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Hosts vs. Producers; Thrifty backyard games to play this summer

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The warmer weather is here, which means it's time to play outside! Here are some thrifty yard game ideas that won't break your budget, and can be made with common items found around the house.

Target Practice

Materials:

  • 9 pop cans
  • Frisbees
  1. Stack the pop cans into three pyramids on a picnic table or flat surface.
  2. The first team has four chances to knock down as many pop cans as they can. Count how many cans they knocked over to determine points.
  3. Reset the cans, and the next team gets to go. Whoever has the most points wins the game.

Jumbo Pick-Up Sticks

Materials:

  • 33 sticks (measuring at least 18 inches)
  • 4-5 different colored spray paints
  1. To make the Pick-Up stick set, paint eight sticks four different colors, followed by one stick a separate color. (In the video, we did 8 green, 8 yellow, 8 orange, 8 white, one black.
  2. Once the Pick-Up Stick set is made and ready to play, hold all of the sticks perpendicular to the ground. Drop the bundle of sticks and let them sit on the ground.
  3. Each person takes turns picking up sticks, but they must do so without having any of the other sticks move (not even a wiggle.) If they pick up a stick and one moves, their turn is over. A person can pick up to five sticks before the next person has a turn.
  4. Once all the sticks are picked up, count up the points. Whichever person or team has the most points at the end of the game wins. (In our game, these were the point values: Green= 10, Yellow = 20, Orange = 30, White = 50, Black = 100.)

Water Balloon Toss

  1. Fill balloons with water and team up. Teams should be facing each other about three feet apart.
  2. Toss the water balloon to your partner. If they catch the balloon, each person takes a step back.
  3. Repeat the process until the balloon pops. The last team to have a water balloon is the winner.

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