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A very big, fun list of games and activities to play outside

For the sidewalk, lawn, parking lot, park, backyard, beach and more!

For the sidewalk, lawn, parking lot, park, backyard, beach and more!

We've compiled a BIG list of outdoor games and activities for you to play outside with your bubble 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

Playground ball

Just like the ones from gym class but with a very fun colour scheme, this lightweight, bouncy, PVC ball is ideal for so many different games, like four square, or wall ball.  

8.5-inch Splatter Playground Ball, $10.99, Indigo

Jump rope

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, $12.49, Elite SRS

For multiple skippers: At 14 feet long, this colourful jump rope is the right length for more than one person, and comes in at under five dollars.

Goofy Foot Double Jump Rope, $3.99, 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, $16.97, Amazon

Sidewalk chalk

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, $7.99, Indigo

Jacks

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, $18.76, Amazon

Roller skates

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:

These are available for pre-order from Roller Girl. The site says they 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, $125, 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, $103.95, Skate Pro 

Pogo stick

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

Croquet set

There are lots of croquet sets out there, but this utterly whimsical, Alice In Wonderland-inspired one truly caught our attention, flamingo mallets and all. Don't forget to check out The beginner's guide to the greatest pastimes: Croquet.

Queen of Hearts Flamingo Croquet Set, $69, 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, $34.99, Mastermind Toys

If you're playing on grass or sand

Spike ball

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, $79.99, Mastermind Toys

Lawn darts

Extend your lawn dart play a little longer into the evening with this glow-in-the-dark set. 

Glow in the Dark Lawn Darts, $29.99, Indigo

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

Inflatable pool

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% PVC vinyl, it's 66 inches in diameter and 14 inches high. (Note this one is backordered right now, but will ship mid-May.) 

Staycation Mini Inflatable Pool, $79, Urban Outfitters

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, $110, Amazon

This option is smaller, but considerably less expensive — plus 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, $29, Urban Outfitters

If you've got just about any outdoor surface

Chess

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

Cornhole

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

Yard dice 

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, $33.25, 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, $19.97, Walmart

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, $49.99, Toys"R"Us 

Disc slam

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

Bubbles

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

Kites

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

Hula hoop

Whether you're brushing up on childhood skills or are a hooping pro, you can practice well into the evening with this light-up hoop made of high elasticity PE tube and LED lights. You can also detach it into two small circles to get your arm workout, too.

Glowing Sport Hoop, $28.07, Walmart

Obstacle course

The pieces in this Wacky Race set can be combined to form 6 obstacle course games.

4FUN Wacky Race Obstacle Course, $69.99, Mastermind Toys

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