Help make summer days in the garden more fun with the gift of an outdoor game you can play with your family and friends.
There's a good reason why some people take a real pride in their backyard.
Because nothing beats long, hot summer days relaxing in the yard and spending quality time with your loved ones.
As not only do you get to see your favourite people.
You also get out into the fresh air and can lap up the warmth and vitamin D without being disturbed by strangers.
So, if you have a nice yard or you know someone who does then there's no doubt it'll get plenty of use when the weather's good.
As there's great fun to be had splashing around in paddling pools, lounging in deck chairs with a cold beer, or firing up the barbecue.
And one thing you can do to make it even more enjoyable is to invest in some yard games.
As these games help to bring everyone together which makes them a great addition to anyone's garden.
And they also make fantastic gifts to give to the host when you get invited over for a barbecue or a few afternoon drinks in the sun.
So, check out the list below of our favourite backyard games that will go down a treat at any summer social gathering.
1. A Croquet Set
Let's begin with the most quintessential of lawn games which is croquet.
As this is THE lawn game that the well-heeled and respected in England have been playing for over a century now.
But the good news is you no longer need to have a double-barreled surname or be heir to a family fortune to give croquet a go.
As it has become a very popular game for the general public to play in both public parks and their own backyards.
And it's great for social gatherings as it can be played by up to eight players at a time.
The idea of croquet is that using your mallet you hit your ball around the croquet course so it passes through a series of metal hoops in order.
And depending on the rules you choose to play by you need to do this in fewer moves than your opponents to win the game.
However, there are so many variations of croquet and you can even make up your own when playing an informal game among friends.
So, if you want to give someone a summer gift that adds a touch of class to their garden parties then the Family Traditions 8 Player Croquet Set will do just that.
As this set contains mallets made from strong maple wood and has everything you need to get started.
2. A Kubb Set
Another fantastic yard game to play when you have a group of mates over is Kubb.
This game originated from the Swedish Vikings and remains popular in Scandinavia to this day.
The idea is that you set up a two rows of 5 wooden blocks in a line facing each other but 8 metres apart and with a King wooden block in the middle.
Then split up into two teams with each team standing behind their line of Kubbs and getting 6 wooden dowels to throw each turn at the other teams Kubbs to try and knock them down.
And once all the other teams Kubbs are knocked down you just need to topple the King Kubb to win the game.
However, it's not as easy as it sounds but it's great fun and a game that everyone can play.
So, if you want to add some Scandinavian fun to your summer barbecues the Yard Games Premium Kubb Set has all you need to start playing.
And the Kubbs are made from a hard wood that is built to last.
3. The Molkky Game
Molkky emanates from Finland and is a bit like Skittles in that you throw a wooden baton at a set of pins to try and knock them down.
So, you set up the 12 pins (numbered 1-12) in a set formation to start.
Then each player takes turns to knock the pins down and points are awarded depending on how many they can knock down in one go.
So, if they knock down two or more pins they get a point for each pin knocked down.
However, if they manage to only knock one pin down they get the amount of points that corresponds with the number on that skittle.
And after each turn fallen skittles are stood up where they landed and the first player to get to 50 points wins the game.
So, again this is a great lawn game as it's fun, easy to learn, and can be played by anybody.
And that makes a Molkky set a gift that'll go down a treat at any summer gatherings you attend.
4. A Bocce Ball Set
Bocce ball is another lawn game that goes back a long way...all the way to the Roman Empire in fact!
And it's become an incredibly popular pastime in Italy among the older generation.
As it can be played on grass, sand or dusty surfaces.
So, if you've travelled around Italy you'll probably have seen a game of Bocce ball being played in the town squares and parks.
And this game works just as well outside of Italy too.
As all you need to play are a set of correctly weighted Bocce balls, a white palino ball, and a measuring device.
So, the palina is rolled into position to start the game and then each team has 4 balls that they throw underarm to try and get closest to it.
