course receives a set number of points. Add up the points after all kids have had a turn to determine the winner. This game will take a bit of creativity to set up because you’ll need to find a good way to secure the hula hoops to the ground using garden stakes.


Like Horse, in SPUD, the idea is to spell out the name of the game. All you need for this game is a group of people and a ball that can be thrown at others without hurting them. The “it” person tosses the ball high in the air and yells out the name of one of the other players. As soon as that named player grabs the ball, they yell spud. The other players were running away during this and must freeze when spud is shouted. The “it” person then throws the ball at another player, and if contact is made, they become the “it” person and receive a letter. As each player spells out SPUD, they are then out of the game.

Duck, Duck, Goose

Duck, Duck, Goose is one of the best outdoor games for families, especially if they have young children. Everyone sits in a circle while one person goes around the outside, tapping all players on the head or shoulder. With each tap, they say either Duck or Goose. Once they shout Goose, the person they tapped must get up and chase them around the circle to the empty seat; if caught, the first person does it again; if not, the tagged person becomes the goose.


Here’s another great game for a barbecue or party. When lots of people are involved, a tug-of-war can become extremely competitive. You need a rope, a flag on the rope, and two lines drawn on the ground. Split players into two teams, and when “go” is shouted, the players grab the rope and pull against each other. The first team to make the flag cross their line wins.

Will you incorporate any of these great outdoor games for families into your next party or event?

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