Not sure what camping games would fit in your backyard? Take a look at some great backyard camping game ideas here!
Kubb, Bocce ball, ladder golf, and backyard chess can all make for great camping games you can play right in your backyard. They fit a wide range of ages and they won’t take up too much space.
Those are really just a few of the camping game options you can play in your backyard. Continue on, and you’ll find 18 great ideas that the whole family is sure to enjoy.
By the way, as an Amazon Associate, I earn when buying qualified products through links on my site.
What’s The Difference Between Camping Games and Backyard Camping Games?
Most of the time, camping games are able to take up a lot more space than games in your backyard. Because of the limitations, you may have to stick to games that don’t require a large space.
Depending on the size of your yard, there are a lot of options you can make use of that will provide all the fun of a camping game without actually leaving home. Because of that, they are fantastic choices when you can’t actually make it out into nature!
Camping Games That Are Perfect For Your Backyard
Jenga is a simple and easy game for players of all ages to enjoy. The point of the game is clear – don’t let the tower fall over. Most of the time this game is played indoors with a small set of blocks. However, you can also enjoy a larger version of the game right in your backyard.
If you have a bunch of wood lying around and are willing to DIY the project yourself, you can make your very own huge Jenga set. The DIY Projects With Pete blog is a great place to find all the guidelines you need to make your very own giant Jenga set.
DIY projects are often a great way to save money and engage your creativity. If you’d like to discover some other outdoor games that you can make yourself, take a look at our article on the subject here.
Not everyone is talented with woodworking or wants to put the added effort into making a Jenga set. There’s nothing wrong with that! If you prefer to shop rather than build, you can also easily find a giant Jenga set to purchase online (Amazon).
Another great backyard game is ladder golf. This casual game doesn’t take up a lot of space and it’s extremely easy to set up and put away. As a result, playing a quick game of ladder golf and cleaning up after won’t take long at all. Or you can leave it out for several games as you enjoy a nice, backyard family barbeque.
If you’re unfamiliar with ladder golf, it’s a simple game that involves a pair of standing “ladders” and some “bolas”. These “bolas” are made up of two golf balls attached to one another by a string. As you might imagine, this is also a game you can DIY or purchase.
The goal of the overall game is to reach a score of 21 by tossing the bolas and getting them to wrap around different rungs on the ladder. Because of its casual nature, this is a fantastic game to enjoy with family while you’re winding down in the evenings.
If there’s enough space in your backyard, you can really spruce things up with your very own backyard chess set. Using this giant board, you can move pawns across the lawn for a totally new chess experience. Fans of chess and fans of the outdoors are sure to love this game!
Not only is it fun to play when you want to get outside, but it also gives your yard a really cool look. If you’re someone who enjoys working with wood, you can absolutely make your own chess set. However, it’s definitely going to be more complicated to make than other outdoor games.
For those who would rather purchase a chess set, they can be found online (Amazon) quite easily. Match it up with the rest of your backyard decor to create a lawn your neighbors will be jealous of, then play to your heart’s content. It’s sure to be a great way to challenge your mind while having some fun outside.
Ring toss is another simple game that doesn’t take up much space in your yard. It’s also incredibly easy for people of all ages to play. Generally speaking, the goal is just to get the ring around a specific object, whether it’s a stick, bottle, or even a person.
Because it’s so simple, there are also a lot of variations to make the game more unique and interesting. If you have no materials, but an abundance of inner tubes, you can simply play human ring toss where one person tries to get the tube around another.
You can also spice up the game by creating your own ring toss game. There are numerous blogs out there that will guide you through creating variations like bottle ring toss and flamingo ring toss. However, if you prefer the standard ring toss game, there are guides for that as well.
Knot Tying Contests
When you need to keep the game minimal, knot tying contests can be a great way to go. All you really need is some rope and enough people to get the contest rolling. There are also a variety of different scenarios and knot types you can try out.
The Boy Scouts Of America website is a key location to find many of the knots you can try out and some creative ways in which they might be used. If you have enough people, you can race to see who can create certain knots first to solve fictional problems or remove themselves from imaginary dangers.
Some of the knots listed there include the bowline draw, the hold-em demonstration, the knot trail and more. Having some contests on tying these knots not only teaches handy skills but can also provide a lot of fun when the only outdoor space available to you is your backyard.
