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Sports Then and Now

The 5 Best Sports and Games to Play in Your Own Backyard

Posted on April 08, 2020 by Martin Banks

It’s easy to get restless when living the lockdown lifestyle. Regular activity is important for your physical and mental health, and while you could spend all your time doing projects and cleaning the house, there’s only so much dust. Plus, after it’s gone, it comes right back. You might as well find some time to enjoy yourself.

Why not indulge in some old-fashioned backyard sports? It’s a great way to pass time and occupy the whole family. Here are a few great ideas to do just that.

1. Soccer

The world’s game earned its title because you can play anywhere with only a ball and an open space. Before you declare that you don’t have enough room for a soccer match, keep in mind that you don’t need a FIFA-approved pitch to pass, juggle, shoot and improve your skills. The multitude of mini-games and exercises you can do in this sport is part of why it is so beloved. 

2. Horseshoes

Here’s another classic that you can play in a fairly small space. Millennials and Generation Z may require some instruction, but the game of horseshoes is one of those perennial favorites that has endeared itself to generations over time. It’s a simple game of tossing u-shaped “shoes” at a stake sunk into a pit of sand. This is one you can build yourself — all you need are some simple digging tools, a couple of stakes and sand. 

3. Make Your Own Game

The next few examples showcase games you can build on your own, but you don’t have to stop there. You can invent your very own set of rules. It takes so little to create a fun, new game that you can share with friends and maybe sell it to a toy company someday. You’ve got to start somewhere, so why not your own backyard during a pandemic where there’s nothing else to do? 

4. Bag Toss

Bag toss is the simple but addicting game of aiming to throw beanbags through circular openings in a slanted wooden structure. The space between scoring zones allows bags to sit on the “box,” awaiting a nudge in from a subsequent throw, or a heartbreaking shove off the board. As you and your competition improve, you can spread the boxes farther apart to increase the level of difficulty. If you’re DIY-ing it, consider using some fun cloth for the beanbags and painting your boxes in the colors of your favorite sports team.

5. Can Jam

A cousin of bag toss, often found at the same cherished venues, is can jam. This game involves flying discs and two round trash cans with slots cut into them. One player from each team stands at either can, and the object is to either throw the disc through the narrow opening, or for fewer points, place it above the can where the partner can “jam” it in with a downward swat. So satisfying!

Take It Outside

We’ve only scratched the surface of backyard games, and there’s already a bunch to do here both in building your playing set and putting it to use. If you have a great game you want to share with the community, post your idea in the comments section below. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be the next big thing.

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