An outdoor graduation party isn’t complete without games for your guests! From competitive events to team-building games, there are so many ways to keep the party going with some fun in the sun.
Not sure what to play at your summer celebration? Check out our 9 ideas for summer party games everyone can enjoy.
Competitive games get everyone moving, laughing, and enjoying themselves. If you think your guests are up for the challenge, check out these ideas for friendly competition!
Tug of War
Tug of War is a classic test of strength and teamwork. In this game, two teams try to pull a rope in opposite directions, with the goal being to drag the other team across a designated line. The best part about Tug of War is that people of all ages can play it, so if your graduation party has family and friends, everyone can join in on the fun.
Here are tips for a successful and enjoyable Tug of War game:
Use a thick, sturdy rope long enough for both teams.
Clearly mark the central point of the rope and the boundary lines for each team.
Choose an even, level surface to play on, such as grass or sand.
Divide teams evenly by size, weight, or skill level to keep it fair and fun.
Who knew hopping around in a sack could be so much fun? The Sack Race is a simple and energetic competition where participants race from one point to another with their feet enclosed in a sack. This game is great to involve everyone since players on the sideline can cheer for their teammates as they hop their way to victory.
Must-know Sack Race tips:
Use sturdy sacks that can stand the hopping and falls.
Set a clear starting line and finish line for the race that everyone can see.
For big parties, run multiple races that get harder each time, like obstacle courses or relay races with teammates.
Remember, safety comes first! Participants should hold onto their sacks while racing and ensure the playing area is free of hazards.
Water Balloon Dodgeball
On a hot summer day, nothing gets a crowd laughing and refreshed like a game of Water Balloon Dodgeball. This high-energy game combines two childhood favorites: dodgeball and water balloons.
Instead of throwing regular balls, opponents throw water balloons at each other across a designated line. If you get hit, you’re out!
Important Water Balloon Dodgeball tips:
Make sure everyone knows and agrees to the rules, including who is out when hit and what areas are considered "off-limits" for targeting.
Pre-fill tons of water balloons before the game starts, and make sure they’re evenly sized.
Set a designated boundary for the playing area and ensure an even number of balloons for each team.
Spice up the game with water balloon accessories like slingshots. Party City has a great selection of water balloons and accessories to get you started!
Creative and Casual Games
If you’re looking for something more laid-back, there are tons of casual outdoor games your guests will love. These games encourage creativity, conversation, and socializing – and could become the highlight of your grad party!
DIY Photo Booth
A DIY Photo Booth is a great way to add flair to your party and capture lasting memories. All you need is a camera, a backdrop, and creative props to make the photo sessions more fun. This activity is perfect for graduation parties because it gives you tons of fond memories you can look back on.
DIY Photo Booth tips:
Choose a location with good lighting, away from direct sunlight or harsh shadows.
Use a simple, clean backdrop, such as a plain fabric or a clean white sheet.
Give guests fun photo booth props, like hats, glasses, signs, or other accessories to inspire fun poses. Add some school-themed glasses, shirts, or pom-poms for your graduation party for extra style.
Assign a dedicated photographer or set up a tripod with a remote control for guests to take photos.
Giant Jenga takes the classic tabletop stacking game to a new level with oversized blocks and heightened suspense. This game is a fantastic addition to any outdoor gathering that requires focus and skill. Guests will love watching players strategize when they try to remove blocks without toppling the entire tower.
Tips for setting up your Giant Jenga game:
Make or purchase a Giant Jenga set (typically with 54 blocks).
Set up the game on a level and sturdy surface that can withstand the weight and impact of falling blocks.
Designate a playing area with enough space for players and spectators to enjoy the game safely.
Remind participants to play responsibly and avoid standing too close to the tower when it's their turn to remove a block.
Frisbee Tic-Tac-Toe is a clever spin on the traditional pen-and-paper game. In this outdoor game, players toss Frisbees into a large tic-tac-toe grid, aiming to land three of their colors in a row. This interactive activity is perfect for team-building events or graduation parties with friends and family.
Tips for setting up your Frisbee Tic-Tac-Toe game:
Create a large tic-tac-toe grid using tape, rope, or chalk on a flat surface.
Provide two sets of Frisbees in different colors or with distinguishing markings to represent Xs and Os.
Ensure enough space for playing and tossing the Frisbees without interference from bystanders or obstacles.
Encourage players to practice good sportsmanship and take turns fairly.
