Step-away from the games everyone already knows and introduce your family and friends to something brand new. Who knows, you might find a new favourite.
Mölkky - Originally from Finland, this wooden throwing game is all about accuracy. 12 wooden blocks—each labelled with a number representing their point-value—are clustered together. Take turns throwing a wooden pin to rack up your points. A score of EXACTLY 50 is your goal—anything over will send you backwards to a score of 25. The official rules of Mölkky say you can play with up to 26 people per game but it is just as fun with two players.
Mom tip: Younger players may need a little help. An extra throw each turn and/or a closer launching point.
Ladder Ball - It’s a game of many names: ladder toss, ladder golf, monkey ball. But whatever you call it, it’s a perfect summer backyard game. Two to four players take turns throwing their bolas (two balls connected by a string) towards a three-runged target with the goal of wrapping the string around one of the rungs. Play multiple rounds and be the first to 21 points to win.
Kubb - Kubb might be a classic game in Sweden—dating back over 100 years—but it is newer to North America. A wooden throwing game rooted in precision where two teams of one to six players each, alternate trying to take out the other side’s wooden blocks—also known as kubbs—before taking aim at the King Kubb in the middle to win.
Keep in mind you will need a playing space of 5 metres x 8 metres to play.
Spikeball - Originally known as roundnet, spikeball is a combination of volleyball and four-square. Two teams battle it out by setting, spiking and volleying the ball onto the springy circular net in the middle. The official way to play is more appropriate for older children—12 and up—but younger kids can have a ton of fun making up their own way to play.
Slack line - Okay this one isn’t technically a game but I had to slip it in here because tight-rope walking—only one or two feet off the ground—in the backyard has proven to be hours of fun. Plus you can easily make it into a competition. All you need is the webbed slackline and two strong anchors—such as large trees—and you can begin walking the line and testing your balance. A second line placed above is perfect for added stability for beginners.