Outdoor Fun & Games for a Barbecue Party

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Barbecue parties are relaxed parties that get everyone outside to enjoy the weather, food and friends. The casual nature of these parties make them ideal for active games and group activities. New friends can get to know each other, and old friends can reminisce. Throw together a few activities for all age groups.

Themes

Barbecue parties can have various themes to lead the games or activities. If you have a luau, tropical or Hawaiian theme, plan hula dancing activities, hula hoop competitions and lei-making crafts. On the other hand, a western, cowboy or Texas theme calls for horseshoe tossing, bandanna decorating, bean bag tossing and lasso competitions.

Food

You can keep everyone busy by making the meal interactive. If you are planning to make hamburgers or cheeseburgers, you can set out a burger bar. Set up a long table and put out buns, various kinds of cheese, lots of condiments and toppings. Let everyone create their own burger. You can do the same with hot dogs or tacos. If you are planning to make kebabs, let your guests stick the veggies and meat on their skewers, according to their preferences. Cook them up, and pass them out.

Equipment

Outdoor toys are ideal for barbecue games. Footballs, soccer balls and kick balls are great for relays up and down the yard. Break the guests into teams, with mixed ages, and let them dribble or kick the balls, racing them in lines in the yard. You can use hula hoops for relays, races and competitions to see who can hula the longest. You can find horseshoe, croquet, badminton and bocce ball sets at your local sporting good stores. You can set up teams to play or just let groups form naturally.

Families

Barbecue games are great for all ages. Invite families to come with their kids. Set out a blanket, away from the games, and set out infant-safe toys, such as balls and rattles. Let those with little ones hang out on the blanket while the kids crawl around and play. Let older kids play formal games, such as tag.

Keep It Cool

If your barbecue is occurring during the heat of the summer, let everyone cool off with some water games. If you have a pool, invite everyone in for races and relays. If not, fill some water balloons and ask everyone to participate in a water balloon toss or relay.

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