Some kids don’t have video games.
Some kids go over to the houses of friends whose parents love them enough to buy video games and play theirs and since those kids’ parents also love them enough to buy junk food, the kids with rice cakes and analog games at home feast on Pringles and Gushers while watching their friends play Game Boy and SSX Tricky until it’s finally their turn to play, at which point they inevitably smash their character into walls and run them off the courses and lose, and lose again, until eventually they realize that they’re just really bad at video games and will never be able to close the gap, so they go upstairs to see if Mrs. Smith made more bagel bites, but then they even get tired of bagel bites so they think they should really find some fun non-video-game games to play that their friends will love and that will also provide a more even playing field.
These are those games—
Second on this highly scientific lawn game rankings list, the game of Spikeball—sort of an inverse two-on-two volleyball where you bat a ball into a round net on the ground instead of hitting it over an upright net—is sweeping the nation and everyone loves it.
Best at the beach, but good anywhere.
Basketball arcade game
This is more addicting than any video game. Can you beat the clock? Can you beat your opponent? Ok, how about best of 65? Perfect for rainy days.
You have to learn the rules to new video games; might as well learn the rules to one of the most underrated Olympic sports ever.
Set it up anywhere you can find grass and soon you’ll be saying things like “angle of attack” and “defensive clear.”
Best for long summer afternoons, until it gets too dark to see the shuttlecock.
More of an activity than a sport, but the variations are endless.
In addition to regular tetherball where you use your hands to hit the ball to try and wind the rope all the way around the pole, you can rig various balls to the end of the rope and play tethertennis (using tennis racquets), tethersoccer (using only your feet), or tetherbaseball, the dangerous iteration where you and your opponent use bats to hack wildly at the swinging ball until you get lucky and win or tired and quit. Good anywhere there is severe boredom and video game-induced carpal tunnel.
Multi-game flip table
Speed, strategy, and hand-eye coordination: video game ingredients IRL. Some of these combo tables even have foosball, but only psychopaths like foosball. Good for snow days.