Two happy blonde friends piggyback and play around in the backyard in the summer.
These Fun & Nostalgic Backyard Games Will Keep You Entertained All Summer Long

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Raise your hand if you remember playing backyard games with your neighborhood besties all summer growing up. Keep your hand raised if you're looking for fun things to do with your family or roomies this summer. Take a stroll down Memory Lane and revisit some of the best nostalgic games to play in your backyard.

You can take advantage of the amazing weather and chill vibes while they're here without leaving your backyard. Split up any these nostalgic backyard games over multiple days, or host your very own house Olympics and compete in all of them.

Split into teams and suit up in your fave throwback outfits like overalls or matching T-shirts. Before the games begin, snap a team photo for the 'Gram. Pair it with a clever throwback caption for your post, like "throwing it way back today." Get a playlist going of your fave boy bands and '90s pop hits streaming in the background. Then, set a game plan of what you want to play first.

If you really want to stay on theme, have some juice boxes, ice pops, and fruit snacks ready for when you need to take a mini break. Then, enjoy all the Freeze Tag and Red Rover your nostalgia-filled heart desires.

Freeze Tag
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Growing up, your go-to neighborhood game might have been tag. You likely played different variations of the game like "Everyone's It" or "Sharks and Minnows," but almost everyone remembers freeze tag. If you need a little refresher, there's one person who is "it." When that person tags you, you have to freeze in place. You can unfreeze when another player on your team tags you.

Red Rover

Red Rover was another classic game you may have played with friends during recess. Grab your house mates, split up into two teams, and face each other. While holding hands, take turns asking someone from the other side to run over and try to break your link. If they don't, they have to join your team. If they do, they bring someone to their side.

Backyard Twister

If Twister was your all-time fave, upgrade the classic for a new backyard hit. This TikTok user created a jumbo Twister game outside, and you might want to do the same. Not only will it be fun seeing your roomies try to stay up, but you'll get tons of hilarious pics for your IG story of everyone twisted together.

A Water Balloon Fight

On extra hot days, this refreshing and fun game will be a major hit. Break off into two teams and see which team can get the other one totally soaked. TBH, it's so refreshing, there's really no losing team here.

Capture The Flag

Another game that requires you to split into two teams is capture the flag. This game takes a bit more strategy while each team tries to sneak their way onto the other's side to capture their flag. Sport team colors to show off your pride, or play it at night with flashlights and glow sticks.

Jumbo Jenga

Jenga is a timeless game. You've probably played rounds upon rounds with your friends at your favorite bar, but have you ever set up a giant Jenga in your backyard? Get yourself a jumbo rainbow Jenga tower that's vibrant AF. Take turns trying to remove pieces without knocking down the whole thing.

You can even play truth or dare Jenga by writing questions and dares on each one of the blocks. They can be nostalgia-themed, too, like "Who was your middle school crush" and "Sing your favorite *NSYNC song."


It wouldn't be a list of backyard games without giving a notable mention to hide-and-seek. You might have bragged about how good you were at hiding when you were a kid, but just imagine the hiding places you can find now that you're older.

Red Light, Green Light

Before taking road trips with your besties, you guys probably played Red Light, Green Light in the backyard. This game covers basic traffic rules: One person stands at the end of the backyard and yells out either "red light" or "green light." Everyone else tries to race to the other side, and whoever gets there first, wins. But, anyone who moves once "red light" is called has to go back to the beginning and try again.

Marco Polo With Your Sprinkler

If you have a sprinkler in your backyard, a warm, sunny day is prime time to put it to use. There are so many games you can play with your sprinkler, but Marco Polo is a fan favorite. Even though this is normally played in the pool, you can still enjoy this game outside of the pool, within your sprinkler's parameters.

Agree on the perimeters before the game begins. The person who is "it" closes their eyes and yells out, "Marco?" Everyone else yells out, "Polo." Judging by the sound, the person who is "it" tries to find someone to tag.

If you don't have a sprinkler, don't fret. There are plenty of super cute ones shaped like cacti and narwhals you can add to your shopping cart RN.

Musical Chairs

Use that throwback playlist you created for a round of Musical Chairs with your roomies. Set up all the deck chairs and folding chairs you have in the backyard, and have someone be the DJ. Play songs from your childhood, and when the music stops, everyone needs to find a seat. Whoever is left at the end, wins and gets to be DJ for round two.

What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?

This is another fun game you may have forgot about — until now. When you play What Time Is It, Mr. Fox, one person stands on one end of the backyard. On the other side, the group yells out, "What time is it, Mr. Fox?" Facing away, the person who is "it" yells the time of day, like "two o'clock." That's how many steps the group gets to take, trying to get closer to the other end. At anytime, the person who is "it" can yell, "Dinnertime," and chase anyone who's nearby.

The Floor Is Lava

The Floor Is Lava is a great game for playing inside, but can also be super fun playing outside, too. Set up your backyard with deck chairs, boogie boards, beach towels, pool floats, etc. to transform it into an obstacle course. Have a safe area at one end of the backyard that everyone has to try to reach. When the time is right, yell out, "The floor is lava."

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