And after both teams have thrown all their balls the team closest to the palina gets points depending on how many balls they managed to get closer than the other team.
So, Bocce is a good game to gift someone who is throwing a garden party for older people.
However, there's nothing stopping the young 'uns from joining in the fun too!
5. A Giant Chess Set
Chess is the ultimate game of wit and strategy.
And while you may think of it as an indoor board game rather than a lawn game, it's a great game to play outdoors too.
As in many countries there are chess tables set up in public parks that encourage the locals to build community, socialise, and get out into the fresh air over a game.
And there's nothing stopping you setting up a chess set or two in your backyard when you have friends over.
However, if you want something that can become a real talking point at backyard gatherings how about getting a MegaChess Giant Chess Set.
As this is a huge chess board with durable plastic chess pieces that stand up to 25 inches high.
And it looks so great when set up in your backyard that your guests won't be able to resist giving it a try.
6. Tumbling Timbers
Another popular indoor game that can also be played outdoors is Jenga.
However, don't restrict yourself and your guests to the regular sized version that may blow down in the wind.
As you can also buy giant Jenga sets for the backyard that are brilliant for summer barbecues.
So, the premise is that each player needs to remove one wooden block at a time from the stack then place it on the top without the whole thing collapsing.
With the eventual loser being the one who sends the blocks tumbling down.
And with the giant sized blocks this collapse looks even more spectacular!
So, if this sounds like a good summer party gift idea then check out the Yard Games Tumbling Timbers.
As this set is made from quality pine wood and contains 56 blocks that can stack up to over 5 feet high.
And it's definitely a fun game to test everyone's sleight of touch, skill and judgement this summer.
7. A Giant 4 In A Row Game
You may notice a theme developing here which is traditional board games that have been transformed into giant versions of themselves so you can play them outdoors.
And a popular one for yard and pool parties is Connect 4.
As this is a game that has been loved for decades with most of us playing it as kids growing up.
So, this one is perfect to play as a family.
All you need to do is get 4 plastic coins of your colour to sit in a row before your opponent can.
And while the rules are simple, when you become more skilled there are many strategies and tactics you can use to beat your opponent.
So, it's a great game for adults too.
And the ideal set for outdoors is the GoSports giant 4-in-a-row game.
As this one is over 3 feet wide, 32 inches tall, and able to withstand a sudden turn in the weather.
8. A Giant Dominoes Set
The final classic game that gets the oversized treatment on this list is dominoes.
And when I say classic I mean many centuries old classic!
So, having stood the test of time it can be a popular addition to any garden party.
Each dominoes set contains 28 dominoes with pairs of dots numbering between 1-6 with some left blank.
And the idea is to lay one of your dominoes by matching the amount of dots with one already on the board.
You then get points correlating to the amount of dots on the dominoes you've played and matched up with.
With the winner being the one who has the most points after the final domino has been played.
Now this is a simplistic explanation and there are so many different variations and strategies involved that are too lengthy to mention here.
But that's what makes this seemingly simple game so much fun to play.
So, getting a giant set of wooden dominoes you can use on the lawn is a great thing for any outdoor gathering.
And for a good option check out this one from Triumph.
Also, if you're quite handy you could always make your own lawn dominoes set to give to someone a gift with a more personal touch.
Check out the video below to see how.
9. The Kan Jam Game
Having a frisbee to throw around is always a fun thing to do in the summer when you're having a picnic or spending time in the park.
So, how about a lawn game that plugs into the fun of throwing a frisbee?
As this is exactly what the KanJam game does.
The idea of the game is that you set up two Kan Jam containers with a slot and an open top at either end to act as goals.
Then teams of 2 face each other with one player throwing the frisbee towards the goal and their teammate trying to deflect it into the goal at the other end.
And you get differing levels of points depending on if you deflect the frisbee to hit the can, go in the can, or if it flies directly in through the slot.
With the first team getting to 21 points winning the game.
