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June 20, 2024, is National Yard Games Day!

How will you be celebrating National Yard Games Day? Back in the 1800s, playing in the yard was done regularly. Since homes were much smaller and people had so much less back then, children found more to do outside than inside. When friends and family got together they enjoyed each other's company by sharing a meal and playing many different types of games. Ring in summer this year with your family and friends by spending the day outside. Be sure to make some memories by playing some of these fun yard games!

Here's a list of yard games that were popular during the 1800s.

Why not give some a try?

Blind Man's Bluff



Stick Ball

Quoits (like ring toss)




Shadow Tag

Rolling the Hoop

Sack Races

Three-legged races


Graces: tossing one small hoop from two sticks to another person who would catch it with their two sticks.


Battledore is the origin of badminton. Children would use wooden rackets called battledores to strike a shuttlecock, which was often a piece of cork with feathers attached. They would try to prevent the cork from reaching the ground. The game was extremely popular in Britain and was quickly spread to the colonies.

Nine Pins

Nine Pins is a game with many different names and rules. The Dutch brought ninepins to New York, while the English brought bowls, another variation of the game, to Jamestown.

Partially fill nine water or soda bottles with sand, stones, or even water, adjusting the quantity for difficulty (the more you put in, the harder it is to knock down).

Arrange the pins in a diamond shape (1-2-3-2-1).

Use whatever ball you have available to knock down as many pins as possible in a limited number of rolls.

If you're feeling more modern, try out some of these newer yard games!



Kan Jam




Or, you could rely on some family favorites like volleyball, kickball, frisbee, and relay races. Or, be creative and paint a twister board onto your grass! Have fun!


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