No camp? No problem. From super-sized Jenga-style blocks to pool games, here are our favorite outdoor games to keep kids entertained and engaged all summer long.

All products featured here are independently selected by our editors and writers.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

As the weather gets nicer, parents everywhere are looking for ways to keep their children entertained and engaged outside of the house. This is especially true for kids who are not able to go off to summer camp or those who are either too young or unable to take on a job this summer. So what can you do to have fun? Well, you can play games, of course! After all, there are lots of ball games, pool games, and classic party games that make for fun summer activities.

If you’re a parent looking for options, there aren’t really any rules. What game your kid — or kids — will enjoy will depend a bit on their personality, as well as their age. But in general, you’re going to want to find games that meet a few key criteria.

What to consider when shopping for outdoor games:

  • They should be age appropriate. In other words, if you have a toddler, make sure that whatever game you get your child isn’t too heavy, too big, or too dangerous for them. 

  • Look for games that are more than just fun. Lots of toys are designed to do more than just entertain. Some will help hone your child’s motor development or hand-eye coordination, while others will just help unlock your kids creativity. 

  • Don’t be afraid of simple. Sometimes the best games are those that allow your child to use their imagination. 

  • Think about how many players you need. For example, if you have one child, make sure you pick games that can be played alone too unless you want to spend your whole summer as player two.

It’s hard to really go wrong when picking kid toys as there are so many fun options out there, but here are some of our favorites for all ages. 


Approved by the American Cornhole Association • Legs fold for storage • Made of real wood • Comes with everything you need • Easy rules • Can be painted
Bags too heavy for younger kids
There’s a reason this game is a classic: it will keep kids (and adults!) occupied for hours.

Rec League Cornhole Board Set

A classic game that will keep kids — and adults — having fun for hours in the backyard.

  • Age Range:
    12+
  • Number of Players:
    Minimum of two

Cornhole, or bean bag toss, isn’t a game that needs much explaining — chances are, your whole family knows what it is, but in case you don’t know the rules, this game set comes with instructions. It also comes with everything you need, including two sturdy plywood boards that meet American Cornhole Association standards and eight bags (four red and four blue). 
Because the game is made with real plywood, it probably shouldn’t be left outside all summer, but the wood has been varnished with UV-coating to protect against some weathering. The game is on the larger size so you’ll need a good place to store it, but the legs do fold to help save storage space in the garage.


Easy to assemble • Sized for little kids as young as 2 • Comes with ball
Need to buy two if you want to set up a field
This is the perfect beginner soccer kit for little kids to stay active all summer long.

Little Tikes Easy Score Soccer Set

This easy-to-assemble soccer set is perfect for little kids learning a new sport for the first time.

  • Age Range:
    2+
  • Number of Players:
    1+
Whether your little one is just learning how to kick a ball for the first time or your kids want to play matches all afternoon, this soccer kit is perfect. It comes with an easy-to-assemble net and a ball — everything you need to keep your little athlete occupied in the backyard.
The best thing: because it’s made by Little Tikes, this set is sized with little kids in mind, so kids of all ages over two can get in on the game. 
Reviewer Susan writes:

“Perfect birthday gift for a 4 year old. Great for play with his older brother and most likely younger one when he’s ready to play… Good to see products that weather the test of time and hours of fun!”


Quick to fill • Self-sealing • Small enough for toddler hands • Soft-sided so as to not cause injury
Some balloons in a bunch might leak
If you’re looking for a fun activity to keep the kids outside and laughing, these balloons will do the trick with minimal parental set-up.

Let’s face it: sometimes, the best kids games are the simplest. Water balloons might seem simple, but they allow kids to make their own fun independently with minimal rules. They’re also perfect for keeping kids cool on those hot summer days.
These balloons are better than just any balloon though. They’re small, which means that toddler hands can grab them too. They’re also soft-sided, so you don’t have to worry about them hurting your child. Best of all, though, is the fact that parents can fill and tie off dozens of balloons in seconds. All you have to do is attach the balloon bunch to a hose, turn it on, and voila! 40 water balloons filled in a few seconds. They even self-seal when they’re full. 


Affordable • Ideal for little kids • Safe • Easy to store
Your child will outgrow this in a couple summers
If you’re looking for a sporty activity for your toddler, this classic game is your best bet.

Little Tikes Toy Sports T-Ball Set

If you’re looking for a sporty activity for your toddler, this classic game is your best bet.

