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TRUSTDale Tip of the Day: *New Ideas for Backyard Games

The nice weather brings many opportunities to play games outdoors. Many outdoor standards, including tag, bocce ball and water-balloon toss, can seem outdated by the time the last days of summer roll around. Keep things fresh and get your whole family involved with this unusual outdoor game!

While this game will just seem like a fun way to help while away the spring/summer days outdoors, it also works on fine and gross motor skills. Younger children will be learning about cooperative play, competitiveness and team building. And best of all, the whole family will be having fun!

Bolo Toss

Bolo Toss, also commonly known as ladder golf, is one of several fun games that can be enjoyed outside. It is a game that is growing in popularity and is great at parks and campgrounds because of its portability. The equipment consists of two "ladders" - free-standing pieces that have three differently colored rungs that stand for different point values. There are also differently colored sets of bolo balls to differentiate each player or team. Bolo balls are two rubber balls that are connected by a nylon rope. They are tossed at the ladders and players earn points depending on what ladder rung - if any - their set of bolo balls hang over. The top rung is worth three points, the middle two, and the bottom one. Players can also knock off their opponent's bolo balls, erasing their points for that round. Each round consists of three bolo tosses per player or team. The first side to reach exactly 21 points wins the match.

The ladders are traditionally placed 30 to 40 feet apart, but this can be adapted depending on your space restrictions and the skill level of players. Softer bolo balls can also be purchased that are designed for kids to use. This is a good outdoor game for the whole family because it is so adaptable.