A very big, fun list of games and activities to play outside
For the sidewalk, lawn, parking lot, park, backyard, beach and more!
This article was originally published April 29, 2021 and was updated May 20, 2022.
We've compiled a BIG list of outdoor games and activities for you to play outside this summer, no matter if you're on grass, concrete, the deck, or sand. Whether you're in the mood for an energetic game of double dutch or feeling a peaceful afternoon in the park playing chess, there's something for everyone. Our picks span various price points, and you may recognize some throwbacks to games of your childhood, or spot some new ones to try. Plus, so many of our suggestions are portable, meaning they're perfect for taking along to wherever you may find yourself enjoying the outdoors this summer.
Here are our suggestions for:
If you're playing on concrete, asphalt and other hard surfaces
8.5-inch Splatter Playground Ball, $10.99, Indigo
For solo skipping: This 10-foot, PVC-cord jump rope is made for beginners and will work for anyone up to 6' 6" tall, and can be resized using this guide on their site.
Fit+ Jump Rope, $14.99, Elite SRS
For multiple skippers: At 14 feet long, this colourful jump rope is the right length for more than one person.
Goofy Foot Double Jump Rope, $4.99, Canadian Tire
Ankle Skip Ball (a Skip-It-style toy)
Reminiscent of the Skip-It of the '90s, no longer in production, this LED light-up skip ball, with a sponge-covered foot ring, looks like a nice and comfortable substitute for the beloved original.
Ankle Skip Ball, $18.99, Amazon
A whole palette in a pail, this 20-piece sidewalk chalk bucket represents endless hours of entertainment and creativity. Use it to outline games like tic tac toe, hop scotch, four square, or to play a little sidewalk pictionary, or to simply let your inner artist loose on outdoor spaces.
20-Piece Jumbo Sidewalk Chalk Bucket, $9.99, The Bay
Good for a group or solo play, this super-portable game can be played on a hard surface, like concrete or asphalt. Here's a how-to if you need to brush up on the rules, or learn to play.
Melissa & Doug Jacks Game, $16.30, Amazon
If you're looking to return to, or pick up this pastime, a pair of new (or used) roller skates is well, essential, but don't forget helmets and knee and elbow pads. If you've got the basics down pat, look to super-talented skaters like Oumi Janta and Marician Dedeaux Brown for inspiration and tricks to learn this season. Roller skates have been a hot buy over the last year and have been selling out quickly. Here are a couple of options that are still available online or accepting pre-orders:
Roller Girl's site says these roller skates are recommended for "skaters looking for a lot of support", and they are The Strategist's pick for best (less-expensive) roller skates for beginners.
Moxie Rainbow Rider, $135, RollerGirl.ca
This version offers good ankle support and comfort for beginner to intermediate skaters and comes in a variety of slightly understated colour combos.
SFR Figure Quad Skates, $96.95, Skate Pro
The pogo stick we know and love today was patented in Germany in 1920. This version is suitable for kids (aged 9 and up), and is built to support 80-160 pounds. You can also check out this pricier one which supports more weight and offers greater vertical jump potential.
Flybar Master Pogo Stick in Green, $84.99, Bed Bath & Beyond
If you're playing on grass
There are lots of croquet sets out there, but this one comes with a colourful zippered bag that makes it easy for you to take your set anywhere you want to play. Don't forget to check out our beginner's guide to croquet.
Croquet Set, $99.99, Indigo
Oversized inflatable bouncy ball
This 30-inch jumbo bounce ball is fun for all kinds of outdoor games. It promises to be easy to inflate and deflate, making it easy to pack up and take to park.
30-Inch Jumbo Bounce Ball, $27.99, Mastermind Toys
If you're playing on grass or sand
Is it the bounciness of the trampoline-esque net for this foursquare-meets-volleyball game that makes it so fun? The pressure of having to hit the ball, ricocheting it up at the opposing team? Who knows. But we're sold. This set comes with everything you need to play (including a how-to) and a very convenient carrying case so you too can take it along to the park or beach, or anywhere, really.