Much like Jenga and chess, dominoes is another game you can play outside and on a much larger scale. Sure, you can take the time to set up a table and play a normal round of dominoes if you want to, but why not just play with some giant dominoes in the grass?
Those who are talented at making crafts from wood can make a set of giant dominoes themselves with the help of this handy tutorial from One Dog Woof. Otherwise, there are also giant sets you can purchase pretty easily if you’d rather take that route.
One of the added benefits of using larger domino sets is that it makes the game easier for younger children to play. The number of indents in the dominoes are easier to see, so younger children can take the time to count to make sure they’re playing the game correctly.
When you’re spending some relaxing time in the yard, stories can be a great way to make that time more interesting and fun. It’s also an activity that requires no materials whatsoever; unless you decide you want to take a few books outside to read!
Otherwise, you can simply take turns making up stories. If you want to, you can give each other different themes or characters to use, then each person can come up with their own improvisational story on the spot. It’s a great activity for working on creative and communication skills.
A campfire obviously makes this experience more fun, but if your city doesn’t permit campfires in the backyard, you can always use a few flashlights in the tent to set the mood.
You can also all work together to create something known as a circle story. This is where each person takes a turn adding to the story. Each person in the circle can add in a sentence or two until the story is completed. This is a good one for working on teamwork skills!
There are additional games and activities you can do that will help a child with growing their creativity, like story cards! If you have a child around the age of 4, you can easily pick up some more creative ideas from our article on camping with a 4-year-old that will apply to the backyard as well. Check it out here!
Why not take your family game nights outside? From the comfort of your backyard, you can play all the same games you’d normally play indoors. You may even find it to be the perfect time to play games that are a bit too messy for an indoor setting, like Pie Face (Amazon).
There are plenty of board games out there that can apply to adults and children alike. A game of Monopoly, Clue, or even Catan can be enjoyed by most ages. They’re all great ways to spend some time with your family, working together or competing against one another for the top spot.
When you bring little ones into the mix, something a bit simpler like Zingo or Twister in the tent can bring a bit of excitement to game time. Toddlers can even get in on the fun when you have games that apply to their needs. You can find a plethora of outdoor games and activities in our article “17 Camping Games That Are Perfect For Toddlers”. Check it out here!
It’s so easy to forget about board games with all the on-screen games we have available today. Once in a while, it’s definitely worth taking the time to play a family board game together.
Something about being outside or in a tent just makes these games more exciting. Maybe you’ll grab your kids attention with those games they usually ignore!
Super-sizing games can make them a whole lot of fun, and it helps them to be a bit more accessible to younger family members. Small children may have some difficulty with a standard 4-In-A-Row game if they don’t have the fine motor skills to pick up the small pieces.
However, a giant version of the game will make it that much easier and more enticing for little ones to play. All they have to do is drop the chips into the slots until someone gets 4 of their color in a row. You can play just a single game, or go for a certain number of rounds.
Just like chess, this is a game you can DIY, but it can be a bit more difficult than others. However, it’s certainly not impossible! This video provides a simple step-by-step process that will let you know what tools you need and how to make the game all by yourself!
If you’re tired of the popular games we tend to see in outdoor scenarios like ring toss, horseshoes, and cornhole, then you may want to try something out that isn’t quite as mainstream. Kubb is an enjoyable Swedish game that uses wooden pieces.
In appearance, this game can look something like a very simplified game of chess once it has been set up. Essentially, there’s a “king” piece in the middle, and 5 “Kubb” pieces at each end. In short, the idea is to be the first one to knock over all of the Kubb pieces.
For more rules and information on this game, you can take a look at the U.S. National Kubb Championship website. Once you’ve learned more about how the game is played, you can opt to purchase a Kubb set or make one yourself.
Card games can be just as fun as board games and require even less setup. Often all you need is a pack of cards that matches the game and you’re good to go. There are also so many options out there, whether you want to use a standard deck of playing cards or something totally new.
Some of the great card games out there that work for all ages include Uno, Phase 10, and What Do You Meme. Uno comes with the well-known objective of getting down to only a single card in your hand. Meanwhile, games like What Do You Meme require you to match statements to pictures.
Finally, Phase 10 is a game that can last for hours if you have enough players. It also teaches kids how to work with numbers. This isn’t a card game adults will get bored playing, which isn’t something we always find when it comes to playing games that also can be played by kids.
