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END-OF-SUMMER LAWN GAMES YOUR KIDS WILL LOVE

BET THEY CAN’T PLAY JUST ONE

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Curious, Creative, Caring, and Confident™
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Extend summer fun and fitness all the way to fall with these no-cost, no-skill games. Your kids will be glad you did.
END-OF-SUMMER LAWN GAMES YOUR KIDS WILL LOVE

Sure, the kids may be back in school, but the weather outside is still wonderful. Enjoy the warm rays and these seriously fun games to keep the kids outdoors and active.

1. Pool Noodle Hockey

Use your noodles again, and make fun the goal.

Players: Two or more, in even numbers

Best for: Ages 3 to 6

What you’ll need: One pool noodle for each child, and one balloon or beach ball to bat around

How to play: Create two teams. If you have more than two players, appoint goalies for each team. They guard the goals (use rope, cones, or planters to mark the goal lines). The object of the game is to hit the ball into the field goals to score points. Reckless taps, body bashing, and sword fights are not permitted. Keep backup balloons handy. Highest score wins.

2. Ladder Ball

Take a beanbag toss to new heights.

Players: Two or more, in even numbers

Best for: Ages 5 to 6

What you’ll need: A ladder from your garage, beanbags, pen and paper

How to play: Assign each rung on the ladder a point value, starting at 10 and increasing in increments of 10 points until you reach the top of the ladder. Tape a piece of paper with the number representing the point value to each rung. Player One stands a few feet away from the ladder. She tosses beanbags between the rungs on the ladder and tallies her score. Game continues with remaining players. Highest score wins.

3. Glow-Stick Balloonacy

Kids will love this nighttime, glow-in-the-dark version of the beach classic.

Players: Two or more

Best for: Ages 3 and up

What you’ll need: Eight glow sticks, and one big balloon (keep extra balloons on hand, just in case)

How to play: Connect seven glow sticks to form a large circle, about the size of a Hula Hoop. Slide another glow stick into a balloon and blow it up. Hang the hoop from a tree branch. Place one player on each side. Players volley the balloon through the hoop. If a player misses the shot, the other side gets a point. Highest score wins. If there are more than two players, the winner plays the waiting players in the following rounds.

4. Rock ’n’ Tic-Tac-Toe

X’s and O’s mark the spot

Players: Two

Best for: Ages 4 and up

What you’ll need: Chalk, 10 palm-sized rocks you can find in your yard, and one black indelible ink pen to mark the rocks

How to play: Mark five rocks with an “X” and five with an “O” to make the game pieces—or paint the rocks different colors, one color for Player One, and the other color for Player Two). Then, use chalk to make a 3 x 3 grid of squares on a patio, sidewalk, or driveway. Players take turns placing rocks in the squares. The first player to place three in a row in any direction—or tic-tac-toe—wins. Play again.

5. Crab Soccer

If they play this game they’ll be happy kids, not crabby apples.

Players: Two or more

Best for: Ages 5 to 6

What you’ll need: One beach ball

How to play: Create two teams. Designate an area in your yard as the playing field. Use planters or cones to make goals at each end of the field. Have children squat with knees bent and feet on the ground, and then have them place their hands on the ground behind them. Keeping their bottoms lifted, let them move across the field on their hands and feet, and kick the giant ball to the goal line. The first team to score a point wins.

6. Snowball Extravaganza

Here’s a cool end-of-summer way for a large group of kids to get to know each other better.

Players: The more the merrier!

Best for: Ages 5 to 6

What you’ll need: Pens and paper

How to play: Hand each child a sheet of paper and help the kids write up to three facts about themselves without anyone else seeing. Ask them to crumple their papers into balls. Form a circle and have the kids throw their “snowballs” at each other. They continue to pick up the snowballs and toss for a designated amount of time (say, one minute). Once time is up, children take turns trying to guess which person the snowball belongs to, based on the clues written on the paper.

Which of the following are your kids’ picks for the best holiday gifts ever?

Parents Talk Back
Which of the following are your kids’ picks for the best holiday gifts ever?