Lawn darts are a fun game that can be played by almost anyone. Lawn darts have been around for many years and are often played during the summer months. It is easy to play using only the lawn dart set itself when playing with friends or family members.
Please note that traditional lawn darts are now banned in the US and Canada and we don’t recommend anyone use them – they are essentially just large spears and potentially incredibly dangerous.
Table of Contents
Kid Friendly Lawn Darts
Last update on 2023-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
How to Play Lawn Darts
The rules of lawn darts are similar to the rules of traditional darts. The general idea of lawn darts is easy. Each player tosses the lawn dart in turn towards a target board at the opposite end of the lawn from where they are standing. The lawn dart should be tossed underhand towards the target and must remain within bounds in order to score points. Once a lawn dart has been thrown, it cannot be moved by either players or spectators.
The lawn darts score is determined by where they land on the lawn dartboard. Each player begins with a set number of points, and each ring has points assigned to it based upon their distance from the center target. Every time a lawn dart scores, the lawn darts are tossed again in turn toward the opposite end of the lawn. The game ends when one lawn dart player has all the points on lawn dartboard.
The lawn darts game ends when a lawn dart player reaches zero or more points. When this happens, the lawn darts game is over and another round begins until every lawn dart player has had at least one turn of play towards the end where their target station is located.
This simple lawn darts game can be played during or after a family outdoor BBQ or party or as a Sunday afternoon lawn darts tournament for friends and neighbors. Lawn darts are great fun any time of the year as long as you have a lawn dart set available.
Traditional Lawn Darts Banned in US and Canada
Traditional lawn darts are no longer sold in the US and Canada because they caused too many injuries to players. The darts were giant weighted, metal spikes and were in retrospect quite terrifying! Instead, lawn darts have been replaced with alternate lawn dart games that are just as fun and much less likely to empale your child.
Lawn darts (also known as Jarts) were banned in the US and Canada because they can cause serious injury or death for players or spectators. 3 children lost their lives to lawn darts so in 1988 they banned the traditional (spear) version of the game.
Alternatives to Traditional Lawn Darts
Lawn darts are essentially throwing target games played outside on the grass. Some examples of safe alternatives to the traditional lawn dart game are:
- Kid-friendly lawn darts – these games do not involve sharp spears and are safe for kids to play unsupervised.
- Bocce ball (similar to lawn darts in that it is lawn game that requires throwing at a target)
- Corn hole toss (game similar to lawn darts where players throw bean bags towards the goal line for points, no lawn dartboard needed)
- Badminton target (similar to lawn darts where players can hit shuttle towards a target)
- Horseshoes (similar lawn dart game where lawn darts are thrown for points)
Traditional Lawn Darts
For those in Europe who choose to use traditional lawn darts set – NEVER let Kids play lawn darts alone without adult supervision. Lawn darts may cause injury or death if the lawn dart hits the player during gameplay.
Be sure to read lawn dart safety instructions before using lawn darts for lawn games. Never leave lawn darts unattended with children, be careful when throwing lawn darts be aware that they can cause injury or death if they are not thrown properly by players.
Lawn darts should not be thrown at lawn if lawn darts might bounce back towards other players or spectators to prevent lawn dart injuries.
When safe versions of this game are available we’d strongly urge you to retire your traditional lawn darts set for good.
Lawn darts were created to be used for lawn games but lawn dart injuries have been so numerous that traditional lawn darts have been banned in both the US and Canada. However, there are kid-friendly, soft, lawn darts alternatives that can still be played by friends and family. These lawn dart alternatives are just as fun although not as harmful if lawn darts miss their target.
You might like our article on the magnetic dartboards for kids.
Sue has been playing darts since her 20’s when she played in weekly tournaments and she enjoys writing about darts. She’s also a great teacher, and she enjoys helping others learn how to play the game well. When Sue isn’t throwing darts, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
The easy way to keep track of your score is with our printable darts scoresheets. Easy to download and keep on your phone or computer or print straight off from our website. Pop your email address into the box and we'll send them straight to you.