43 Best Backyard Games for Teens or Tweens

backyard games for teens

Bookmark this list as your go-to for the best backyard games for teens or tweens. It has everything from games for groups and birthday parties, to games fit for camp-outs or pool parties. Let’s be honest: No one is too old for a fun outdoor game.  

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This list of backyard games for teens and tweens has something from everyone, whether you’re looking for fun outdoor game ideas just for teens or tweens or for larger groups that include younger kids. You might recognize some classics from when you were young, but there are a lot of new outdoor games to consider.

Party Games

You could build a really fun party with the following backyard games for teens. These outdoor party games can be a fun way to throw a party for a bigger group and set teens up for hours of fun. All of these games work with a large group, but some require more gear than others. 

Capture the Flag
Capture the Flag works well if you’re throwing a party with teens and tweens who are up for some running.  With this Capture the Flag set, the party doesn’t have to stop when the sun sets because the game pieces can light up. The original set works with groups of 4-8, but this expansion pack adds 12 more players. You can also choose the expansion pack that expansion pack that adds a third team.

Lawn Twister
This fun twist on a childhood favorite game can scale much larger played on a homemade outdoor Twister board. If you don’t mind a little spray paint on your grass, create a Twister board on your lawn as a cheap and fun outdoor game for a larger group. You could also use sidewalk chalk if you have a large paved area. Find step-by-step instructions from a fellow mom at TipJunkie.com.

Laser tag
Turn a love of video games into amazing outdoor fun. This laser tag set has supplies for up to four players and can be combined with additional sets for more players. This set also charges rather than using batteries for better long-term use.

This would make a great gift for a tween or teen. Find more ideas on our list of the 95 Best Gifts for Tween & Teen Boys.

4 Way Volleyball
This 4 Way Volleyball game reminds me of the old-school game foursquare on stilts. The four-player game requires much less space than a traditional volleyball and sets up quickly and easily with no tools.

This makes a great gift for a volleyball lover. For more gift ideas on our list of the 75 Best Gifts for Tween & Teen Girls.

Scavenger Hunt
There are many ways to host a scavenger hunt, and older kids love the healthy competition and adventure. You can get pretty elaborate with planning, but you can also pull off a fun scavenger hunt without a ton of work or expense. I planned a neighborhood scavenger hunt for my oldest son. I created activities and clues in advance and pulled in several other neighborhood families to “host” the activities with clues that ran the boys from one house to the next solving riddles and doing silly activities. The first team to cross the finish line got a prize.

If you want to save yourself hours of work, grab our step-by-step guide to hosting an epic neighborhood scavenger hunt. This hunt takes teams to five different houses to solve riddles and gather clues. This downloadable PDF gives you everything you need to pull this off.

If you have the space to put up a net, tweens and teens love a good game of volleyball. This Baden Champions Volleyball Badminton Combo Set gets top ratings for durability and ease of setup. It also comes with a volleyball, racquets and a carrying case. 

Throw Throw Burrito: A Dodgeball Card Game
This is a much more extreme outdoor version of the fun board game. Throw Throw Burrito: a Dodgeball Card Game comes with three-foot tall inflatable burritos and jumbo, water-resistant playing cards. Collect points from cards and lose points when you get hit by a flying burrito.

We wrote about How to Love Your Years Parenting Tweens, and one of the things that came up repeatedly in our research was the importance of having fun with your kids. What’s more fun than hitting your kid with a giant inflatable burrito?!

Flashlight Tag
All you need for a game of flashlight tag are a few flashlights. You play this game just like regular tag, but you’re getting tagged by the beam of a flashlight. 

Flashlights disappear constantly around my house so I’m always replacing. These LED flashlights are small, but they throw a lot of light and come in a two-pack if you need extras for more players.

With a larger number of people and a bigger space, dodgeball is always a favorite. You can’t play without multiple good dodgeballs, but consider sending them home with guests as a party favor. Just hang on to at least one for the next time you want to suggest a neighborhood kickball game.

Blob Tag
Tweens and teens might have played blog tag as kids, but a game where you run around holding hands has some selling points for older kids as well. One player starts as “it,” and as they tag other players they join hands to grow the blob. The bigger the blob, the harder to avoid being tagged.

As far as backyard games for teens and tweens go, this is truly a classic. Many kids will know how to play if you just make the suggestion. But here’s the general idea…

Think of this as reverse hide and seek. One player hides while the rest seek. If a player finds someone hiding, they join them in the hiding spot. This continues until all players are packed into the hiding spot like sardines.

Giant Outdoor Games

Some of the most fun backyard games for teens and tweens are giant versions of favorite indoor games. 

Yard Farkle & Yardzee
Transform your favorite dice games into a great way for kids of all ages to have fun outside with this outdoor dice set. The weather-resistant wooden dice come in a collapsible bucket with a lid.

