Backyard Lawn Games and Pavement Games

Backyard Lawn Games and Pavement Games

I was reading through the book Tag, Toss, & Run this week, hoping to squeeze a little more outdoor fun out of the season (grab a copy at your library here on Amazon).  While many of the games have some complex rules, a few others are simple enough to through into the mix for Children’s Ministry.

Cover image for Tag, toss & run : 40 classic lawn games

Here’s a few fun options I found:

Hoop Trundling

  • Basic Idea: Keep the hoop rolling no matter what!
  • Playing Area: Flat, smooth surface (lawn or pavement)
  • Equipment: Hoola hoops and wooden spoons for pushing hoop (one hoop and spoon per child)
  • Ages: Best for ages 7+

Hoop Trundling

Photo Credit: Adam Cohn on Flickr


  • Set up an obstacle course to pass through while pushing along their hoop
  • Have kids try to get  their hoop into the opposite team’s goal.


  • Basic Idea: Knock down your opponents kubbs and then knock down the central (king) pin
  • Playing Area: Lawn
  • Equipment Needed: 10 rectangular blocks (6 inches high), 1 large rectangle block for the king pin (12 inches high) and 6 batons, dowels or beanbags, boundary markers
  • Ages: 5+
  • Teams of 2-6 players

Backyard Yard Games for Kids and Adults

Photo Credit: The Untrained Eye on Flickr  

Take Down the King!

The ultimate goal of kubb is to be the first to knock down the King, but first you have to upset all five of your opponent’s kubbs.  If you topple the King before knocking down the other kubbs, you automatically lose.  To knock down the kubbs, you use batons (foot-long dowels) or for kids, bean bags. Set up the playing field like this:

Kubb Game Set-up

Rules of Play

  • Members of a team take turns tossing the batons, making sure everyone has a turn.
  • The baton or bag must be tossed underhanded
  • Once a kubb is knocked over, it is out of the game.  The first team to knock down all five of the other team’s kubbs and the King Kubb win.

Mexican Kickball

  • Basic Idea: Be the firs tto kick a small ball over a distance or through an obstacle course
  • Playing Area: Flat or hilly
  • Equipment: 1 or 2 small balls, such as tennis balls along with objects to serve as obstacles
  • Ages: 3+

Outdoor Lawn Games

 Photo Credit: Flickr

Rules of Play

  • Game can be played either as a timed race or with two players going head-to-head.
  • Some variations call for all players on a team to kick the ball in succession, meaning no team is faster than its slowest runner
  • It can also be played as a relay, with players from a team waiting to take over the kicking after each new obstacle.

Molkky (Also known as Finnish Skittles)

  • Basic Idea: Knock down numbered pins to add up to an exact score of 50
  • Playing Area: Any flat surface
  • Equipment: 12 numbered wooden pins (8 inches high) and a thick dowel for throwing
  • Ages: 4+

Molkky & More Lawn Games!


Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes on Flickr 

Brush off That Calculator!

In this game, you have to use physical skills and math skills to win.  Be the first player to knock down the appropriate pins to score exactly 50 points. Go over fifty and your score reverts to 25 points.

Rules of Play

  • The game begins with all 12 pins packed tightly together, like pins in a bowling alley.
  • If a player knocks down a single pin, he receives the total painted on the pin.
  • If he knocks down multiple pins, he receives one point for each pin knocked down.
  • Any fallen pins are then placed upright where they fell and the next player throws.
  • As the game advances, the pins tend to spread further out.

Roman Ball

For this pavement game, all you need is chalk, a bouncy ball and a couple of players. Draw one circle 2-5 feet in diameter inside another circle that is 10-15 feet in diameter.

Roman Ball and Other Outdoor Games

  • All players stand outside the outer circle. Players take turns bouncing the ball into the inner circle and then back out to another nearby player.  If the next player catches the ball, he gets a point.
  • If the ball is not caught, the bouncer gets a point.  Players are free to move about the circle.

Happy Playing!


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  1. You are the queen of game ideas! Thanks for sharing! As always, great stuff!
    GJ Farmer recently posted..What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Children’s Minister

  2. Thanks so much, GJ. Now if only I could figure out how to herd kids around and play without all the chaos! 🙂

  3. Wow. I haven’t heard of any of these! Well, other than rolling the hoola hoop! So fun! What a cool book!
    Katelyn F recently posted..Saving Money During College with the Cheapest Wireless Plans

  4. Thanks for stoppinb by, Katelyn. I’m excited to play a few!

  5. Wow…those are some old fashioned games! Certainly beats World of Warcraft! Thanks for the list – will have to try some with the kids!
    Liv recently posted..No More – When is it Time to Close the Door to More Children?

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