We are always a little stir crazy when it rains... so we tend to come up with goofy games (most of them using balls and kid's hockey sticks or golf clubs).
This was the start of our activity
Then we took it up a notch
Materials Needed: cardstock strips (we made 3 long strips from each piece), markers, painter's tape, ball, hockey stick, croquet mallet, or golf club, cardboard tubes, boxes, etc.
We wrote numbers 1-20 on the strips and then bent the edges and taped each paper hoop to the floor.
We used several areas of our first floor to create our croquet/golf course (around the dining table, down a short flight of stairs, around the kitchen and playroom, etc).
We started at #1 and tried to make it through each hoop all the way to #20 (counting, in order)
If you actually want to play competitive croquet, you'll need two balls and two sticks/clubs. Each player takes turns hitting their ball and trying to make it from hoop to hoop on the course (in order... or backwards... or counting by 2s... whatever you want to do)... until they reach the last hoop. As you play, you count how many hits it takes you to finish the course. The first person to make it through the course with the smallest number of hits is the winner.
If you hit someone else's ball, you can make up your own rules regarding what you want to do. There are several different ways to play You can find some general rules of croquet here. We kept it simple... and I didn't want to encourage my son to hit the other balls the whole time (or that would've been the only thing we did).
After we were done playing this game, I found this version of Wacky Lawn Croquet. Instead of numbering the paper hoops, you could write silly instructions on them... like, "twist & shout" or "hop 10 times" or "sing Twinkle Twinkle."
This was a hit and we both had a lot of fun! Perfect for a cooped up inside day... but would also be a fun outside summer game. Number recognition and counting were embedded, but were not the main focus of the activity. This could be easily adaptable to focus on sight words practice, letter recognition, math facts (you write a number sentence on the hoop and have to add the numbers together as you hit the ball through the hoop), etc.
The sky is the limit! Have fun!