8 of the Best Backyard Games for Family Picnics

best backyard games for family picnics

As the warm breeze of picnic season blows in, nothing spells fun quite like the combination of sunshine, a scrumptious picnic basket, and a selection of the best backyard games for family picnics. Picnic games have been a primary ingredient to family gatherings for centuries, and there’s a reason they’ve remained a picnic classic. Family games foster a sense of camaraderie, light-hearted competition, and endless laughter amongst all ages. From a friendly game of croquet to a spirited hula hoop contest, there’s so much fun waiting at every family picnic.

In this post, we’ve curated a list of the 8 best backyard games guaranteed to bring smiles and cheer to your next family picnic. These games cater to various age groups, skill levels, and play styles, ensuring there’s something enjoyable for everyone. Here, we’ll take you through each game, explaining the setup, rules, and why it’s made its way onto our list of best picnic games.

Best Backyard Games for Family Picnics


1. Croquet: Kickstart your picnic with this riveting game, and you’re bound to have so much fun. A game of gentle precision and strategy, croquet requires a clear flat surface and a decent croquet set. Played in two teams, the game continues until one team navigates all their balls through the course first. This classic game taps into friendly competition and is suitable for older kids and adults alike.

2. Bocce Ball: This age-old sport has become a popular picnic game, offering interplay of skill, strategy, and a bit of luck. Bocce Ball is a two-team game where players take turns tossing their bocce balls closest to the smaller ball, the pallino. The all-age appeal and ease of play make it one of the best picnic games for your family.

3. Ring Toss Game: A game so simple yet incredibly engaging, the ring toss game guarantees loads of fun. Whether you create improvised versions with hula hoops and cones or a dedicated ring toss set, it’s bound to provide hours of amusement. The team or player with the most rings around the target wins, creating frenzy and excitement.

4. Giant Wooden Dice Game: If you’re looking for fun outdoor games with a unique twist, consider a giant wooden dice game. Perfect for larger groups, these games commonly involve players trying to score points, with the first team reaching a predetermined point total winning. From Yahtzee clones to unique outdoor dice games, it’s a fun way to spend quality time outdoors.

playing Badminton

5. Badminton: A fun game that doesn’t require much setup, badminton is a hit at any outdoor gathering. All you need is a net, shuttlecocks, and rackets. The first team to score a predetermined number of points wins, making it a fast-paced, fun outdoor game for all the family.

6. Cornhole: This game has soared in popularity over the last few years. The simplicity of tossing a bean bag into a hole while competing makes it one of the favorite games in picnics. It’s best for adults and older kids and provides hours of friendly competition and laughter.

7. Scavenger Hunt: If you’re looking for fun picnic games that encourage adventure and exploration, look no further than a scavenger hunt. This game is especially well-liked by kids, but adults find it equally entertaining. Create a list of natural or picnic-related items and allot a time limit; the first person or team to gather every item on the list wins.

8. Water Balloon Toss: A fun game perfect for a hot day, water balloon toss is a sure way to provide plenty of laughs. During this game, two team members try to toss and catch a water balloon without popping it, and everybody enjoys the extra fun of a potential splash.

Encouraging Good Sportsmanship in Backyard Games

While family picnics and games are all about fun and togetherness, they also provide an excellent opportunity to instill a sense of good sportsmanship in kids (and remind adults of it, too!). Make sure to discuss the importance of playing fair, respecting others, and handling both victory and defeat gracefully. Always celebrate everyone’s efforts, regardless of whether they’ve won or lost, and remind all players that the central aim is to enjoy the game, not just to win it. Remember that family games are about building bonds, laughter, and shared memories, rather than the competitive outcome. By emphasizing these values, you can ensure that your family picnics become a wholesome, harmonious, and enriching experience for everyone involved.

Final Thoughts

So how does one go about selecting the right fun picnic game for their family? The first factor to consider is the age range of your family members. Some games may be more suited to adults, some to young kids, and many are fun for all ages. You might also consider your backyard space, safety considerations, and what kind of games your family enjoys most. Maybe your family loves physical games like tag or a three legged race, or perhaps strategic board games or card games are more your speed. But remember, the key is to choose games that engage, entertain and help in creating fun memories.

Remember to take turns playing team captains, vary your teams, and maybe spice things up with prizes for the winners (and maybe even the losing team). If everyone’s having fun, everybody’s winning! Whether it’s a one-on-one duel in the ring toss or a larger group eyeing victory in the scavenger hunt, the excitement in the air is palpable.

So as you prepare for your next family picnic, keep this list handy. From classic games like croquet to relatively recent sensations like the giant wooden dice game, each game adds a unique flavor to your picnic. Pair these games with a basket loaded with delicious snacking, beautiful weather, and the company of your loved ones, and you’ll have a memorable picnic to look forward to.

Don’t just plan a picnic; plan an adventure. An adventure of fun, laughter, competition, and, most importantly, quality time with your family. So go out there, soak up the sun, and unlock the fun with the best backyard games for your family picnics.

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