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9 super fun lawn games to play this summer

We’ve got a few months of lawn weather, here’s how to use them.

We’ve got a few months of lawn weather, here’s how to use them

"The spring is spring, the grass is riz" — and it's time to put it to use. To help make the next few months of sunny days even more pleasant, we've rounded up our favourite lawn games, included the essential starter info: how many players and time you need to play; cost to buy the gear; and amount of lawn-space needed. To help you pick a game suited to your summer day energy levels, we've arranged them in order from least to most physically active.

Connect Four

This classic step-up from tic-tac-toe is one of the all-time classic games. The oversized lawn-version can get you on your feet. These games are great for parties or outdoor events where people want to take a break for an activity, but don't want to miss the party while they're doing it.

Players: 2

Lawn-size: Small

Time to play: 10 minutes

Hathaway Quattro 4 in A Row, $174, Walmart

Toppling Tower/Giant Jenga

An jumbo-sized version of the classic where you take a block from the bottom and put it on top. When you multiply the size and weight of the blocks, you multiply the suspense for all when it comes crashing down.

Players: 2-4

Lawn-size: Small

Time to play: 10-20 minutes, including set-up

Giant Jenga, $185.99, Amazon

Cornhole

You toss a beanbag through a hole in a board. That's it. You'll be surprised how engaging something so simple can be. Popular at tailgate parties, patios, and any backyard gathering.

Players: 2-4

Lawn-size: 10 metres

Time to play: 10-30 minutes

Tournament Manufactured Wood Cornhole Board, $126.99, Wayfair

Kubb

This game of Swedish origin involves throwing wooden batons at wooden blocks (kubbs). It's played by two teams, with a minimum of one player each, and it's similar to both bowling and horseshoes. Technically, this game can be played on any surface, so if you're looking for something to do with your lawn during winter as well, this may be it.

Players: 2-4

Lawn-size: Medium. Official pitch size is 5 metres x 8 metres, but this can be adjusted as required.

Time to play: 5 minutes - 1 hour

Kubb Game Set, $40.48, Amazon

Bocce

This is a cottage classic, but can be played on nearly any flat surface. Bocce is from the boules family of games which includes English bowls and French pétanque. It's played by throwing balls at other balls. Some versions of this game go back to ancient Rome, so there's definitely something to it. It's a great way to spend an afternoon in a public park.

Players: 2-4

Lawn-size: 27.5 metres x  2.5-4 metres

Time to play: 10 minutes

Fred Segal "Look, See, Feel, Be, Love All" Bocce Set, $89.91, CB2

Horseshoes

Throw a horseshoe around a stake set in the ground. Simple but entertaining. Plus, it make a satisfying "clank" when you get a ringer. Official horseshoe pits are made of sand are set 12m metres apart and have metal horseshoes. However, rubber sets are available that won't be quite so hard on your grass.

Players: 2-4

Lawn-size: 12m

Time to play: 20-30 minutes

Horseshoe Set, 137.50, Pottery Barn

Disc Slam/KanJam

This popular game originated in the 1980's as "garbage can frisbee." It's a team game in which you attempt to throw a flying disc into a bucket with the help of a team-mate who can "slam" it in. The teamwork on each throw makes it a bit more collaborative than most tossing games. The winningest team in the history of the KanJam World Championship is called DOrkus Malorkus.

Players: 4

Lawn-size: 15 metres

Time to play: 20-30 minutes

Rek-Tek Disc Slam, $37.99, Canadian Tire

Croquet

The Queen of Hearts' favourite game. Teams take turns using mallets to knock balls through a series of hoops and, finally, at a pole, all the while knocking their opponents off course. Best played sipping Pimm's in an English garden, but any grassy surface will do.

Players: 2-4

Lawn-size: 17.5 metres x 14 metres

Time to play: 1-3 hours

Driveway Games Classics Croquet, $83.23, Amazon

Spike ball/Roundnet

Think volleyball, but with a smaller ball and you're standing around a little trampoline. The aim is to set up and spike the ball into the bouncy net for the other team to return. Bring water, because this game can get intense.

Players: 4-6

Lawn size: small

Time to play: 20-40 minutes

Spikeball Game Set, $79.99, Canadian Tire


Clifton Mark writes about philosophy, psychology, politics, and other life-related topics. Find him @Clifton_Mark on Twitter.

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