Backyard Family Game Night Ideas

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Are you craving some good old-fashioned family fun? Well pack up the video games, turn off the TV and look no further than your backyard. As the weather warms up, so does the desire to be outside. Family game night is a wonderful tradition to have with your kids and one that they will remember as they grow up and have their own little broods.  It is a wonderful opportunity to build and connect with one another without the distractions of our technology-centred world. These nights can help kids learn important social skills as well, like problem solving, taking turns and the importance of learning how to win and lose appropriately (think: no temper tantrums because big brother won the game and not them). Since the weather is getting nicer, why don’t you consider moving your game night outside?

One of the great things about backyard family game night is that is can be done so inexpensively! There are so many games out there that you can DIY or use the items you already have at home. To get you started, we have gathered five fun ideas that you can use the next time you decide to take family game night to the great outdoors, starting with two games by one of our favorite game makers, Tactic.

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Tactic is a maker of unique and untraditional games that are a great addition to the ones you already have in your library! Not all games are suited for playing outside, and Tactic makes some really great ones. Two of our favorites are Molkky and the Big Yatzy! These games are already favorites in certain European countries and are played all over the world. Both games are made of 100%  wood so they are ideal for playing in grass or on a patio.

abigail big dice

Molkky is akin to bowling, with a peg instead of a ball. It can be played with 2 people or more and is great for kids of most ages. The object is to knock down certain numbered wooden pegs with a plain wooden peg, adding up points as you go. This game is not only fun for kids because it is 1) outside! and 2) involves throwing (which all kids love!), it also allows them to use some basic math skills along the way- a definite bonus!

Molky Collage

The Big Yatzy dice are just what they sound like: very large versions of the familiar Yatzee game we play here in the US! The goal is to make certain combinations of numbers to get particular “hands” like in a game of cards. These dice are over 20 times the size of traditional dice and made of sturdy wood so they are perfect for playing with outside, without fear of losing them in the grass. The game can be played with two or more people and is suited for multiple ages. We also love the versatility of these dice and how they can be used for other games when the kids tire of playing one.

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If you are outside, you may as well get your kids to burn off some of their energy! Why not try some classic backyard party games such as a three-legged race, a sack race or build an obstacle course? These games are fun and use items you already have at home (scarf to tie legs together and a pillow case). Not only will your kids have fun, they will get tuckered out as well. Another “get moving” idea is to create a simple scavenger hunt. This one can be done in the yard or around the neighborhood!

Scavenger hunts can be simple or complex, depending on the ages of your kids. If you are in your yard, you can ask your kids to find items that naturally occur in your area, such as a bird, a tree or a cactus. You can also ask your kids to think a bit more critically and have then find items of certain colors, shapes or textures. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

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Looking to put a back yard game twist onto some traditional games? Why not bring your twister board outside or create a giant scrabble game for the yard!  This great post on creating the perfect backyard scrabble game, tells you how many of each letter you need to make. Tic Tac Toe is another great game that can be easily adapted to playing outside.  Have the kids each paint some rocks all in a similar pattern and use some sidewalk chalk to play outside!

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So if you are feeling like your family game night needs some spicing up, grab some snacks, your game boards and head into the yard! Take advantage of the extra hours of daylight and help build some amazing family memories by spending some quality time outside, media free. These games will be a huge hit with your kids since they are so hands on. They can also be adapted for all sorts of ages.

Have you ever hosted a backyard game night? What are your favorite games to add to the mix?


Molkky | Big Yatzy


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Did some rain cancel your outdoor game night? Check out our post on how to refresh your INDOOR family game night and check out some of our favorite indoor preschool games by Wonder Forge!

Photo Credits: Our Three Peas

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Michelle; full time mama, part time blogger, wife extraordinaire. This busy mama to three “peas” is a lover of all things running, crafting and baking. A New England native and current desert dweller, she is the brains and wit behind the blog Our Three Peas, where she writes about the hilarious reality that is motherhood. She strives to live a green and natural life and swears that most motherhood-related dramas can be solved by having a nice glass of wine at the end of the evening.

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