The set includes five big, laminated score cards for 20+ games like Farkle and Yardzee. The dice are 3.5-inch squares, so they’re large but not gigantic. This company also plants a tree for every order place, which we love.

Left Right Center
This giant, all-weather left right center game is perfect for outdoor fun. Commands are burned into the wood, and supplies come in a carrying bag. For every purchase, SWOOC games also plants a tree.

We’re kind of obsessed with games in general. Check out our our Top Board Games for Tweens & Teens if you’re looking for some new ideas.

Ladder Toss
We called this game something else growing up, but Ladder Toss sounds a little nicer.? It’s an easy game. It’s also easy to store and easy to set up, and you will quickly get addicted to trying to wrap those golf balls around the ladder.

Lawn Bowling
This inflatable lawn bowling set will make for some great laughs (and probably some hilarious photos.)

Giant Jenga
My sons and their friends always end up playing Giant Jenga when we go to local arcades that have them. It’s fun to play and it’s also fun to watch and commentate on what each player decides to do.

Lawn Twister
This giant outdoor game might be the cheapest option of the bunch. You might even have all the supplies around the house. With a little paint, your yard can become a giant Twister board. Follow the instructions at TipJunkie.com on how to make it. She’s a mom and her pictures give an easy step-by-step.

Suped Up Soccer
You can take a friendly family or friend soccer game to a whole new level with this wicked big soccer ball. It’s a fun twist on a classic game. You can also up the stakes by challenging the opposing team to a friendly wager – maybe the losing team buys ice cream for the group. 

Tic Tac Toe
The outdoor version of this favorite game is fun for camping or the beach or the park on a sunny day. Outdoor Tic Tac Toe isn’t hard to store or bring along.

Large Group Games

The great thing about a big group is the ability to choose backyard games for teens and tweens that require two or more decently-sized teams. Not every game below is a team game, but most are or could be.

A couple years back, my neighbors organized a kickball game at a nearby baseball diamond. We had a BLAST! All ages played and it was so fun to cheer on team members as they ran the bases and hassle the dads who got a little too serious about their kicks and throws. This is the kind of kickball I like because it’s a little heavier duty.

Divide your group of tweens and teens into two teams and let them choose whether they want to battle at volleyball or badminton. This heavy duty Baden Champions Volleyball Badminton Combo Set comes with a volleyball as well as badminton racquets and shuttlecocks. Based on reviews, it is also built to withstand the beating the kids will likely give it. 

Laser Tag
Team games are a blast with large groups. The starter laser tag set has supplies for up to four players, but it can be combined with additional sets for more players. So maybe you encourage several neighborhood families to get one so you can all play together. This set also charges rather than using batteries for better long-term use.

Flashlight Tag
We loved getting a big group together to play this game when I was young – and I’m talking all the way into high school. Have everyone bring a flashlight for a game of tag. You get hit by a flashlight beam, and you’re out. The game ends when there is one person left.

It’s not a bad idea to keep some extra flashlights on hand for impromptu games. These LED flashlights are small, but they throw a lot of light and come in a two-pack.

Capture the Flag
If you have the space to run around and a group that likes a little healthy competition, this definitely belongs high on the list of backyard games for teens and tweens This Capture the Flag set lets you make the game into a night-time adventure. You can also add 12 more players with this expansion pack or get this extra pack to add a third team.

Blob Tag
This game works great with big groups and doesn’t require any supplies. Win! The group chooses one player to start as “it,” and each time that player tags another player they join hands to grow the blob. It’s pretty entertaining to watch a group of tweens or tweens trying to run around holding hands. There are also variations where players hold pool noodles or jump ropes between them to extend their reach.

Dodgeball is a blast with a large group, but you’ll want to ask people to bring any extra dodgeballs they have. You need multiple good dodgeballs to play, and if you don’t have enough, you can just shift over to kickball.

Lawn Twister
The beauty of lawn Twister is that you can make the board as big as you want to accommodate a big group. Create a homemade Twister board with spray paint on your grass or even sidewalk chalk on your driveway. The blogger mom at TipJunkie.com gives step-by-step instructions (and she creates her stencil with a Diet Coke box, so I know she’s cool.)

Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts can range from pretty simple to super elaborate. They can be every man for himself or a team sport. But they’re pretty much always fun, and they can be created to accommodate any number of players. Make sure to have some prizes for the first person (or team) to complete the hunt.

scavenger hunt

Wiffle Ball
I love a good game of wiffle ball if you have enough room to set up a field and enough people to play. It’s fun because all ages can play and you don’t need a lot of gear. I’m not a fan of the old-school skinny yellow bats, but I like this wiffle ball set. I also strongly encourage getting extra balls so you don’t spend the whole game chasing wild hits.