Spikeball 3 Ball Set, $89.99, Mastermind Toys
Extend your lawn dart play a little longer into the evening with this glow-in-the-dark set.
Glow in the Dark Lawn Darts, $24.98, Well.ca
Badminton and volleyball
This two-games-in-one set allows you to play a game of volleyball or badminton, net and all. Some simple net setup is all that's required.
Outbound Volleyball/ Badminton Quick Set-Up Net, $89.99, Canadian Tire
If you've got a lawn and a hose
There are plenty of kiddie pools out there, but this inflatable one from Funboy is particularly pretty and we wouldn't mind keeping it set up all season long. Made of 100 per cent PVC vinyl, it's 66 inches in diameter and 14 inches high.
Kiddie Pool, $50 US (approx. $64.18 Cdn), Funboy
Slip and slide
This giant water slide for your lawn has the makings of a very fun afternoon in the sun: It's 31 feet long, more than five feet wide, and its double lanes are perfect for racing.
31 Foot Slip and Slide, $68 US (approx. $87.29 Cdn), Team Magnus
This option is smaller, but it's striped like a rainbow. It hooks up to a standard garden hose and is fourteen feet long, making it a very fun option for keeping cool on hot days.
Rainbow Lawn Water Slide, $51.33, Wayfair
If you've got just about any outdoor surface
Pack up this lightweight, compact magnetic chess game and head outdoors. If you're just getting started, here's a guide full of tips from the coach of some of Canada's top players.
Magnetic Chess Game Set, $24.99, Sail
Whereas most games of cornhole consist of wooden boards, this PVC version is lightweight and portable (but still sets up in under a minute), so you can take it to your favourite outdoor space to play this game of beanbag toss.
GoSports Foldable Cornhole Game, $39.99, Home Depot
Take this Yahtzee-like dice game outside. It comes with a handy carrying case and reusable score board. Plus, oversized dice (3.5 inches x 3.5 inches) make it a lot easier to keep track of playing pieces at the park.
Play Platoon Lawn Dice, $60.04, Amazon
A Twister-type game
This outdoor Twister-esque game is easy to take outside with 24 soft (very portable) play squares. It's great for just about any surface, but playing on grass or sand might be nicer when you inevitably fall.
Outdoor Tangled Up Lawn Game, $26.99, Lowe's
Outdoor 4 In a Row
This giant game of 4 in a row comes with a travel bag, which makes it easier to take this strategy-based game from tabletop play into the sun (or shade!).
Giant 4 In A Row, $41.17, Toys"R"Us
Great for almost any outdoor space where you've got a bit of distance to work with, this disc game with two targets is super quick to set up anywhere and also condenses for grab-and-go ease. When you're not using the targets, you can use the disc for playing other games.
Rek-Tek Disc Slam, $37.99, Canadian Tire
We'd be remiss to curate a list of outdoor summer activities without bubbles! While there are lots of fun wands out there, this one — where the objective is to create a bubble big enough to fit a small human in — looks particularly fun.
Giant Gazillion Kid-in-Bubble, $19.99, Indigo
On gustier days, go fly a kite! This five-foot diamond flyer features a fibreglass frame and nylon sail — just attach the tails and string and let it up into the breeze. This seller also shares an intro to single line kites if you need a bit of a brush-up, including how to assess wind speed.
Big Diamond Kite, $48.95, Kite Guys
Whether you're brushing up on childhood skills or you're a hooping pro, you can practice well into the evening with this battery-powered light-up hoop made of White High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) tube and LED lights.
Hankyky LED Glow Sport Hoop, $38.66, Amazon
The pieces in this Wacky Race set can be combined to form 6 obstacle course games.
4FUN Wacky Race Obstacle Course, $55.99, Mastermind Toys