Top 10 Best Backyard Sports Games to Play With Your Kids

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Photo by Peter Idowu on Unsplash


Lockdown, summer holidays, and family gatherings like Thanksgiving all provide perfect opportunities to bond with your children and to get them off their devices and outside.


For any parent who grew up before the internet age, backyard sports are likely a fond, yet distant, memory.


For those who need inspiration on how to best entertain their children, here’s a list of the top 10 best backyard sports games to play with your kids.


  • Catch


Sometimes simplicity is key and Catch is about as simple as it gets. There are no real rules and this game is better for the little ones who are still trying to master their own body and hand-eye coordination skills.


You can always spice up the game by throwing different objects whether it’s baseballs, frisbees, water balloons, or even eggs (if you dare).


  • Backyard Baseball 


The true American backyard sport, Baseball is best played if you’ve got a few other family members around. Playing with two bases, an out-of-bounds zone and other variations of MLB rules are all okay and your backyard stadium with its irregular shape, trees, and other obstructions should be used to its fullest extent.


If you’re worried about your windows consider getting a Wiffle Ball which is a light plastic ball that curves, dips, and is much more likely not to end your game of backyard baseball early.


  • Backyard Football


Your yard may not be big enough for backyard football but there are no rules that say going to the park to play is not allowed. 


Football is a great option for bigger family gatherings like Thanksgiving and with no-tackling, Mississippi-counting rules (or even flags), you’ll be able to keep the youngest and oldest family members safe from the wrath of any competitive teenagers on the field.


  • Backyard Soccer


Backyard soccer is another simple one that even your smallest family members can enjoy (although you may want to choose a smaller rubber beach ball for them). There’s no need to set up sidelines or goals either, scoring between two trees or fence posts is totally legit.


Penalty shoot-outs, free kicks, and juggling competitions are also great when you want to add a little variety. If you are not very familiar with the rules of soccer, you can visit for more information. 


  • Capture the Flag


It doesn’t really matter that capture the flag is not a real “sport”. Grab a tea towel, an old t-shirt, or any non-breakable article from your house and set up two (or more) “bases”. Divide yourselves up into even teams and work to capture each other’s flags and return them to your home base.


You can play with tag rules, water balloons, or other soft-balls, and when a player is tagged make them return to their home base for 10 Missisipis or more. Capture the flag is best played if you have a yard that extends around the front and back of your house as it makes sneaking and hiding easier.


  • Cornhole


Cornhole may be a drinking game for some but backyard cornhole doesn’t have to be. The traditional bean bags and wooden boards can also be ditched for bags of rice, hula hoops, or even throwing washers into cans.


  • Spikeball


Spikeball is a little newer and more complicated than some of the other backyard sports games on this list, and it requires a Spikeball and small trampoline, but it is a great option for teenagers and adults with a competitive flare.


Spikeball requires equipment which makes it a little cost prohibitive but this also makes it a great gift idea for teenagers. 


  • Kubb


This traditional Swedish summer game where players throw wooden sticks at larger skittles (like ten-pin bowling with sticks) is easy to play and fun no matter whether you have the right equipment or other plastic replacement skittles.


  • Home Olympics


If you’ve got two or families, or even one big family combining any of the above games (or other personal favorites) into a mini home Olympics complete with an opening celebration and medal ceremonies is a great option for a longer, more involved day.


Consider adding sports that suit all of the different players competing in your Olympics so that everyone has a chance to win a medal.


  • Backyard Cricket


Backyard cricket is an Australian favorite and it is similar to baseball in that one team “bats” while the other team “fields”. The batting players must hit a ball that is “bowled” (with one bounce) stopping it from hitting the “wickets” behind them. 


After hitting the ball, players must run between the wickets. Batters can get out by being bowled (hitting the wickets from the bowl), by being “caught” (when the fielding players catch the ball after it is hit before it bounces), or by being “run out” (when the fielding players hit the wickets before the batters get to the wickets on the opposite end).


We’ve listed 10 of our favorite backyard sports games to play with your kids but there are plenty more options out there.