Fun for the Whole Family Games

The trick here is finding backyard games for teens and tweens that aren’t too complicated for young children (or grandparents). It also depends on the number of players. A few options below work for the entire family and others are great family games, but you can’t all play at once. 

My family has spent hours trying to master the slackline in our backyard. We have this Slackline kit, which comes with everything you need for quick setup between two trees or posts. Then you can practice walking the tightrope, playing chicken or coming up with other tricks while you balance.

Throw Throw Burrito: A Dodgeball Card Game
This comes with three-foot tall inflatable burritos to throw and giant, water-resistant playing cards. Need we say more? Throw Throw Burrito: a Dodgeball Card Game is a spin off the popular board game. Collect points from cards and lose points when you get hit by a flying burrito. This one could be a major hit for a family reunion.

Trampoline Basketball
I did a lot of research on basketball hoops for our trampoline. We’re on our third indoor hoop because the kids use it daily, so I wanted something that could withstand tween and teen slam dunks. I landed on this specific trampoline basketball hoop because it anchors with hardware to the trampoline post and has a sturdy, spring-loaded hoop. It’s a big hit!

Ladder Toss
There are online tutorials for making your own ladder toss game, or you can grab your premade Ladder Toss online. It’s easy to store and easy to set up, and you will quickly get addicted to trying to wrap those golf balls around the ladder.

This might be a stretch for a list of backyard games for teens and tweens, but we’re including it because geocaching is like a real-life treasure hunt. We grab some pens and little trinkets from around the house and then jump on Geocaching.com to find a geocache in our area. Some are available on the site for free, but you can also pay to upgrade and see more. We’ve done that before for a month in the summer to find some fun geocaches and then unsubscribed.

Use the app to follow the clues and find the hidden geocache. Some are large enough to leave a trinket or sign a ledger and others are itty-bitty and just about the thrill of the chase.

Spikeball looks like a mini trampoline that has seen better days, but it’s one of the biggest hits to come out of the show Shark Tank. Many of our neighbors own the four-person game, and it’s all over the green spaces on the college campus where I teach. 

Kan Jam
This outdoor game gets addicting fast. The object of the game is to get the frisbee into the slot or even into the top of the cylinder. Sounds easy. But it’s not, even with your teammate trying to help you knock it in. We have the original Kan Jam but they also have the Kan Jam Illuminate so you can keep playing after dark.

Night Games

When it comes to backyard games for teens and tweens, I think the draw of running around in the dark might just be the best way to get big kids outside and having good, silly fun.

Light Up Laser Tag
This laser tag set has targets that glow in up to four team colors for night-time play. They work up to 150 feet and have a built-in flashlight players can use if they need it. We like that this set recharges rather than using batteries for better long-term use. The set is for four players but can be combined with additional sets for bigger games with up to four opposing teams.

Flashlight Tag
This is one of two games I remember from growing up that my older kids still love to play. Grab some flashlights and head out for a game of night-time tag. You’re out if the person who is “it” finds you with their flashlight beam. Grab these small but mighty LED flashlights for the house. You can lend them out and it’s not the end of the world if they don’t come back.

Glow Stick Volleyball
Here’s a simple and cheap outdoor night game. Get a beach ball (or a couple beach balls). Shove a few glow sticks inside. Blow the beach ball all the way up. Voila! You’re ready for a game of night volleyball. If you don’t have a net, this Baden Champions Volleyball Badminton Combo Set tops the list of best backyard volleyball nets. 

Glow in the Dark Capture the Flag
This Capture the Flag set comes with 25 light-up pieces and has supplies for 4-8 players to battle as two teams. For larger groups, grab the expansion pack (12 more wristbands) or add a third team with a third color expansion pack.

Ghosts in the Graveyard
My friends and I loved playing this game at my house, because my house was next door to an actual graveyard from the 1800s. Super spooky and super fun. The group decides on a “base” and then one person is named the ghost and hides. The first player to find the ghost yells “Ghost in the Graveyard,” and everyone else races to get back to base before the ghost can tag them.

Light Up Corn Hole
If you have a corn hole board and want to keep the game going after dark, grab these corn hole board lights

Night Basketball
If you have basketball lovers, there are a couple simple ways to keep the game going after dark (and they’re more fun than adding a giant floodlight). Add these hoop lights. They have a remote that lets you change the color and effect. To level up even more, get a GlowCity Glow in the Dark Ball. These fun additions make your hoop feel like a whole new game.

Classic Outdoor Games

Classic backyard games for teens and tweens stand the test of time and create fun memories from generation to generation. A included a couple newer games below that I think are already falling into the “classic” category.

We had an old croquet set in my garage growing up. I think all of my friends did, too. I don’t know what happened to that thing, but croquet is really fun. This croquet set comes with everything you need for six players in a carrying case for easy storage.

