As Austin and many other areas begin to ease back to a more “normal” routine, we’re always cognizant of the importance of sanitation and social distancing.  While some areas *cough Texas cough* were quarantined during their prime weather timeframe, many of us still lust for the sun and outdoors even if it’s 100 degree.  While it may be hot and sunny, this ultimately will prove very beneficial to us in terms of virus spread.  A very recent Oxford study concluded Covid-19 is rapidly deactivated by sunlight. They found that exposure risk may vary significantly between indoor and outdoor spaces.  (1)  What this means is that being outside and maintaining social distance is important and lawn games are the perfect activity for such an occasion.

We’ll start with cornhole.  Cornhole boards are spaced 27’ apart so that math works out but what about the players standing on either side of the board?  Just put them about 2’ away from the board and boom: 6’ of distancing.   They can chat, they can sip 

Figure 1.  Ideal Social Distancing Set Up

You might be concerned because you’re sharing bags.  Don’t worry about that because you’ll have a mask on and it’s June so you’ve finally learned to not touch your face so much.  Sanitize often as well.  

Tumbling Towers is an easy game to distance with, people stand back from the tower anyway because they don’t want it to fall on them.  Giant Tumbling Towers’s can be up to 6’ high, especially when they’re elevated on a stand.  You’re not always handling the same blocks either but that doesn’t give you permission to touch your face.  Never touch your face. Check out the graphic below:

Figure 2. Tumbling Towers Social Distancing

Giant Connect Four lends itself to social distancing pretty well just because you don’t have to be near the game to study your next move.  In fact, it’s likely beneficial when you step back to survey your next drop and you’re naturally about arms-length away from the game when playing normally. It’s easy, just move back when you’re done with your turn.

Figure 3.  Giant Connect Four Social Distancing

Bucketball is another perfect game.  They’re about 15-20’ apart and you toss a couple balls back and forth.  Once again, try not to touch your face.  Ladder golf is the same, except it’s ladders bolas and not buckets and balls.  Kanjam?  Check.  Spikeball?  Double Check.  

These outdoor games simply lend themselves to all the aspects of social distancing and stopping the spread of the virus especially in a hot spot like Austin (pun intended).  While summer is sweltering in Texas, the joy of being outdoors with a few games can’t be understated, especially after an extended period of staying inside and streaming the Amaflixulu catalog.  

  1. Shanna Ratnesar-Shumate, Gregory Williams, Brian Green, Melissa Krause, Brian Holland, Stewart Wood, Jordan Bohannon, Jeremy Boydston, Denise Freeburger, Idris Hooper, Katie Beck, John Yeager, Louis A Altamura, Jennifer Biryukov, Jason Yolitz, Michael Schuit, Victoria Wahl, Michael Hevey, Paul Dabisch, Simulated Sunlight Rapidly Inactivates SARS-CoV-2 on Surfaces, The Journal of Infectious Diseases, , jiaa274,