Parenting

4 cornhole sets your kids will love—and how to play

For camping or the beach, these cornhole boards are our family-friendly favorites

On one side is a shark-themed cornhole board with blue and yellow beanbags. On the other side two children play a game of cornhole on a collapsible set. Credit: Sunnylife / Hearthsong

Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

Bring on the summer games! There’s nothing better than getting the family outside to enjoy some sun and some fun with a few yard games. A trending favorite for parties and families alike, is cornhole. This unassuming game with the silly name is having a bit of a moment due to its all-ages ease of mastery, and its incredible portability.

If your family really wants to get serious about cornhole, there are all sorts of specifications for buying the right type of set, but if you just want to have some quality time with the kids, things get a bit easier. There are still a few important things to look for when buying a set, however. Read on for tips and for some of our favorite starter sets that are kid-friendly and great for camping, the beach, or for backyard barbecues.

What is cornhole

spacecat
Credit: Getty / Space_Cat

Cornhole is a great game for all ages and abilities.

The premise of cornhole is simple: players alternate pitching bean bags onto an angled platform with a bag-sized hole carved out of the far end (this hole is typically 6-inches wide, though that may vary if you buy a more portable cornhole set). The platforms face each other at a distance of 27 feet (or whatever distance works for your kids’ ages). If a bag lands on the board, the player scores a point. If the bag goes through the hole, that’s three points. The first person or team to score 21 points wins.

It’s a fun, easy game that’s great for preschoolers all the way up to grandparents, and we love that it’s just as nice to play on a chilly fall day as it is during the sweltering dog days of summer. It’s low-key, you don't tend to break a sweat, and the rules are easy enough for a toddler to understand.

What to look for in a board

board
Credit: Reviewed / Lisa Lawrence

Regulation-sized cornhole boards, while fun to play on, may not be the right fit for kids.

First and foremost, look for a stable set. There are dozens of fabric sets with collapsible frames on the market that appear to be an easy and portable way to play but, more often than not, they will just result in frustration. The fabric board face causes bouncing, which can be frustrating for all levels, but particularly problematic with younger players who aren’t as adept at adjusting their technique or facing disappointment.

Likewise, flimsy frames can result in tipping—either from a hearty throw or a strong gust of wind. While there are lots of boards to choose from that can make for a fun game, we generally avoid the ones made with nylon and PVC, which either create the frustrations mentioned above or show their age far sooner than their wood or plastic counterparts.

How to play

For regulation cornhole, you need to set up at distance of 27 feet and for junior play it’s recommended that you set up at distance of 15 feet. Both can be a bit much for most yards and for kids under 12-years-old, so we just recommend setting up at a distance that inspires the happiest play with your family.

Some tips from the pros that are good for all ages of play is to toss underhand and to work on a rainbow-style arc of throw. It’s fun to work on that throw with kids before you even start on getting the bags in the holes.

Another aspect of play that can appeal to a child's competitive side, particularly with older kids, is mastering what is referred to as “the slide.” The slide is a strategy of sliding other bags on the board out of the way to allow for your subsequent bags to land in the hole. This can be challenging for smaller kids to master, but older kids will likely love nudging your strategically positioned bag off the board.

When you’re looking for a board, decide if you want one where kids can work on this skill, or if you want a more textured board that just allows bags to land and stick without frustration or surprises. For our family, we like the latter, but it’s really up to your preference. We assume that as our son gets older, he’ll prefer a smoother board to play with.

Our favorite set

favorite
Credit: EastPoint Sports

The writer's family has been using this set for years. It's stood up to plenty of play—and to s'mores attacks.

My husband’s parents have this set and it's been a constant fixture at family hangouts for over five years. They live the RV life, so this has packed up easily and traveled with them non-stop, across numerous state lines and climates, and through three grandchildren—none of whom are particularly gentle with their play things. It has not only weathered the use as a typical cornhole set, it’s been mishandled through imaginative play and it’s as sturdy as the day they bought it.

This is the ultimate take-anywhere set. It folds up easily and the bags store away in a compartment on the back, so you never run the risk of losing them. It holds up to rain and sand, and—when met with the occasional s’mores catastrophe—cleans up easily.

This is not a smooth board, which some prefer. Bags tend to stay put when they land, so it’s not ideal if your preferred playing strategy is sliding other bags out of the way, but for quick games or for a set that can play just as well in a driveway as it can on a beach or in a park, it’s a great option.

Get the Go! Gater junior size cornhole game at Amazon for $34.95

More cornhole boards to consider

A shark board with a smooth surface

sunnylife
Credit: Sunnylife / Anthropologie

This shark-themed cornhole set is ready for the beach.

Perfect for a day at the beach! These boards have a smooth surface, which allows for kids to work on sliding and nudging opponents off the board. These cornhole boards are made of hardwood, to make them sturdy, and the sand-filled bags are made with polyester—for a super-slippery style of play.

Get the Sunnylife kids cornhole game set at Anthropologie for $36

A cornhole board set for older kids

etsy
Credit: CornholeBoardsDOTus

This is an excellent starter set for the soon-to-be-serious cornhole player.

This set is small enough to allow kids to work on their game, without having to contend with a board too large for their abilities. These highly-reviewed cornhole boards are designed to regulation, but at a much smaller size. The size and the foldable legs allow for portability and for easy play when in your backyard or on a camping trip. We also like that they come with custom corn-filled bags that you can choose in whatever colors you prefer.

Get the CornholeBoardsDOTus junior cornhole boards with bags at Etsy for $38.35

A dual-holed set of cornhole boards to mix things up

Hearthsong
Credit: Hearthsong

This set is perfectly portable and we love the extra holes, which allow for extra chances for scoring.

This set is almost exactly like our family favorite, except each board comes with two holes instead of one! Like the one our family uses, this surface doesn’t allow for slide, so we love that the extra holes allow for more opportunities for younger players to score. This set gets rave reviews for being lightweight but sturdy and for folding up and storing easily. The four legs on each board pop out for play. When you're finished, they store conveniently inside the locking boards along with cubbies for both sets of bags—making this both easy to play and perfectly portable.

Get the Pick-Up-and-Go portable cornhole set at Hearthsong.com for $49.98

Related content

The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest deals, product reviews, and more.

Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Up next