In the summertime, the daylight seems to stretch on forever (at least well past dinnertime). Why not take advantage of the extra hours to spend some quality time with your family and enjoy that lawn you've carefully cultivated and mowed all season!
There are a lot of fun games you can play right in your own backyard, with equipment you can buy at your local sporting goods store.
The English have been winding wooden balls through hoops since the Middle Ages, but croquet really caught on in England in the mid 1800s. Although it was once regarded as a pastime for the social elite, now anyone and everyone can play croquet—rich and poor, young and old—and the sport has become a staple in backyards around the world.
Most preschoolers will enjoy hitting the croquet ball around, but tend to let the rules fall by the wayside. In time they'll catch on and as their aim improves, they'll be more interested in shooting for the wickets.
How to set up:
The croquet court is rectangular, and is best set up in a level area with short grass. The backyard version of the game is usually played with nine wickets, and between four to six balls. A stake is driven into the center of the court. Two wickets are placed in a row at either end of the court, and the remaining five are set up in the shape of two diamonds in the center.
How to play:
Between two and six people can play at once. The balls are set up in order of color: blue, red, black, and yellow. One team plays the blue and black balls; the other team plays the red and yellow balls. The goal of the game is to use your mallet to hit all your balls through the wickets and hit the stake before the other team does.