Bocce Ball: Great Fun For The Family

February 20, 2009

This ancient game, whose modern adaptation most closely resembles bowling, requires skill, strategy and just a little luck. Bocce ball is a great game to play outside on a beautiful day. It is highly popular among seniors, but youths are sure to enjoy this accuracy game.


Find a flat, level playing surface (packed dirt, gravel or grass are ideal). A regulation bocce court is 76 feet long and 10 feet wide.


Divide players into two teams of one, two or four players each. Each team gets four balls, divided equally among the players.


Have a player from the starting team stand behind the foul line (which is 10 feet from the throwing end of the court) and throw the small ball, or “pallina,” toward the opposite end of the playing surface.


Let the player then throw one of the larger balls, or “boccia,” trying to get it as close to the pallina as possible without touching it.


Have players from the opposing team take turns throwing their balls until one of the balls stops closer to the pallina than the starting player’s ball. If they fail to do so, the starting team tries to outdo its first attempt.


Let the starting players take their second turn if the opposing team gets closer to the pallina than the starting team without using all of their balls.


Continue in this fashion until all eight balls have been thrown. The team with the closest ball gets one point for each of its balls that are closer to the pallina than the other team’s closest ball.


Keep in mind that if the two teams’ closest balls are an equal distance from the pallina, no points are awarded.


End the frame after all eight balls have been thrown and appropriate points have been awarded. The scoring team begins the next frame. If no team previously scored, the team that threw the pallina last begins the next frame.


Play as many frames as needed until one team has a total score of 16 points.

Good Old Games Can Be The Best Games

January 27, 2009

We just had some snow, several inches actually.  So, I thought “Why not get outside?”  Some of the old games can be the best of games.  Make a snowman, snow angels, have  a snow ball fight.

Today, many parents do not want to let their kids out for family outdoor games in the winter because of colds.  That is simply ridiculous, kids need to be exposed to cold and germs in order to be healthy.

Get outside and play!

The Human Rubberband!

January 23, 2009

I enjoy encouraging families to play outdoor games at every opportunity. Sometimes I forget that parents can spend time with their older children and let the youngest watch.

The Human Rubberband is one of those 13 and older games that is great outdoors, but shouldn’t be played by small children. The rules are fairly simple: All four players step inside the Human Rubberband™ and pull it up to their waists.

Each player slowly moves back until the band is slightly stretched and a square is formed, with one player in each corner. Players should be facing the center of the square.

Always start slowly and continue at a careful pace. Two players standing across from each other should begin. This pair jogs to the opposite side of the square, crossing in the center and passing each other on the right side. When nearing the opposite side, each player turns his/her back towards the Human Rubberband™ and backs into it. Meanwhile, the second pair of players holds the Human Rubberband ™ tight with their bodies.

The second pair of players will feel the pressure of the Human Rubberband™ increase when the first pair backs into the band. At this point the second pair of players is gently propelled forward and then jogs to the right of each other to the opposite side, in a similar fashion as the first pair. This pattern of jogging back and forth continues until someone says stop or the rhythm is lost. Be careful. And have fun!

Pay close attention to this warning, it is copied directly from their site:

Warning: Do not misuse this product. Excessive speed and force while using this product can lead to serious injury or death. Always start out slow and continue at a careful pace. This product is not intended for young children. Use only on soft surfaces, in a large, unobstructed area. Do not use on wet or slippery surfaces. Do not use while wearing jewelry, watches, belt buckles, or any other potentially harmful item. This product is not intended for use as a sling shot. Individuals using the Human Rubberband™ should weigh about the same amount. Make sure all participants know their right side from their left. Do not use this product if it has any holes, tears, or defects.

That’s no joking folks, but if you play it right and responsibly, you can have hours of fun with other adults or your teenage children.

Get Outside And Play

January 5, 2009

If you have a group of kids at your house, you will inevitably want them to “go outside”. That’s right, turn off the Nintendo, and go outside and play! They’ll be happy if you know some easy group games that they can play.

Outdoor group games work best when you mix children of different ages. An older child can organize the game, act as the rulemaker, and make sure the little ones are included.

