Growing up, you might have played many different backyard games, but these days a lot of kids tend to hang out inside, playing video games, staring at the TV, or their phones. One study, published in JAMA Pediatrics revealed that nearly half of preschoolers lacked even one parent-supervised outdoor play session a day. On average those aged 10 to 16 spent just 12.6 minutes per day on vigorous outdoor activity.
Getting outside is not only fun, it also brings a wealth of health benefits. Whether you just purchased one of the Los Angeles homes for sale or you’ve lived in your home for years, the backyard can be your ideal oasis for doing things like running, jumping, and catching that provide important aerobic exercise while helping your kids build motor skills. They’ll burn calories, which helps to prevent obesity and strengthen their bones and muscles too. Plus, getting outside in the sunshine helps strengthen the immune system and even boosts happiness levels.
With that said, there are some backyard games that are fun for both kids and adults to play, perhaps even bringing back some fun memories at the same time. The whole family can reap the benefits and have a good time together.
Cornhole is a classic game, essentially a beanbag toss with the goal to toss the beanbag into the hole. All you need are eight to 10 bean bags and two pieces of plywood that are tilted at an angle on opposite ends. As the object is to toss the bean bags through the holes, you’ll want to cut a single hole through each piece of plywood, closer to the higher end. You can also buy a cornhole set at most toy stores or online. A customizable set provides even more fun as the kids can decorate their platforms. It also means a variety of ages can play the game simply by lowering or raising the difficulty level by changing the distance between the platforms or increasing the angle.
Similar to the original Tag game, this one varies in that the players who are tagged have to stay just as they are, standing in place as if they’re “frozen” until they’re “unfrozen.” You need to have at least three people to play, but the more, the better, making it ideal for larger groups. One person is “It” and has the responsibility of catching others. When “It” tags another player, that person is then “frozen” and can only be unfrozen if another active player tags him again. There are lots of variations on the game, like Freeze ‘TV’ Tag. In this version, to unfreeze someone you have to shout out the name of a TV show when you tag them. If you name one that’s already been called, you’re then frozen too. It can be played using just about anything, like animal names, cartoon characters, books, and so on.
Nine Pin is a bowling game, only you don’t need a bowling ball or official pins. It dates back thousands of years, yet it’s still a fun backyard game today. It’s like bowling, so if you’ve ever bowled before you already know how to play, the only difference is you’ll use nine pins rather than 10. They can be anything from 2-liter soda bottles to empty milk cartons, just set them up in a diamond shape. You’ll also need a plastic ball heavy enough to knock them over. The rules are simple, a point for every pin knocked down and the player with the most points at the end wins.
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