Have a Ball

by | Jul 2021

summer yard games

Photo: Chris Emeott

A fresh twist on classic yard games.

Make the most of the warm, sunshine-filled days with these unique twists on classic summer yard games; some can be created by you with supplies from Frattallone’s Ace Hardware (acehardware.com), GoodKids (goodkids.com), or other local shops. 

Giant Jenga

Take turns removing the wood blocks from different levels of the tower using only one hand. If the block is successfully removed, place it on the top of the tower to add to its height and eventually create new levels to remove from. The premise of the game is to keep the tower from tumbling over. Create your own version by cutting 54 2×4 sanded wood blocks.

Ladder Toss

Spaced 15 feet apart, opponents on each side toss three bolas (two golf balls attached by a nylon rope) toward the opposing three-step ladder. Each step is worth a number of points (the lowest is one, the middle is two and the top is three) and the last bolas to remain on the ladder after each round is added to the total. The first person to get to 21 wins.

Kan Jam

A game that intertwines the skill of frisbee golf with the rules of horseshoe, two players will take turns throwing a frisbee into the designated bin to get to a total of 21 points. If you are a more advanced thrower, try throwing the disc in the slit of the container for an instant and automatic win. Create your own basic version using large plastic bins or planters and cut a 3×12 slit for the instant win.


This active game is similar to a game of volleyball without the standing net. Two teams gather in a circle around the hula hoop-sized net that stands at ankle level. The first player serves the ball into the net so that it ricochets up toward the opponents. With up to three hits to return the ball, the volley will continue until one team fails to return the ball back to the net. The first team to get to 21 wins! With a portable and adjustable net, players can create their ideal conditions for the game whether it is on grass, the driveway or the beach. Players can also adjust the degree of bounce that the ball will endure (more bounce for newer players and less bounce for more advanced players).

Bucket Ball

It is like your classic pong game but bigger! Set up six buckets in the shape of a triangle for each team and take turns throwing the ball into the opposing bins. The team with no buckets left standing wins. Create your own homemade version using 12 buckets and a medium-sized ball that fits inside.


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