Horseshoes is a game that tends to work a lot like a ring toss, but with a bit more complexity. It’s also an option that can work for many ages. However, standard horseshoe setups can require some yard work and serious DIY skills. Additionally, standard horseshoes can be too heavy for younger players to toss.
Instead, looking into a rubber horseshoe set (Amazon) is a good idea. If you need to reserve space in your yard, this is a game that can be set up and put away more easily. It’s also more welcoming to young players, as they’ll have an easier time tossing the horseshoes onto the ring.
Finally, you’ll find that the rubber set is much more portable. So when you do find yourself back out in the wilderness, you can bring it along with you!
Why play just one game in your backyard when you can have your own carnival? Sometimes a setup like this is just needed to help the whole family relax and have fun, and there are so many games you can include in it. Most of those games are even DIY so you can save money in the process.
Some of the games you can choose to include in your backyard carnival are balloon darts, magnetic fishing games, tin can knockdown, and more. You can create a DIY experience for nearly any carnival game out there, though some might end up being more time consuming to make than others.
A backyard carnival can be a fantastic experience for the whole family. There’s a lot of fun to be had and it will help to take adult minds off the stresses of daily life. Just have fun, maybe hand out some prizes and enjoy time with the family!
When the family needs to get outside to work off some energy, an obstacle course can be the perfect way to make it happen. You can also often use objects you already have around your home to make it, such as rope or yarn, pool noodles, hula hoops and more.
For older kids and adults, a cool secret agent-style rope course can be a great time. Those going through the course can pretend they’re on a secret mission, and they have to get past the “lasers” in order to rescue another agent or collect an important item.
For younger family members, you can make a much simpler obstacle course just using pool noodles. The noodles will be much gentler on your little one if they should trip or fall, and you can easily make adjustments so that the course is always exciting for them.
Yahtzee is an easy game to play at a table, but why not take it to the grass for a bit of novelty? Because the game is only made up of some dice and a method for tracking your scores, it’s not a hard one to DIY. All it takes is a little bit of woodworking capability.
Naturally, you can also purchase a giant Yahtzee set if that’s the route you prefer. That said, there may be some who’d enjoy personalizing their own dice for the game. With the help of this video, you can learn how to make your very own lawn Yahtzee set.
This is another game where larger pieces will result in an easier time for younger players. With the help of an adult (if needed), little ones can join in the game and practice their counting ability. This will add a bit of an educational aspect to the fun.
Those who are familiar with Twister know that it’s already a game you can take outside if you’d prefer. Because it’s so simple, it works well for players of all ages. Getting into weird positions as you try to touch the various colors can result in some great laughs.
If you don’t have your own Twister game already, it’s not too difficult to make one! Those who have some lawn marking paint around can learn to create this version of the game for a minimalist effect. You won’t have to worry about waste, as the game will disappear over time unless it’s still being painted and used.
Another way to add some excitement to the game is to make it a bit messier! By using the colored-shaving cream variation, there will be more of a mess involved. That’s why it’s so great for the backyard! When the game is over, you can easily spray down the mat (and the players) before moving onto the next game.
If all else fails, if you have a big enough tent, you can use the traditional twister game inside. May have to do it before you get the beds ready though!
Cornhole is a fun bean bag toss game that you can play by itself or add to your backyard carnival. There are a variety of ways it can be made, using whatever materials you have on hand. Just keep in mind that some materials probably won’t last as long as others.
If you want something in a pinch, you can set up a quick cornhole game using some foam boards and bowls. This is a great option if you’re stuck at home and the kids are whining about being bored. It may not last as long, but it will entertain them for the moment.
However, if you just love the game and want to have it around for the long term, it may be worth building a cornhole set from wood. That way it will last longer and you can set it up whenever you want or take it with you on camping trips!
Much like Kubb, Bocce ball isn’t a game that is quite as well known. That said, learning a new game can really help to keep you from getting bored playing the same old games over and over. You just might find that Bocce ball is a new favorite outdoor activity!
Bocce Ball is a game that began in Italy, and it’s one that is much simpler to play than it may look. Essentially, two teams try to roll their balls closest to the smaller, white ball in the center. Whichever team gets closer gets the points. People often play until 12 points are accumulated, but you can aim for fewer if you want a faster game!
Unlike other games, Bocce ball is typically one that needs to be purchased online. The balls used in the game tend to have specific weights and sizes designed to provide enough of a challenge. However, you can create a Bocce ball court yourself with the help of some hard work and DIY guidelines.