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Let's Play

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Watching the Olympics might inspire you to try new activities. And summer is a great time to challenge your family and neighbors to a little friendly competition. Here are some ideas for getting your competitive juices flowing. Remember, the most important thing is to have fun!

Ready, Set, Race

There’s nothing more classic than a simple running race. All you need to decide is where the race will start and finish. The race can be as short or as long as you like. Now you’re ready to find out who's the fastest. You can also compete against yourself. Have someone time you as you run. After a quick breather, go again. Can you beat your personal best?

Kick the Ball

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Kickball is a summer favorite. All you need to play is—you guessed it!—a big rubber ball. Baseball and softball fields make great kickball fields. But if there isn’t one around, you can make your own. On a street without traffic, use chalk to draw the bases. If you’re playing on grass, old shirts or toys will do the job.

Up and Over

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Volleyball is another popular summer sport. Grab a ball and a net, and you’re ready to go. Don’t have a net? Try stringing a jump rope between two poles or trees. For a fun twist, take your game to the water! Volleyball is a great game to play in a shallow pool. In a backyard or park, turn on some sprinklers for an added challenge.

Chalk Games

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With just one stick of sidewalk chalk, the possibilities are endless. Draw a hopscotch court for you and your friends. Create a maze for your family to navigate. Or host an animal guessing game: Can someone guess what creature you’re trying to draw?

Toss It In

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In the game cornhole, players try to throw beanbags through the holes in wooden or plastic targets. Don’t have beanbags? Little balls, pebbles, or toys are a good substitute. Don't have a cornhole set? Buckets or bowls make fine targets. Focus on improving your accuracy. Soon you might be able to score points with your eyes closed!

Knock 'em Down

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You don’t need to go to a bowling alley to enjoy bowling. Try it on the lawn! Pick a patch of grass in your yard or a park. Set up your “pins”: Empty juice bottles work well. Then roll a ball toward them. How many can you knock down at once? Bring paper and a pencil if you want to keep score. Did you topple the pins all in one throw? Strike!

Jump for Joy

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With a jump rope, you’re just a hop, skip, and a jump away from hours of good fun and exercise. Ask a friend to time you. How long can you jump without getting tangled? Or give jumping tricks a try. Can you cross and uncross your arms while jumping? Can you spin in a circle? Watch videos of professional jumpers for more trick ideas.

Off to the Races

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If you’re tired of classic running races, add a new element. How fast can you run while carrying an egg on a spoon? Don’t drop it! Pillowcases make perfect potato-sack race equipment. Don’t worry if you fall over—that’s half the fun. With enough friends, you can organize relay races. Race against each other or the clock.

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