© Hathaway/Kan Jam/Jenga

Summer is finally here—a time for going to the beach, eating ice cream, and hanging outside. Soak in the sun just a little longer (with a healthy dose of sunscreen, of course!) with this collection of backyard toys and games that are great for kids and adults alike. Whether your family loves outdoor sports, games of strategy, or something in between, one of these items is bound to bring everyone together to create summer memories (or fierce competitions) that will last a lifetime.

1. Inflatable Bounce House; $270

a group of people standing around a slide: Kids playing on a Little Tikes set. © Provided by Mental Floss Kids playing on a Little Tikes set.

Bounce houses are key players at birthday parties and carnivals, so why shouldn’t they also hold a prime spot in your backyard? With this inflatable Jump n’ Slide bounce house from Little Tikes, your backyard will quickly become the coolest one on the block. This bounce house features tall, protective mesh walls to keep bouncers safely inside the jumping area, and they’ll be able to make a grand entrance—and exit—via the wide slide attached to the front. The house even contains convenient shoe storage pockets inside, so kids (or kids-at-heart) can easily grab them when it’s time to give all that jumping a break. Complete with a blower, repair kit, and a storage bag, this bounce house can stay put or be taken on the go, guaranteeing fun that will last all summer long.

Buy it: Walmart

2. Giant 4 in a Row Game; $65

a woman standing next to a suitcase: Two people playing a giant 4 in a Row game outside. © Provided by Mental Floss Two people playing a giant 4 in a Row game outside.

This classic game just got a big upgrade—literally. This oversized take on what is essentially Connect Four measures 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide and is perfectly designed for backyard parties, family game nights, and neighborhood barbecues. The “game board” is built from sturdy premium wood, while the set’s red and blue playing coins are made from a heavy-duty plastic to withstand even the most enthusiastic of players. When it’s time to call it a night, the game can be conveniently stored in its carrying case until it’s time for a rematch.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Super Soakers; $45

A Super Soaker squirt gun © Provided by Mental Floss A Super Soaker squirt gun

No summer is complete without a Super Soaker, and this “Floodtastic” variety pack from Walmart will keep you and your friends having a blast until the last pool party of the season. This variety pack includes two Tidal Tube water blasters—which hold 10 ounces of water that you fire by pumping the handle back and forth—and two AlphaFire water blasters, which hold 7.4 ounces of water and fire via a plastic trigger. Perfect for games of two to four, these Super Soakers are a crowd pleaser (except for unsuspecting victims of a cold blast of water, that is).

Buy it: Walmart

4. Toss and Catch Paddle Set; $27

a group of people playing frisbee in a park: Two people playing catch. © Provided by Mental Floss Two people playing catch.

If paddle ball is your preferred summer sport, you know the pain of losing your ball in your backyard or on the beach. But with this set from Qrooper, you’ll never have to interrupt your game for a ball hunt ever again. This kit includes four bright neon paddles and tennis balls in a convenient carting case, making transport—and spotting any stray equipment—an easy feat. The paddles are reinforced with waterproof lining to make them extra durable, while the Velcro surface area helps even the most uncoordinated of athletes catch with ease. These are great for kids and adults who want to work on their hand-eye coordination this summer … or who just want to have their own version of Wimbledon this year.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Kan Jam; $40

a sign on a sandy beach: A Kan Jam game on the beach © Provided by Mental Floss A Kan Jam game on the beach

Who needs a gym membership when you have Kan Jam? This outdoor game will keep you fit—and having a great time—until it’s time for sweater weather once again. Kan Jam is like cornhole, frisbee, and basketball rolled into one, and although it’s typically played in teams of two, it’s simple enough to expand the game to include the entire family. This original set includes two portable, weatherproof goals; a Kan Jam disc; and instructions to make sure that everyone plays by the rules.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Giant Jenga; $130

a couple of people that are standing in the water: People playing a giant game of Jenga © Provided by Mental Floss People playing a giant game of Jenga

If strategy games are more of your thing, look no further than this giant outdoor Jenga set. Nearly 15 times larger than a standard Jenga game, this life-sized version starts out at 2 feet high and can stack up to over 5 feet, making it a precarious party game that’s as entertaining as it is nerve-racking. And with a handy carrying case included in the package, you can take these sturdy blocks on the go for an instant party fix. The game is designed for ages 12 and up, guaranteeing that you’ll have just as much fun playing it at a family birthday party as you will an adults-only camping trip.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Cornhole; $40

a close up of a logo: A cornhole set © Provided by Mental Floss A cornhole set

Another classic game, cornhole is one of the most popular when it comes to backyard entertainment, and for good reason. It’s easy to play and relatively quick, with games tapping out at just 21 points. Lightweight and designed for convenient transport, this collapsible set from Himal includes two cornhole boards that only weigh 2 pounds each. They’re built with high elastic wire to ensure that the boards are just as flexible as they are durable, and the board’s surface is treated with an anti-skid fabric so that bean bags can glide with ease (no referee needed).

Buy it: Amazon

8. Bocce Ball Set; $86

a pair of black shoes: A bocce ball set © Provided by Mental Floss A bocce ball set

According to the manufacturer, this deluxe bocce ball set was “created with the competitive player in mind,” so you know that the moment you bring this out of your shed, it’s game on. The kit includes eight tournament-quality bocce balls, along with one pallino ball for a game that will feel as high-stakes as your regular Monopoly night. All the balls can be stored in a weather-resistant black nylon carrying case, and the kit even includes a rule book to keep players honest. Designed for ages 5 and up, this bocce set will quickly become a backyard family favorite … even if grandma wins every time.

Buy it: Wayfair

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