Host a back to school lawn game party

What a fun way to bring the summer to an end and usher in the new school year, by hosting a back to school lawn game party. Let the kids invite a bunch of their friends over and have a lawn game theme. Or better yet, make it a family event and invite numerous family friends over to celebrate a good summer coming to an end. Here are some suggestions of how you can run it.

Different ways to go about setting it up

Depending upon the size of your yard, you can do this a few ways:

  1. Set up one or two yard games at a time and let them play, or run a single or double elimination tournament with those two games. Have some other fun things to do so that once people are eliminated they can still be active. Some fun ideas that don’t take up a lot of space would be Giant Jenga, Yard Dice, Connect 4, Twister Painted on the lawn, or Outdoor Kerplunk.

    Spray paint twister game on your lawn.


Have other games available for young and old to play.

2. Set up numerous yard games and let the guests go from one game to the next playing whatever they want.

3. Pick one of the lawn games and run that tournament, while everyone hangs out and socializes. This is the one that I will focus on most.

Enjoy time together and cheering on your favorite team player.

You can set up tournaments to add competition to the games. Each team of players can enter tournaments and then run either a single elimination or double elimination. When a person is eliminated from one lawn game tournament they may still be in another one.

Don’t forget the food

Make sure to incorporate food. You can have a theme or just have everyone bring a dish to pass and you can provide the burgers and hot dogs. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but if you would like some delicious ideas of food to make see some I have posted.

Food is the center of most social events, so set out some tables, provide ice pools to put perishable food in and enjoy the party.  In the past when we held our croquet tournament, people attending brought whatever they wanted to cook on the grill, a dish to pass and their own beverages.  This way the host family has less cost and preparation.

Make it a family event

Now, at the beginning I said this would be a great party to have the kids invite their friends over and have a lawn game party. But, I am here to tell you that it can be, and is, just as much fun (if not more) for the adults to host the party. In fact, make it a family thing.

Young and old can get in the tournament, you never know who is going to win.

We had a croquet themed party when we did this and it was a blast. Every year a different family would host and set up the course, with their own original twist. Some years it was just a regular croquet course set up and other times you would arrive and see tents, toilets, fake deer or flamingo, or other obstacles planted in the course. This always made it a little more interesting.

These wickets are like no others
Another strategic placement of the wicket, to make the game more interesting.

Anyone, young or old, were allowed to get in on the croquet tournament. When eliminated or not playing, we would spend time socializing, playing bean bag toss (cornhole), eating, playing with the kids, or if the host family had a pool or trampoline it helped entertain the troops. But it was always a good time.

Feel free to have other contests that don’t even have to do with the lawn game competition, such as most creative team name, best t-shirt designs, activities for the very young, sidewalk chalk drawing contest, best chili contest, best rib recipe contest, or whatever fun contests you can think of.

Come up with team names.
Be sure to take team pictures


When we hosted these end of the summer parties, we had a potluck with lots of great backyard picnic food, and we would bring our drinks, chairs and happy attitudes. It was a good time and a family event.

Rain or Shine

We have held this party in hot weather, cool weather and rain. If the weather is hot, you can implement some water activities that will be in a different posted, or search the internet for ideas. If it isn’t raining too hard, and the temperature is warm enough, go with it and continue in the rain. The kids will love the opportunity to play in the rain.

Don’t forget a homemade trophy to give to the winner

There were homemade trophies, a bouquet of weeds, and even a sports “jacket” for the winner. It was always fun to see the winner try to fit into a jacket that was too small, or one that they “drowned” in.  These awards for the winner are meant to be fun and not something you need to spend money on, just be creative.

Priceless trophy, plaque and flowers for the winner.

These trophies and “jacket” were traveling and so each year the previous winner would host the event and bring the awards out to be presented to the new winner.

In the end, it doesn’t matter if you play croquet, cornhole, ladder golf, KanJam, BulziBucket or a different lawn game. What counts is the time you spend with family and friends and making memories to cherish for years to come.

What ideas would you have for an end of the summer party?  Leave me a comment below about those ideas.

Stay active and have fun.





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