Best Lawn Games

Updated January 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
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We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best lawn games

For families looking to put away the gadgets and screens for a while and spend some time outdoors, a lawn game is an excellent option. Most of these games don’t require a huge amount of space to play, and they’re usually easy for even young kids to learn.

Many lawn games are purely recreational and easy enough for young children to win. Others spark the competitive spirit and allow players to show off their athletic skills. Some games involve two people at a time, while others can be played by several. Having games on hand that various numbers of people can play is helpful for family cookouts as well as neighborhood block parties. Most of these games are safe enough for kids to play on their own too.

Finding just the right lawn games for your needs will depend on the age of the players, the space you have available, and the level of physical activity you desire. 

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One of the best aspects of lawn games is you rarely need items that aren’t included, unlike sports like baseball or football that require quite a bit of extra equipment to play.

Key considerations

When purchasing lawn games, it’s helpful to think about a few factors as you shop.

Play area

Space: It’s important to make sure you have enough space to play the game safely. If you have a lot of space, you might consider games like disc golf, badminton, Spikeball, and volleyball. For those with more limited space, you can try games like horseshoes, bocce ball, cornhole, and croquet.

Surface: For a game like horseshoes, you need sand pits for the stakes unless you use a temporary rubber set. However, if you live somewhere where you can’t change the configuration of the space, you might want to choose a game that doesn’t require permanent changes to the landscape, such as cornhole. You can play some games on multiple surfaces too.

Portability

Consider selecting a type of game that will work in the location you plan to play in most of the time. Perhaps you want to be able to take your lawn game to a park, beach, or tailgate party. Volleyball and badminton are great games to play in the park or on the beach. If you plan to take your game to a tailgate party, you’ll need one you can play on asphalt or cement. Cornhole and ladder ball work nicely on hard surfaces.

Games made of high-quality plastic, wood, and metal might cost a little more, but they will last longer than cheaply made games.

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Features

Players

Age: Although most lawn games are easy to play by people of almost any age, some games are better suited to certain ages. If you have a wide age range of players, think about selecting a game that everyone can enjoy, such as cornhole. Small children may struggle to play games like badminton and volleyball.

Additionally, understand that smaller children probably won’t like the idea of playing a highly competitive game, while older kids might enjoy such games. If you have a wide range of ages of players, you might have better luck purchasing two different lawn games, one for younger kids and one for older kids and adults.

Number: Some games work for any number of players, from two to eight or more, and some require at least four players. Pick a game that matches the typical number of players that will participate. If you’ll only have two or three people playing, tetherball is a better choice than volleyball, for example. Also, for games that usually involve just two people, you can form teams of two to four players, allowing more people to participate. For example, eight people in two teams of four can play cornhole or bocce ball.

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DID YOU KNOW?
If you have a pool, you might want a game you can play in the water like volleyball or basketball.
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Lawn game prices

Inexpensive

These lawn games, such as disc golf, typically involve free play. You’ll pay up to $25 for these games.

Mid-range

For more structured games with limited equipment, such as tetherball or croquet, you can expect to pay $25 to $60.

Expensive

More complex games with more equipment or higher-quality equipment, such as volleyball or cornhole, can cost $60 to $200.

Some players can get overly competitive, which can lead to broken equipment and hurt feelings. If this is a concern, try to emphasize the fun aspects of the game and downplay the rivalry.

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Tips

  • Restrict where kids can use the game. If kids want to take a game to a friend’s house, some of the parts may not make it home. You might want to restrict play to your yard to make sure pieces don’t get lost.
  • Buy a game with replaceable parts. You can buy replacement parts for some games, such as croquet mallets or cornhole bean bags. If your kids are prone to losing things, consider buying a game you know you can find replacement parts for.
  • Invest in some storage totes. Although you might be inclined to store the lawn game in its original box, it rarely goes back into the box as easily as it came out. A sturdy plastic storage tote keeps all the parts together and protected while also making it easy to carry the game to the park.
  • Set some rules for throwing games. Many lawn games involve throwing something like balls, horseshoes, or beanbags. Create rules about where kids can throw these items; for example, not in the house and not at people! Setting rules ahead of time can help kids play safely.
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Always put away the lawn game after use to keep the pieces together, and store it in a place that’s protected from the elements.

FAQ

Q. What are good lawn games to play for exercise?

A. Games played with a ball or similar object, such as volleyball, disc golf, badminton, or tetherball can keep kids moving and getting some exercise.

Q. What are some of the easiest lawn games for young players to learn?

A. Croquet is a popular lawn game that children can pick up quickly. Cornhole is easy for young kids to learn to play too. Most lawn games have simple rules, so kids should be able to pick up almost any game in very little time.

Q. Are there lawn games that are appropriate to play in winter?

A. As long as there is no snow or ice on the ground, most lawn games can be played in the winter. However, it’s more fun to play these games in nice weather in the spring, summer, and autumn.

Q. What are some portable lawn games?

A. Cornhole is a very popular game to play at tailgate parties because the equipment is easy to move. Players can toss a Frisbee around almost anywhere. Spikeball is a game meant for play in wide-open spaces, including a beach or park. It’s relatively easy to transport a volleyball or badminton net to the beach too.

 

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