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10 Backyard Games That Will Make Your Next BBQ Epic

All BBQs need three things to be a success: Good friends, good food, and sunshine. Throw in some fun yard games and you'll have a party for the record books.

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Cornhole or bean bag toss

It may go by several different names but just like hot dogs, this game is definitely a summer staple. And it works for adults and kids of all ages. You can either pick up your own at any toy store, or make your own, which is easy enough. If you don’t have any bean bags lying around, try filling a Ziploc bag with salt or flour.

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Water bottle bowling

Bowling may be in indoor sport, but that’s only until water bottle bowling catches on. Grab your recycling bin and fill up ten old bottles with water. Set them up and use any size ball to knock them down.

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Egg race

You definitely have all the items you need for this classic game right in your kitchen: A couple of spoons and a bunch of eggs. If you want to add an extra layer to this easy game, try making it a relay race: tie one of each player’s hands hand behind their back so they have to transfer the egg using only one hand and the spoon.

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Bocce ball

This game has been beloved since the ancient times and comes in various forms such a petanque in France and bowls in Britain. The beauty of this game is that it works for two people or teams of people. The team that gets closer to the pallino (a smaller ball) gets a point. The team that gets 12 points first wins the game. It’s the perfect addition to your BBQ.

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Water balloon fight

Since it’s hot, it’s a no-brainer to work water games into your backyard fun. (Forget having to fill up each water balloon separately, nowadays you can purchase balloons you can fill up in bulk.) Make teams based on balloon colors and start throwing away.

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Giant games

Everyone knows board games are a great way to have group fun, so up the fun by using giant sized versions of your favorite games? From giant Jenga to extra large Tic-Tac-Toe to creating your own jumbo Twister game using colored spray paint, these are great ways to get people engaged.

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Ring toss or horse shoes

No matter how old your guests are, ring toss and horse shoes are games that everyone loves and can easily play. Make sure you check out some surefire ways to win.

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Hula hoop competition

Sure hula hoops may make you think of the 1950s, but people still love the chance to swivel their hips to see who can keep up the hoop the longest. You can make teams and time players to see who has the loosest hips. Bonus: Hula hooping helps you work off that burger!

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Balloon dart board

Have extra birthday party balloons laying about? Try taping them to a large piece of cardboard and creating your own balloon dart board. You can create any shape, including a target with a bull-eyes in the middle, using different colored balloons. If you have little kids, trade the darts for bean bags.

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Potato sack race

OK, so most people don’t have potato sacks lying around, but you can totally improvise. Grab a pillow case (perfect for kids) or even a sleeping bag (ideal for adults) and set up some lanes to use as the race track. Get ready to laugh as people hop, bop, and fall all over the yard trying to be the first one to cross the finish line.

Felissa Benjamin Allard
Felissa Allard has worked at The New York Daily News, Health, Life & Style, About.com and more. As a freelancer, she has had pieces published on What To Expect, SELF, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Modern Mom, Working Mother, and more. Her specialities are beauty, fashion, health, wellness, and parenting.