As winter’s frigid air becomes spring’s gentle breezes, you and your family want to spend more time outside enjoying the blossoming flowers and the bright sunshine. But you don’t have to go to a local park or a nearby nature hike. You can discover hours of fun in your own front yard. Even your garage can become a charming play place.
Next time there’s a beautiful spring evening, take your family outside, swing open the garage door, and play one of these driveway games. Remember to supervise your children rather than letting them play these games on their own, just to ensure they stay safe.
To play this classic game, use sidewalk chalk to draw a hopscotch board with several rows of rectangles or squares. Write a number in each space. On a player’s turn, he or she tosses a pebble onto the board. Then the player must hop over the square the pebble lands on while jumping through the board.
- Obstacle Couse
In this hopscotch variation, kids get to practice their reading skills, too. Write a series of directions on your driveway and garage cement. You can leave instructions like the following:
- Make animal noises.
- Clap your hands.
- Stomp your feet.
- Do jumping jacks.
- Touch your toes.
- Jump three times.
You can also draw symbols that help your child figure out the words. You can even walk through with him or her and complete the “obstacles” at the same time.
- Sidewalk Art
A tub of sidewalk chalk is all you need to let your family members’ imaginations run wild. Trace each other’s shadows, and then fill in the outline with drawings of cowgirls, astronauts, athletes, or other iconic figures. Draw tall buildings, and make superhero poses above them. Get the driveway wet, draw a picture, and watch the chalk change colors as it dries.
- Giant Board Games
Use your sidewalk chalk to draw a giant version of your favorite board game on the cement in your garage. Try recreating these children’s classics:
- Chutes and Ladders
- Candy Land
Have one player sit to the side and draw cards or spin the wheel for players as they move across the board.
- Jump Rope
Help your kids work out their wiggles by playing with jump ropes. You can stage jump endurance contests to see who can jump the longest without stopping. You can also chant fun jump rope rhymes or let family members jump in and out of a longer rope controlled by two swingers.
- Blowing Bubbles
Even toddlers can participate in blowing bubbles. They love when you blow extra-large bubbles, and they’re happy to chase bubbles around the yard and pop as many as they can.
- Kiddie Car Wash
If you’re giving your own car a good scrubbing, let your kids feel included. Have them wash their own transportation, such as bikes, trikes, or plastic cars. You can also turn on the sprinklers near your driveway and let your kids ride through as if they were at a real car wash.
You can buy an inexpensive set of jacks at a local dollar store. Lay all the jacks on the sidewalk, and hold the ball in your hand. A successful turn follows this order:
- Bounce the ball.
- Pick up as many jacks as possible while the ball remains in the air.
- Catch the ball before the ball hits the ground again. You must catch the ball with the same hand you used to pick up the jacks.
Players take turns trying to pick up more and more jacks. The player who picks up the most during a turn wins.
- Water Balloon Bull’s-Eye
When the weather begins to feel more like summer, fill a few dozen water balloons and play this outdoor version of darts. Draw a bull’s-eye on your driveway, and assign point values to each circle. Players who hit the center circle score the most points.
- Four Square
This is a favorite game of older elementary-school-age kids, and you can easily play it in an empty garage or an open driveway. Draw four equal-sized squares within a larger square. Grab a playground ball, and assign each player to one square.
The server bounces the ball in his or her square and then hits it into another player’s square. That player must let the ball bounce in the square and then hit it to another player. Play continues like this until one of the following events happens:
- A player hits the ball out of bounds.
- A player hits the ball onto a line inside the square.
- A player fails to hit the ball after it enters his or her square.
Eliminated players leave the field of play. Remaining players move up towards the server’s square, and new players enter to try and advance as well.
- Penny Toss
Scour your purse or wallet for spare change before you play this game. Every player gets a handful of pennies to begin. Then each player tosses pennies onto the cement. If your penny lands on another penny, you can claim both pennies back. Whoever finishes with the most pennies becomes the winner.
- Red Light, Green Light
This classic yard game lets players of all ages spend time together. One player acts as the stoplight. Have him or her stand at the back of the garage. The stoplight puts his or her back to the other players who line up at the bottom of the driveway.
When the stoplight says, “Green light,” players can rush towards him or her. As soon as the stoplight turns around and says, “Red light,” players must stand perfectly still. If the spotlight sees any movement, he or she can make that player return to the starting point. The first player to reach the spotlight wins.
These driveway and garage games are sure to provide hours of springtime fun for your family. Try one of them today.
For more tips on making the most of your garage, read our other blog posts.