Team Building Activities
Team building activities are great for creating a bond with a group, encouraging communication, and boosting problem-solving skills. For a graduation party, team-building activities allow your guests to mix and mingle as they work together toward a common goal: winning!
The Human Knot is a classic team-building activity that involves physical closeness and problem-solving. This activity is perfect for breaking the ice and getting your guests to work together.
Here's how it works:
Gather your team and have everyone stand in a circle. You need at least six people to create a challenging knot.
Each person reaches out their right hand toward someone on the opposite side of the circle and grabs another person's hand, forming a physical connection.
Next, everyone extends their left hand and grabs the hand of another person in the circle, ensuring they choose someone different to avoid forming pairs.
The goal of the activity is for the group to untangle themselves without releasing any hands, ultimately forming a single, large circle or multiple smaller circles.
Tips for the Human Knot:
Encourage your team to be patient and communicate clearly with one another.
Allow plenty of time to complete the task, as it can take anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour.
Set the tone by creating a relaxed, fun atmosphere that encourages everyone to work together.
A Scavenger Hunt is a great game that lets teams collaborate and strategize. Plus, it's great for a big outdoor space and keeps everyone moving!
Planning a successful scavenger hunt involves these steps:
Identify the location. Opt for a space that accommodates your team comfortably and offers tons of hiding spots for items or clues.
Choose a theme to make the hunt more engaging and help guide the selection of items or clues.
Prepare a list of items or clues to be found, ensuring they resonate with the chosen theme.
Divide your team into smaller groups or pairs and provide each with the list you created.
Set a time limit and let the hunt begin!
Keep in mind that a well-planned scavenger hunt can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours, depending on your team's size and the scale of the hunt.
Capture the Flag
Capture the Flag is an action-packed game that’s great for groups that want a physical challenge and want to explore an open outdoor space. Plus, Capture the Flag encourages teams to work together to create the perfect strategy and beat their opponent.
How to play:
Divide your team into two equal groups and select an outdoor space where teams can establish their territories.
Each group selects a flag (or any object that represents their flag) and hides it somewhere in their territory. The goal of the game is for a team to find and capture the opposing team's flag and return it to their territory.
Determine the boundary lines between the territories so no one is confused.
Allow each group to develop strategies for defending their flag and attempting to capture their opponents' flag.
Once everything is ready, start the game!
Remember to set some guidelines and safety rules for Capture the Flag. For added fun, offer a reward to the winning team!
Find More Party Help with Party City
Throw the ultimate summer graduation party with supplies from Party City. From party games to balloons and decor, we have everything you need to keep the party going.
When it comes to planning outdoor party games, Party City has tons of game options and accessories, from Sack Race bags to Jenga blocks. Let us help you celebrate your graduation in style and make lasting memories with the people you love. Explore our grad party supplies today, or visit us at a store near you.
Frequently asked questions
What are some classic outdoor graduation party games?
Some classic outdoor graduation party games include:
Bean bag toss or cornhole
Badminton or volleyball
These games can cater to all ages and skill levels and are perfect for getting your guests up and moving.
How can I customize games for a graduation-themed event?
A great way to make outdoor games more fitting for a graduation celebration is to customize them, and small creative touches can do the trick. You can:
Use school colors for bean bags or cornhole boards
Write college-themed trivia questions on giant Jenga blocks
Replace volleyball or badminton net with a "Class of [Year]" banner
Create a custom graduate-themed ladder ball set
Are there any graduation-specific games I can try?
Absolutely! Some graduation-themed outdoor games include:
Memory toss: Write memories shared with different people on bean bags and let guests toss them into memory-filled buckets.
Frozen T-shirt race: Customize T-shirts with school or graduation logos, and freeze them. Guests compete to see who can thaw and wear the shirt the fastest.
Yearbook signing party: Set up a dedicated area for guests to sign a large outdoor "yearbook" on a poster board or fabric.
These games are a great way to bond with friends and family and share memories of your school journey.
How do you keep people entertained at a graduation party?
There are several ways to keep people entertained at a graduation party:
Photo booth: Set up a photo booth area with props where guests can take photos and create memories.
Music: Hire a DJ or create a playlist of upbeat songs that everyone can dance to.
Games: Set up games like cornhole, ladder toss, or a giant Jenga game to keep guests entertained.
Food: Offer tasty food and snacks to keep guests fueled throughout the night.
Speeches: Allow the graduate and guests to give speeches to make the celebration more personal.
Slideshow: Create a slideshow of pictures of the graduate to show during the party.