  • Age Range:
    18 Months +
  • Number of Players:
    1+
Toddlers and preschoolers are at the perfect age to start learning T-ball because it helps them work on their motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It’s also just plain fun, whether you’re playing alone in the backyard, with Mom and Dad, or with friends. 
This affordable T-ball set comes with an easy-to-use bat, some baseballs, and a tee. You can even adjust the height of the tee as your child grows. It also won’t take up a bunch of storage space in your garage because it folds up so you can hang it on a wall. 
Reviewer Mrs Bamberger writes:

“This is great! I got it for my three year old and he hasn’t stopped playing with it since! Durable and easy to store when I can finally get it away from him at night!”


Fun characters • Affordable • Interactive
Only one net
This is a fun game for young swimmers who love diving.
Who doesn’t love diving for treasure? This fun Disney-themed dive and catch game is a great pool game for kids who want to practice catching fun toys at the bottom of the pool. This set comes with five characters — including baby Dory, Nemo, Pearl, Sheldon, and Kathy — and a ray net. It can be played alone or with friends. 
Reviewer kbaxburn writes:

“This was really cute. My daughter really enjoys it. She loves that some float and some she has to dive for. I also love that the net floats!! This helped a bunch. We’ve had to dive for net before and I love that this one floats!”


Adjustable height • Stable • Easy to transport
Will eventually need to be replaced as kids get older
This adjustable hoop is perfect for your growing child to learn a new, fun game they can play way beyond summer.
It may seem simple, but this adjustable, portable basketball hoop is a perfect outdoor activity for kids. The height can be adjusted from around 6.5 feet to 8 feet, which means that the hoop grows with your kid over the years. It comes with a high-quality basket and a sturdy base that can be filled with water or sand. Kids can also move it from inside to outside and back again depending on the weather thanks to its built-in wheels.
Reviewer Keira writes:

“Great quality. My son absolutely loves playing with his new basketball hoop! And its great because since it is adjustable and he’s only 3 years old, he will still be able to play with it for years to come as he grows! I’m very happy!” 


48 vivid colors • Easy to wash off • Thick and long lasting chalk pieces • Non toxic
Chalk sometimes breaks in shipping
This chalk set is perfect for young artists and hop scotch enthusiasts alike.

Crayola Washable Sidewalk Chalk

If your child is more creative than athletic, this set of sidewalk chalk is the perfect activity to keep them having fun outside this summer.

  • Age Range:
    4+
  • Number of Players:
    1+
Not every child loves sports or athletic games, and that’s perfectly okay. There are lots of other fun activities to play outside that don’t necessarily involve playing or catching a ball and this chalk set will help your kid discover them. Whether it’s creating a masterpiece on the front driveway, playing hopscotch, or creating a maze, these Crayola chalks will help your kid have fun outdoors, whether they’re playing alone, with their siblings, or their friends. The set comes with 48 colors — perfect for a little Picasso — and all the chalk is easily washed off little hands and clothes. The chalk is also safe and nontoxic. Best of all, drawing with chalk can entertain a wide range of ages.
Reviewer c20 writes:

“Great price for so many chalk colors. They write smoothly and look very bright on concrete. Love that it’s thick so it doesn’t break easily…It’s a wonderful sharing set and kids love using it.”


Solid wood blocks • Comes with carrying case for storage and transportation • Giant fun
Blocks will dent and chip over time • Heavy • Can be challenging getting all the pieces back in the bag
This giant stacking game is fun for older kids to build a tower as tall — or taller — than themselves without letting it fall.

Wild Sports Stackers XL Game

This super-sized Jenga-style game will delight older kids as they build a tower as tall — or taller — than them while trying not to let it fall.

  • Age Range:
    7+
  • Number of Players:
    2+
Jenga is a beloved game for a reason, which is why we love this oversized, outdoor version. With solid wood blocks, this tower can be stacked over 60-inches high with its 54 pieces.
Of course, a giant game requires more space than a board game, but this does come with a carrying case to stow away the pieces or transport it from place to place. 
Dick’s Sporting Goods reviewer JessPess writes:

“We bought this for a picnic and set it up on a picnic table. The kids had so much fun playing larger than life sized Jenga! The best was when it finally fell”

And another reviewer CoroinnieBeanie writes:

“We love to play jenga. And we wanted the giant version for something different. And fun outdoors. The whole family loves it. Great addition. Comes in a decent nylon bag.”

Leave a Reply