You may remember these games from your childhood, but be a bit fuzzy on the rules of play. Refresh your memory, and share these timeless childhood outdoor games with your child:

  • Capture the flag
  • Four Square
  • Tag
  • Horse
  • Kick the Can

The whole idea is to get outside with your family and the neighborhood kids, breathe some fresh air, and teach your children the healthy lifestyle that will carry them into their adult years.

How To Make Your Own Cornhole Bags

December 23, 2008

The game of cornhole has taken the Midwest by storm and has started to spread throughout the country. The only real choice many people face is whether or not to buy a cornhole game set complete with cornhole bags, or to build and sew your own. The simplest of the two to make are the cornhole bags. Hopefully you will be able to sew your own after reading this.

A set of cornhole bags is made up of 8 bags. There are four bags per team. Each team must have a different color of bag. The bags are made of duck canvas. This is a breathable cloth that can be gotten wet several times and will dry out without much shrinking or wearing out of the cloth. Each bag must be 6″ X 6″ after it is sewed. It is probably best to start with two cloth squares that are 8″X8″. It is filled with cracked corn and must weigh between 14 and 16oz. The most durable way to sew them is to use a double stitch, some people use a triple stitch to add strength and longevity.

The material is easily found at your local department store of fabric center. Every thing else is just as easy to find. Hopefully, you will enjoy the sewing your own cornhole bags.

Did this article help you at all? If so, or if not, let me know.

The Whole Family Benefits From Outdoor Games

December 18, 2008
Your favorite college set can add to the fun!

Your favorite college set can add to the fun!

Backyard games allow your family to spend time with each other in a little friendly competition. With today’s economy what can you really do if there are any children in the house. A typical movie will cost an easy twenty dollars for a family of three. The cost just skyrockets after that. Somebody will want popcorn and drinks, and do not forget the candy. You will just be sitting there any way. Why not get outside? A little exercise never hurt anyone. The great thing is that you will have a great time doing it, as you play cornhole with family and friends.

Cornhole: More Than Just Fun

December 16, 2008

The game of cornhole is very basic and easy. A heartbeat to learn and a lifetime to enjoy. This is a game that has many practical uses. There are even some therapy professionals that recommend this game for elderly patients. The balance and coordination required are light, but help to retrain muscles after a stroke or when a patient has been bed-ridden for a period of time.

The game of cornhole has very few rules. Just throw the cornhole bag from behind the front of the cornhole board and the bag must stay on the opposing board or go into the hole to score. The distance between the boards is not great so anyone can play, even small children.

Elderly patients who have had mild strokes and are trying to recover their hand-eye coordination can make use of this game. The balance needed is slightly more than what is required to stand and the strength needed is minimal. One other benefit is that the patient will need to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. This can help to alleviate some of the depression that is felt after a stroke.

No matter what your reason for owning a cornhole game board set, you will enjoy the outdoors, light competition, and the company of family and friends.

Hillbilly Golf And You

December 14, 2008

Here is one for the family if I have ever played one.  Hillbilly golf.  Each team consists of 2 players on opposite sides of the field.  Each player gets three sets of bolas.  You twirl them top to bottom and toss them at a three tiered goal across the field.  The scoring is 1 for the top, 2 for the middle, and 3 for the bottom.  A lot of people have variations of their own.

I have one at home.  I have a couple of young girls that I have keep score while we play.  It is good fo basic addition skills in younger children.  They do not even realize that they are learning their math, they just want to throw the bolas.

I found out that this game goes by several names, too.  Blongoball, hillbilly golf, ladder golf, and about anything else you can imagine.

Click here to go to a site the sells the game.

Have fun gaming.  I would love to hear from anyone who know of a good family game.  I’ll check it out and add something about it if it is of interest.

Hello world!

December 13, 2008

I would like to say Hello to everyone out there.  I wanted to start this blog to help other people find sites that would hook them up with outdoor games that the whole family can enjoy!  I sort of got the idea from Montegue Blister at Monty takes a tongue in check look at some of the more “interesting” games out there.  For the full Monty, yuo should check his blog out.