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5 sports and games the whole family can play this summer

In Australia, some of the best childhood memories are made during our summer holidays.

Long days and bright evenings, coupled with lots of free time thanks to the school break and public holidays, means summer really is the festive season in so many ways. A chance to shrug off daily routines, reconnect with friends and family, and most important have some fun!

Here are five games that will put a smile on the faces of everyone in the family, young and old.


1. Touch rugby

Touch rugby is so hassle free and easy to understand that even children in the remote highlands of Laos and Vietnam, who have never heard of the game, are falling in love with it. That’s one of the reasons ChildFund Pass it Back has been so quick to reach so many children throughout Asia.

All you need is a ball (preferably a rugby ball) and some markers for the field lines. You can play with as few as four players and can set up a field anywhere: the backyard, the park or the beach.


2. Football

Throughout the globe, you will see children making balls out of everything from plastic bags to cane. If you have a ball and at least two people, you can play a game of football.

You can play football on the smallest of pitches, but it does help to have a bit of extra room (especially if you want to run around). It’s a good excuse to take your family out to the beach or local park.


Chinlone, or “kick volleyball”, is one of Myanmar’s most popular sports, and is played using a ball made of handwoven rattan.

3. Cricket

What is summer in Australia without backyard cricket? The rules of backyard cricket are fluid and can change depending on where you’re playing and who you’re playing with.

You’ll need a cricket bat, a tennis ball and something for the stumps (cricket stumps are best but wheelie bins and eskies are good replacements). The more the merrier but all you really need is a batter and a bowler.

And you can always get creative and use trees, pets and any objects you have in your backyard as makeshift fielders.


4. Volleyball

Like football, you can play volleyball with almost any ball (or ball-like material). Once you have that, all you need is at least two players and something to serve as a net. The clothesline is the classic solution.

Volleyball is versatile because you can play it in the backyard, at the park, on the beach or even in the water (pool or ocean) when you need to cool off.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can try kick volleyball, a popular game that is played throughout Asia.


5. Basketball

If your backyard or park has a basketball hoop, your family can spend a whole afternoon playing games that are suitable for all skill levels.

If you have enough players, you can play a full court game or a half-court game. Siblings can spend an afternoon playing a game of one-on-one, and sometimes spend the entire summer (or several summers) trying to one-up each other.

Games such as horse and around the world are also great for getting the whole family together without needing to spend the day running up and down the court.

ChildFund Ambassadors and Bondi Lifeguards Andy, Ryan and Corey are passionate about the importance of play, and are gearing up for a busy summer of fun.

Give the gift of play

You don’t need to head further than your own backyard or neighbourhood this summer to make memories that last a lifetime.

The only essentials are a ball, some buddies, sunscreen, and a hat. Bondi Lifeguards and ChildFund Ambassadors Ryan Clark, Corey Olive and Andy Reid say a pair of good shoes can also go a long way.

“Being able to chuck on a pair of joggers and kick a ball around in the backyard is what Australian childhoods are all about,” they say.

The trio are passionate about the importance of play for children, and are expecting another busy summer of young beachgoers playing along Sydney’s east coast.

But while many Aussie kids can easily throw on a pair of joggers or flip flops to cross the sizzling sand or protect their feet from prickly bindiis in the park, they know that many children around the world don’t have access to a pair of shoes.

“It’s something we often take for granted, but not every child in our region is so lucky: playing barefoot is common in many parts of Asia,” they say.

ChildFund is working to change that with our Gifts for Good catalogue, which allows you to donate sports shoes and equipment to children in need.

“Sports shoes means kids can play, get active, have fun with their friends – it’s the ultimate gift really. And they come in handy when you’re trying to cross the sand on a hot day too!”

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