Happy Happy Fun Outdoors Toy
July 1, 2010 12:12 PM   Subscribe

I want to buy something fun for the family to play with, either in the backyard or at the park. I have about $100. Water balloon cannon? Bocce? What have you played outdoors that is tons of fun and holds up to repeated playing?

Tangent: My son played something where you throw a stick at other standing sticks and try to knock them over, but nobody knew the name of it.
posted by mecran01 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (31 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
how about Horseshoes? you could probably come up with a set of shoes, backstops and pits for $100.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 12:15 PM on July 1, 2010

Excuse me sir, but can I interest you in a remote fucking control fucking helicopter?

You could get THREE with your budget.
posted by 256 at 12:16 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

Croquet? It's a lot of fun and even inexpensive sets hold up fine if you don't leave them out in the dirt and rain. Kids love using the mallets.
posted by gabrielsamoza at 12:18 PM on July 1, 2010 [6 favorites]

the game with the stick and the other stick might be the swedish game Kubb (pronounced like cube).

On the first question, depending on the size and shape of your yard, croquet might be a good bet.
posted by juliapangolin at 12:19 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

How about Washoes (kind of like horseshoes with washers)?

Apparently there's a whole website dedicated to selling washer-related games. The mind boggles.

There's also Cornhole.
posted by kmtiszen at 12:20 PM on July 1, 2010


Look no further.
posted by The World Famous at 12:22 PM on July 1, 2010

We have enjoyed badminton, croquet, horseshoes and bocce. All would work for your yard. Bocce is probably the easiest for taking to a park.
posted by gudrun at 12:25 PM on July 1, 2010

posted by fire&wings at 12:25 PM on July 1, 2010

I would suggest bocce for a few reasons.

The first being that just about anyone can play it. It really doesn't matter the age, or fitness level. I still play with my 70 year old father and can get my ass kicked.

It is relatively safe.

It is very portable. You can take your set to the park and play there, or to family gathers, etc.
posted by travis08 at 12:27 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yeah, the game is Kubb, and before I got to the end of your post I was going to suggest it. It's great fun.
posted by resiny at 12:34 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Bocce is pretty great, but in my experience all of these games are sort of hit or miss, by which I mean some people really get into them and some don't. It helps to create a yard culture that is conducive to getting into them, e.g. tournaments and the like.
posted by OmieWise at 12:35 PM on July 1, 2010

Giant bubbles. Wands from here or here. Bubble formulas.
posted by Yoshimi Battles at 12:38 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

A proper kite.

A frisbee.
posted by emilyw at 12:43 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

2nd Croquet and lawn darts
posted by WeekendJen at 12:44 PM on July 1, 2010

Stilts, pogo stick, unicycle.
posted by CathyG at 12:51 PM on July 1, 2010

With whatever money you have left over, you could spend a pittance to make a ladder golf set. I see it a lot in campgrounds out here now. My cousins in Indiana are big fans too.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:57 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

We've been playing Quoits lately.

nthing badminton and croquet. We used to make some wicked hard croquet courses in my semi-wooded and rocky backyard as a kid. Every day or two, we'd put together a new tricky course.
posted by PlutoniumX at 1:05 PM on July 1, 2010

Badminton, Bocce, or even volleyball depending on how coordinated your family is.
posted by kylej at 1:20 PM on July 1, 2010

Blongo ball. Which in some circles is known as redneck golf.

My wife's family made me our set. Buying the balls might not be a bad idea though.
posted by theichibun at 1:28 PM on July 1, 2010

A swank Kubb set (approved for Swedish tournament play) is ~$90. Here's how you play.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 1:35 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Casual soccer. Set up two goal areas, split into two teams, define a rough limit for the field. You don't really need goalies, if kids get bored standing around waiting for action, and you don't need to stick with any particular rules beyond no hands. Equipment: one soccer ball.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:37 PM on July 1, 2010

Get an Aerobie!!! They're like frisbees, but fly 100 times better. Usually around $10. If you're near water or lots of trees, maybe not a good idea. They don't float.
posted by Swede78 at 2:07 PM on July 1, 2010

Best answer: Potato gun.
posted by greensalsa at 2:58 PM on July 1, 2010

Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles. My kids like to get their hands wet with bubble juice, make the "OK" sign with their fingers, and blow bubbles out of the membrane that forms from the circle of finger and thumb. Or use their fists like bubble pipes. My older daughter does all kinds of crazy bubblemaking stuff, really fun to watch her be creative.

We also like badminton or equivalent, frisbee, hippity-hops, basketball...
posted by Sublimity at 3:27 PM on July 1, 2010

I have yet to meet a kid that doesn't like to play with a Stomp Rocket.
posted by Ike_Arumba at 3:56 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Lots of great answers! I am having a hard time finding a decent croquet set (I am tall) for $100. Thanks you, keep 'em coming.
posted by mecran01 at 4:40 PM on July 1, 2010

Best answer: If you have big trees about 20' apart, set up a slackline. You can also make end supports from plywood and lumber.
posted by Carmody'sPrize at 5:57 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: @Carmody's A slackline has been on my list for a while. I should probably pull the trigger.
posted by mecran01 at 9:14 PM on July 1, 2010

Definitely quoits! Much more awesome than wikipedia makes it look like!

Cornhole is fun, especially if you involve everyone in making/painting the boxes.
posted by troublewithwolves at 10:31 PM on July 1, 2010

Inflatable pool.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:45 PM on July 2, 2010

Response by poster: Make your own Kubb set for dirt cheap.
posted by mecran01 at 1:04 PM on July 6, 2010

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