So, if you have a big enough yard this game is a great one to play on a sunny afternoon.
10. Spikeball Game Set
If you want a backyard game that is high energy and allows you to work up a sweat then Spikeball is the ideal choice.
This is a clever variation of volleyball but played in a very different way.
As instead of having a standing net to play a ball over, you play a small spikeball off a round net on the ground.
So, 2 teams of 2 line up with the ball being served by a player of one team by being bounced off the circular net.
Then the other team have 3 touches of the ball to return it to the net without it touching the floor.
Points are scored similar to volleyball and the first team to a set amount of points will win the game.
Now this is a game that can get super competitive so be ready for some intense play.
But it's great as you can have fun while also getting plenty of good exercise in along the way.
So, you will have earned that ice cold beer afterwards.
11. A Cornhole Bean Bag Toss Game
The next game on the list is Cornhole and it's one that you'll probably be familiar with.
As this is a common game at barbecues, tailgate parties, and outdoor gatherings throughout the United States.
And it's so simple to play.
As all you need to do is try to toss more beanbags through a hole on the cornhole board than your opponent.
So, placing the two cornhole boards 27 feet apart you each toss 4 beanbags towards the opposing cornhole.
And you get 3 points if your bag goes through the hole and 1 point if it lands and stays on the board.
At the end of each frame both teams or individuals scores are tallied up and the ones with the most points get them added to their total.
With the first team or individual to 21 points winning the game.
So, this game is a real staple of the outdoor games circuit and is a great thing to be able to whip out to entertain your guests during the summertime.
And a good cornhole set that has everything you need to play is this one from GoSports.
12. The Bulzibucket Game
Another game that tests your throwing accuracy is Bulzibucket.
For this one you have two buckets placed 12-15 feet apart which each have 3 scoring holes in.
Each team then has 4 bags each to toss at the opposing teams bucket to try and get them into the scoring holes.
With each hole having a different number of points allocated to it depending on the difficulty level of getting it in.
And at the end of each round the team with the most points has them added to their score with the first team to 21 points being the winners.
So, this is another simple yet fun yard game that the whole family can play.
13. The Ladder Toss Game
If tossing bean bags sounds a bit too easy then how about mixing it up a bit?
As with the ladder toss game you have to toss bolas instead which are two balls connected by a length of rope.
And this is definitely more of a challenge as the flight is way more unpredictable!
So, to play you set up the two ladders 15 feet apart from each other.
Each ladder has 3 rungs for you to aim your bolas at and you get 3 points if your bola hooks on the top rung, 2 points for the middle and 1 point for the bottom.
You get 3 bolas to throw each round and the first to get to 21 points wins the game.
This game can be played individually or in teams of two and is another popular one at tailgate parties.
14. A Volleyball & Badminton Set
The final gift idea for this list of yard games is one that allows them to play games you'll all have heard of and probably played before.
And that is to get them a high quality net for their yard so they can play volleyball or badminton.
Volleyball especially is good for the outdoors as you can have teams with multiple players so everyone can get involved.
Just be careful of the windows with the ball as you play!
Badminton on the other hand is easier on the windows but a bit trickier to play outside as the wind can carry the shuttlecock.
But if you live somewhere where wind isn't an issue then it can be a fun and gentle way to pass an afternoon in the garden.
So, for an all in one gift that does both these things why not go for the Amazon Basics volleyball and badminton set.
As this contains the net, poles, a volleyball, plus 4 badminton rackets and shuttlecocks.
Making it a great gift for the summer.
Summertime is great as it allows you to spend time with your friends and loved ones outside in the fresh air.
Which means endless barbecues, garden parties, and gatherings where you can relax and enjoy each others company.
And one way to spice up these events is with a backyard game.
So, when you're invited over to a friends house this summer don't turn up empty handed.
As any of the games on this list will make a great gift to take along with you and be something that you and your hosts can enjoy right away.