The cool, crisp fall weather is the perfect time to get outdoors and have some fun as a family. The Center for Disease Control recommends that children ages six to 17 get an hour or more vigorous activity most days of the week. Exercising and having fun as a family is a great way to bond and grow closer together this fall.
Make your disc golf course in your backyard, and improve your family’s eye-hand coordination. Purchase inexpensive laundry baskets and position them around the backyard. Give everyone a different colored disc and designate the spot where different baskets should be thrown from. The winner is the person who took the fewest shots to make it in the basket at the end of the course.
Spikeball is a new game that is quickly spreading in popularity. The game consists of a small circular net that is set on the ground and a ball. Players take turns hitting the ball at the net. The ball then bounces to the other team, who must hit it back. It is a very physical game that involves running, jumping, and even diving to ensure the ball doesn’t hit the ground.
Manhunt is much like hide-and-seek but done outdoors and in the dark. Wait until it gets dark, have everyone dress in dark clothes, grab some flashlights, and go in the backyard. Choose someone to be ‘it’ first and ask them to count to 100. Everyone else takes their flashlights and hides before time runs out. After getting in a hiding spot, players should switch their flashlights off and stay quiet. The person who is ‘it’ will then begin hunting for players with their flashlight once they have finished counting. The last person to be found is the winner.
Chalk Games with Glow-in-the-Dark Chalk
Chalk games usually appear during the warm summer months as children use chalk to play on the asphalt or driveway. Chalk games can be just as much fun during the winter when using glow-in-the-dark chalk. Grab some of the chalk from a local store and head out to the back patio. Glow-in-the-dark chalk contains phosphor. Phosphor can radiate light for hours after being energized by the sun, making sure to draw the games on the patio or driveway during the day. Some fun chalk games to try include:
- Avoid the shark
- 4 square
- Chalk maze
Capture the Flag
Capture the flag is a classic game that is perfect for the fall. The game is excellent for helping your children work together as a team and strategize with one another. To play, simply take two colored flags and place them on opposite sides of the backyard. The goal is to capture the other team’s flag and make it back to your side. Those who are tagged by the other team before making it to the home side must forfeit the flag. It is returned to its original post, and play is resumed until a flag is captured.
One downside of backyard play is the number of bugs and mosquitoes that are out during this time. Don’t let mosquito bites ruin your family’s fun. Try installing a mosquito misting system to keep your backyard bug-free and keep the fun and memories going.
Make a Ninja Course
A ninja course is a great way to involve younger kids who have lots of energy. Get creative and use what you have at home to make an obstacle course throughout your entire backyard. Stock up on pool noodles when they go on sale and use these to form jumping circles. The noodles can also be staked to the ground in arches that kids must crawl through. Other ideas include slacklines, playing on the playground, and getting through a laser maze made of yarn.
Your family spends enough time inside with work and school. When everyone is home for the day, don’t stay indoors this fall and miss quality family time. By spending time outdoors together, everyone can get in some exercise and have some fun. Get in the backyard as a family, enjoy the cold weather, and make some lasting memories together.