Enjoy more outdoor fun with the best yard games

·Contributing Writer
·8 min read

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Yards darts good for outdoor games
Yards darts good for outdoor games

Nothing beats a good yard game. Whether it’s a simple round of corn-hole or a quick game of ladder toss, almost everyone enjoys yard games (as long as you have a yard, of course). Though they may not be as in-depth as sports or as interactive as video games, they don’t need to be — they’re pure, simple fun for your friends and family, and the social aspect is what really makes yard games stand out.

So, if you’re looking to host a party or get-together soon, consider throwing in a yard game or two to help break the ice and kick things off with a bang. Add in some beverages and you’re definitely in for a good time. These are some of the leading yard games for 2022 you’ll want to try out.

Top Picks

Best overall: Backyard Champs Cornhole Outdoor Game

Boards are pre-assembled and are ready to play
Boards are pre-assembled and are ready to play

Cornhole is a very popular yard sport, and while it doesn’t see nearly as much play outside the U.S., there are plenty of people who are down for a game or two of cornhole. It’s a simple game, too — you just toss weighted sacks (originally filled with corn kernels) through a slanted board with a hole in it to score points. Cornhole is a simple activity with a little bit of depth, making it a lot of fun for both kids and adults. There’s even a version from Backyard Champs with an American flag design. The amount of fun this product provides and its simple, functional design helped us judge it as the best overall product on this list.

Key Features:

  • Popular game that’s enjoyed by a lot of folks

  • Simple rules that kids and adults can have fun with

  • Comes in an American flag variant

Most portable: Gosports Pro Grade Ladder Toss

Set includes 2 targets with score trackers, 6 rubber bolos, a carrying case, and rules
Set includes 2 targets with score trackers, 6 rubber bolos, a carrying case, and rules

Ladder toss is another popular sports-like yard game that involves throwing things. Much like cornhole, you’re throwing things at a larger object. But instead of sacks, you’re using bolas, and instead of a board, it’s a ladder with rungs. The entire kit also fits nicely into the neat little carrying pouch that comes included, letting you bring the game wherever you go. The rules are pretty easy and it’s a lot of fun, too. Just be a little careful when you’re throwing the bolas since they do have some weight and can sting a little if they hit you.

Key Features:

  • Compact kit fits in the carrying pouch

  • Comes with everything you need to start playing

  • Kid-friendly and easy to set up

Perfect for kids: Qrooper Kids Toys Toss and Catch

Water-proof material is used for the lining in the paddles and reinforced the stitches to make this kids toss game set more durable and strong
Water-proof material is used for the lining in the paddles and reinforced the stitches to make this kids toss game set more durable and strong

This list wouldn’t be complete without a yard game made specifically for kids, and this toss and catch set is exactly that. It works just like playing catch with a baseball and a mitt or a softball and a glove. You toss the ball and catch it with one of the discs. The discs are lined with a material that sticks to the ball, allowing you to play catch without actually grabbing the ball. The material is waterproof too, so you can even play in the rain and still have a lot of fun. If you’re used to playing catch the old-fashioned way though, adjusting to not grabbing the ball can feel a little odd at first.

Key Features:

  • Easy-to-use, toss and catch set

  • The paddles and balls stick together well

  • Waterproof materials

Perfect for competition: Kan Jam Disc Toss Game

So easy to set up, you can play in seconds
So easy to set up, you can play in seconds

Yard games are meant to be casual fun you can enjoy with your friends and family, but that doesn’t mean you can’t up the ante every now and then. This disc-toss game, known as Kan Jam, is an intense yard game that you can play with a handful of people. It’s pretty involved, with both teams trying to score points at the same time. It can get a little heated though, so if you’d rather stick to something more laidback, then consider some of the other options on this list instead. Still, it’s a fun activity and something that’s definitely worth trying at least once.

Key Features:

  • Fun and intense gameplay

  • A more competitive alternative to yard games

  • Very physical and active

Perfect for indoors: Giant Tumbling Timber Toy

This toy is not only fun for everyone, but it also promotes logical thinking, active movement, and creativity!
This toy is not only fun for everyone, but it also promotes logical thinking, active movement, and creativity!

Yard games are meant to be enjoyed in a yard, but this last set can be played both indoors and outdoors. Made by Giantville, the set is reminiscent of Jenga, with the players building a tower using wooden blocks. Once the blocks are completely set, players take turns pulling a block out and putting it on the top, players then repeat this until the tower falls over. It’s a simple game that gets a lot more intense as it goes on, and it’s also perfect for playing at parties.

Key Features:

  • Tower-based game that’s playable both indoors and outdoors

  • Games get more intense as they go on

  • Perfect for adults and parties

How to find your next set of yard games: A buyer’s guide Yard

games can be a source of fun for everyone involved. This guide will cover the basic ins and outs of yard games.

What is a yard game?

Basically, a yard game is an activity that’s played in someone’s front or backyard. Yard games are typically played on a grassy lawn, though this doesn’t always have to be the case. They are also designed to take advantage of the space provided by a yard since some games involve players tossing or throwing items across considerable distances.

Are yard games competitive?

One problem that some people have with introducing yard games at their parties and get-togethers is worrying that things can get too competitive. While some competitive spirit is all in good fun, for the most part, it goes against the laidback purpose of parties and social gatherings. You don’t have to worry about this when it comes to yard games though, because they’re generally played just for sheer enjoyment.

Take a look at cornhole, for example. Sure, there is a competitive scene for the sport, but nobody really takes it too seriously. They just play it while chit-chatting with others, enjoying drinks, and generally having a good time. It’s a game that you can play alongside your friends and family, and while you can get invested in the game, it won’t really suck you into a competitive mentality like a game of chess.

And yes, there will always be people who act too competitively, which can ruin the mood. As long as you know who you’re inviting though, you should be able to know if a yard game will be enjoyed casually or not. And even if there’s that one person who decides to take it very seriously, most people will just mind their own business anyway, so it’s not really as big of a problem as you may think.

Tips when playing yard games

1. Try to get everyone involved

Yard games are all about their social aspect, so try to get everyone involved. If you think some of the people you invited are reluctant to play, try pairing them with people that are more familiar with the game so they don’t feel left out. And if they still aren’t interested, don’t force them. Games are all about having fun, and if it’s more fun for them to watch instead of play, then just let them spectate.

2. Add in-house rules and punishments

One way to really make a yard game memorable is by adding some rules and punishments. Punishments are pretty self-explanatory — simply assign a punishment to whoever loses or meets a specific condition in the game. This could be in the form of a funny dare, a challenge or whatever else everyone agrees to. You can also add some house rules to switch up a yard game and help make it feel more unique.

3. Yard games price ranges

It’s difficult to pinpoint an actual price range for yard games because they’re so varied. Some yard games use simple materials and others require a few extra components. Generally, most yard games should never really cross the $100 mark. Some can go over $100, but most yard games will be below that. You won’t really have to spend that much on these games unless it’s some kind of limited-edition set (and yes, limited-edition yard games do exist).

People also asked

Q: Will my yard games be intense?

A: Though some yard games can get a little heated, most of them are designed to be fun and put an emphasis on the social aspect over anything else.

Q: When should I introduce my yard game?

A: Yard games are best introduced at a party while everyone is still free to do their thing since it won’t force anyone to play them.

Q: How much space do I need in my yard for my yard games?

A: This depends on the game you’re playing. Some games may only require a couple of feet of space and others need at least 10 feet or more.