This is an unusual Game of the Month post for me because not only am I sharing an outdoor game (a first), I am featuring a game we do not actually own: BOCCE. On our recent beach trip our hosts had a marvelous Bocce Ball set and the boys absolutely loved playing it. If we had a yard I would snap up a set right away.
Fun Outdoor Game: Bocce with Kids
If you are not familiar with Bocce, it's an Italian boules game - bowls is the English version and pétanque is played in France. In a very basic sense, the rules involve players taking turns throwing large (and heavy) colored balls, trying to get their ball the closest to a smaller, white ball called the "jack".
Tips for Playing with Kids:
- It's not usually played at the beach! Courts are normally located on grass, soil or gravel courts, but the beach is a great place to play in the summer (if you're not a stickler for tradition).
- If possible find a public court and watch others play. Many cities may have public bocce or pétanque courts where you could take your kids to watch a game and maybe try a round or two.
- Balls are heavy. Watch out for little toes and help kids who may have trouble throwing a ball a large distance.
- Let the youngest children have two throws per turn. My 4 year old could lift the ball and throw it, but he certainly would not be able to compete against adults.
I took a look to see what sorts of game sets were available, thinking maybe it would have fun to have one of our own, but the balls are so heavy I decided we wouldn't want to be shlepping them to the park without a car.
Have you ever played Bocce Ball?