Add Fun & Games to Backyard Barbecues

Balloon Stomp

For all ages: Each player has a balloon tied to both of their ankles. When a whistle is blown, players run around the yard trying to stomp on other balloons and pop them, while protecting their own. The player who keeps their own balloons unscathed the longest wins the game.

Zoo Ladder Toss

For little kids: Tape a photo or drawing of an animal to each step on a tall step ladder, such as a lion, tiger, elephant, zebra and giraffe. Make a “zoo” card for each player and have stickers ready that match the animals. Each child takes a turn tossing a bean bag through the opening above a step. When their toss goes through, they earn a sticker matching that animal for their card. First one to put together a complete “zoo” wins!

Blanket Pull

For all ages: Each team needs two people and one blanket. Settle on a starting line and finishing line. Nice smooth lawn helps, and a hill can add to the fun. One player on each team sits on the blanket and their teammate has to pull them all the way. The blanket rider needs to stay on the blanket; if they fall off, they’re disqualified. Teams race to see who makes it across the finish line first.

Watermelon Bowling

For all ages: Fill soda bottles half-full of water to make the pins, set them up on a long roll of craft paper on a paved walkway for an alley, and use round watermelon for bowling balls. Keep track of the scores, and enjoy the watermelon for dessert when you’re done.

Sponge Relay

For all ages: Each two-member team gets one large sponge and two buckets. Set the buckets up a good “toss length” from each other. One bucket is full of water and one empty. The first person dips a sponge in water and throws to their partner. Partner squeezes sponge into empty bucket and tosses it back. First team that fills their bucket to a certain mark wins. (If you have buckets/bowls of different sizes, just use a pitcher to measure the same amount of water in each, and mark accordingly.)

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