Is anybody else still mourning the loss of Jarts? Remember that yard ring-toss game that made mothers sound like an excerpt from A Christmas Story: Be careful with those or you’ll poke your eye out! Well, apparently not enough kids listened to their mothers and the game was taken off the market. I don’t get it – like horseshoes didn’t knockout a person or two?? And who hasn’t tripped over a wicket or seen a croquet mallet wielded as a weapon?
For our Friday Five I thought I’d look for some safe yard games. Here are a few that promise to be (almost!) as enjoyable as Jarts – and none of them take as long (or as much space) to set up as croquet. So grab your mate while the weather’s still nice and go outside and play!
1. Ladder Golf Game. The buddy who introduced us to this game noted you could find it at big box stores for about $20, but could build your own sturdier version for a few bucks more. The one pictured here, from the Wireless Catalog, is a glow-in-the-dark version for some evening fun.
2. Bocce Balls (also known as lawn bowling). This traditional game is a personal favorite! Sets can be found in sporting good stores and online shops. Prices for real balls (there are plastic versions available – not nearly as fun) range from $30 on up to a fancy $200. This set from L.L.Bean with it’s durable case is $90.
3. Backyard Bean Toss. Shown here is a 3-hole version from Triumph. There was also a mini one-hole version. My internet search turned up plenty of brands to choose from with prices ranging from $20-$50.
4. OGO Sport Copter Darts. Kind of a weenie-version of Jarts (no points!), but with the same premise. They’re easy to pack up and their soft materials lend themselves to indoor spaces also. Most of the sets I saw were about $35. Here’s a brief look at what Copter Darts look like in play.
5. Score Tower. This is a fun accessory for any of the games above. It not only helps you keep track of the score, it holds a beverage for you! ($42.99)