Tailgating with kids: 3 new ways to play cornhole to keep kids entertained

Three girls playing cornhole while camping

Cornhole has been a traditional favorite at fairs, backyards and tailgate parties for generations. It’s also a firm favorite at children’s parties. Although there is nothing wrong with the standard cornhole game rules, there are some non-traditional games that you can play with a cornhole board that will help to keep the kids interested, and that can help them burn off a few of those energy calories that come with eating all that great tailgate fare you have prepared.

Here are three variations on the traditional cornhole game that can help to keep your kids playing with those bean bags for hours.

Slip and Slide Shooter

For those warm summer days, this variation will have the kids running off that extra energy and staying cool at the same time. The game is suitable for children who are old enough to use a slip and slide. To play the game, set up a slip and slide, and then set up your board half way to a third of the way down the slide. Each child is given a bean bag at the top of the slide. The aim is to launch the cornhole bag and to land it on the board or in the hole as the children slide past the playing board. Normal game scoring can be used. You can also use a simple scoring system, like one point for each bag that lands on the board, if the children are younger. One of the parents will need to keep score.

This variation can also be played in teams, with children from each team taking turns. A team scoring system can be used to work out the winning team. This style of play is great for high energy levels, and it also encourages the hand-eye coordination of the children. It is, however, only suitable for outdoor events, hot days and summer activities. Probably not the best for a tailgate unless you tailgate on grass and have access to a hose and running water to keep the sliding surface wet and slippery.

Round the Clock

Another great take on an ordinary cornhole game is to use a timer instead of using the traditional point system. This round the clock cornhole can be played with one or two boards.

For the single board variation, set up the bean bag board at the twelve o’clock position and use a marker to indicate the shooting position. Mark out a circle using markers. Divide the children into teams. One team has a chance, and then the next team has a chance, and the team is timed.

Start with one bean bag at the foot of the board, and one bean bag at the first shooter. The shooter shoots the bean bag at the board, and then runs around the circle to the board. The bean bag is collected, and then the shooter runs around the rest of the circle clockwise and passes the bag to the next shooter. This encourages speed and accuracy for the children, and gives them time to run off all that tailgate party energy.

A two team version can be played with two bean bag boards, one board set up at six o’clock and one board set up at the 12 o’clock position of the circle. Each team is given 4 bean bags. One team is positioned at the 6 o’clock board and the other team starts out at the 12 o’clock board. The teams then throw their bags at the board on the opposite side of the clock – in other words, the team standing at six o’clock throws to the board positioned at 12 o’clock and vice versa.

Once the team has thrown its bags, they race around the circle and retrieve their bean bags and throw again – at the opposite board. The game can be timed – the winning team being the one who scored the most points in the allotted time, or it can be based on the team to reach a specific point total. All team members must race around the circle in a clockwise direction to avoid collisions.

Pass the Bag

This rendition uses two boards and two teams. Set out the boards opposite one another. Use some of the bean bags to mark off distances between the two boards. Divide the children into two teams.

Each team will have one shooter to begin with that stand at the boards ready to shoot. One child stands at the each marker between the boards. There is one bean bag for each team.

When the game starts, the shooter shoots the bag. A parent keeps score for each team. Once the shot is taken, the shooter runs to the end of the line. The child at the end of the line takes the bean bag and runs to the child at marker one, and then passes the bean bag to the child at marker one. The child from the end of the line then stays at marker one while the next child takes the bean bag up the line – it’s like a relay race.

The game ends when one team has had all the children throw the bag; for smaller children or for older children, the team with the most score wins.

Whether you are playing traditional cornhole, or a newer version, cornhole is sure to be fun for the whole family.

(This is a guest post written by Jennifer Cantis, content creator for Baggo. Baggo carries multiple variations of cornhole boards, bags and accessories. Jennifer has been a avid cornhole player for 11 years and doesn’t plan to stop until she is the cornhole champion of the world.)

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