Tweens and teens can be hard on volleyball/badminton nets, but this Baden Champions Volleyball Badminton Combo Set gets top reviews for durability. It’s also easy to set up and tear down, and it comes with a volleyball, badminton racquets and a carrying case. 

Corn Hole
Corn Hole is a backyard party game favorite. It’s fun to order boards customized with your favorite school or team. Look for someone local who can make a set of corn hole board, or consider making them yourself if you’re handy. Then you can get weather-resistant corn hole bean bags. They come in all kinds of color combinations to fit the theme of your boards. We’re also loving these corn hole board lights!

Kan Jam
I feel like this game has been around long enough at this point to be considered a classic. You try to get your partner’s frisbee into the slot or the top of the cylinder for points. The original Kan Jam is a classic, they now also have Kan Jam Illuminate for night-time play.

Bocce Ball
We finally had to trash the bocce ball set we registered for when we got married. Apparently the shelf life is just under 20 years. Bocce Ball is a fun outdoor game that takes very little room to store. Some of the restaurants near us with outdoor spaces have this lawn game set up and ready to play.

Disc Golf
Many parks in our area now sport disc golf baskets. I have my husband and sons this disc golf starter set as a combo gift for Christmas. We plan to take it and check out some courses in our area. There’s also a course where we camp every year.

Washer Toss
I have to admit, I haven’t played Washer Toss. But I keep seeing it all around and it has my attention. I’m guessing it’s as addictive as skee ball, and the carrying case makes it the perfect game to bring to a friend’s cookout.

Camping Trip Games

This category extends the definition of backyard games for teens and tweens to include the backyard of your tent or camper. Camping games for teens are a great way to get older kids outside and having fun, but they can’t take up much space in the car. We’ve got you covered.

Disc Golf
We camp at least once or twice a year, and there’s a disc golf course right there. In fact, we got stuck at the campsite for a couple extra hours a few years ago because we were all searching for a friend’s lost disc. We never did find that thing! This disc golf starter set gives you everything you need to play, whether you’re brand new to disc golf or have played before. This tops our list of fun camping games for teens.

This Slackline kit comes with everything you need for quick setup between two trees. Leave it up for the whole camping trip and let people take turns walking the tightrope, playing chicken or coming up with other balancing tricks. Some of the kids on the college campus where we teach can do amazing tricks on slacklines they set up in public green spaces.

Throw Throw Burrito: A Dodgeball Card Game
Games with inflatables work well for camping because they pack up small for the car. Use Throw Throw Burrito: a Dodgeball Card Game to burn off those s’mores and deflate for easy storage. 

Camping is the perfect time to go geocaching because you’re in a new area and likely near some good hiking spots. Visit Geocaching.com to find a geocache in the area (just be aware that only some geocaches on the site are visible for free, and others require a paid subscription). Use the app to follow the clues and find the hidden geocache. 

Geocaching adds a fun new layer of adventure to hikes. It’s high on our list of camping games for teens, even though it might stretch the definition of game.

Spikeball first appeared on Shark Tank, but it is EVERYWHERE now. Tons of my teen’s friends have it and I see it all around on the college campus where I teach. The two-on-two game doesn’t take a lot of space and can range from a friendly game to an ultra competitive challenge. The first team to reach 21 exactly wins.

Kan Jam
Our Kan Jam game always comes camping with us because it takes up almost no space in the car and is always a fun outdoor activity. If you don’t already own it, consider going with the Kan Jam Illuminate so you can keep the game going day or night. We couldn’t give a list of camping games for teens without a night-time game.

Water Play Games

Some of the games backyard games for teens and tweens below require a pool and others just require the willingness to get wet.

Water Balloon Fight
Water balloons are always a win on a hot day. Bunch o Balloons saves hours of time filling balloons, but kids can go through them SO DARN FAST. I try to keep a stash on hand in my garage for when the teens roll in on hot summer days.

Pool Volleyball Set
Spoiler Alert! This pool volleyball set only works if you already have a pool (which I don’t). But I like to invite myself over to visit my friends who have pools. Maybe I should consider gifting this in exchange for constantly hosting me in the summer…

Watermelon Ball
This ingenious watermelon ball is a fun new swimming pool game. You fill it with water and then you’re able to pass, dribble and kick it 10 feet under water. I bet kids could create a fun version of Marco Polo with this underwater ball.

Water Football
If you have any visits to a pool or the beach coming up, a couple water footballs are a must-have. These things keep my sons entertained for HOURS. In fact, I like throwing the ball back and forth while we chat in the water.

Water Gun Fight
Not a lot of explanation needed here. Pass out water guns and then run for cover. We’ve had a lot of Super Soakers over the years in my house, but I want to try out these Joyin Super Water Blasters. They come in two and three packs and get great ratings.

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