Connect Three in a Row to Win
- What: Toss Across Bean Bag Game
- When: 3 years and up
- Why: Fun, easy to learn, multiple players
- Where: Amazon or secondhand
Looking to expand your outdoor family games with the improving weather? Want your kids to spend more time outdoors and less time in front of screens? Whether you love it for nostalgia’s sake or just need a simple game all ages can play, look no further than this lawn game called Toss Across.
The premise of the game resembles tic-tac-toe, which my kids have been playing in restaurants and other places for ages. But Toss Across has a twist. You toss bean bags at the board, which comes with nine rotating triangle-shaped targets. Each of the three sides is either blank, an X, or an O. All nine squares start on the blank sides. The first person to hit a target with the bean bag gets that letter, though you can also assign letters before play begins to make it more challenging. Connect three X’s or O’s in a row, column, or diagonally to win.
Unlike the paper and pencil game, this game is not static. Any player can flip a square at any point, by design or accident. The target can rotate back to blank or to the opponent’s letter depending on how the bean bag hits it. That means the game has an added level of complexity and also takes longer to complete. Adjust the throwing distance to even the playing field for different ages. Or play in teams, taking turns, to see who can be the first to get three in a row. No matter how many people play, everyone can enjoy the fun. But beware with younger kids, who may get frustrated when their squares get reversed.
Mattel offers a new version of this vintage game. But if, like me, you loved the original, beware. Reviews indicate the latest version is smaller than the original, making targets harder to hit. And the bean bags don’t spin the triangle-shaped plastic as well, which can make it irritating if a player hits a target but it doesn’t flip. Lastly, this version comes with stickers to apply for the X’s and O’s, which means it requires a little more assembly. And the stickers can peel off over time.
But if you can score one of the original versions, it has all the fun with none of the frustration. We recently stumbled across this game in a thrift store. It brought back so many memories for me. My grandmother owned the same game, and my cousins and I loved playing on her large lawn anytime we visited. I never knew the name of the game until we spotted it still in the original box.
Get your game on with this competitive spin on a classic game the whole family can enjoy.
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