Fun Summer Cookout Games

Summer cookout games that get everyone interacting can make warm-weather barbeques even more fun. Simple family outdoor games, ranging from drawing a hopscotch grid with chalk on the driveway to setting up a badminton game on the lawn, can create fond memories. These ideas are budget-friendly and simple to set up.

Make It Up As You Go
If you have some sidewalk chalk, you can draw all kinds of games, or have the kids draw and then play them. Hopscotch is a no-brainer, but, if your kids get bored with that, you can always turn to these exciting games:

Crazy Line Race: Give each player a piece of chalk and have him draw a long, winding line with it. Then everyone has to run from the beginning to the end of another player's line. Whoever finishes first is the winner. This gets funny when the lines go all over and cross each other.

Relay Races: Use sidewalk chalk to draw the start and finish lines for some relay races, or the boundaries for a balloon toss.

Art Show: Have an art show with sidewalk chalk. It's easy: Just draw off squares for each artist, and let everyone make his most artistic creation. Give anyone who participates a reward, with many categories, such as "funniest," "most creative," "most colorful" and "most realistic."

Outdoor Sports
Plan a volleyball, football, soccer, horseshoes, badminton or softball game. Most need little preparation and very little equipment.

Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is an easy game to plan and gets everyone so busy they might forget about the food. Prepare a list of items to try to find, and divide everyone into teams. Give each team a bag to collect the items. You can ask the guests to find items in nature, or you can hide items throughout the backyard. Good choices include a dandelion, a four-leaf clover, a heart-shaped rock, a bottle cap, a red leaf, a gum wrapper, a feather or even something in a specific color.

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