Whatever happened to …

… lawn darts?

This is another from the collection that Sheila Stewart forwarded my way. Thanks, Sheila.

I think the answer to this one is pretty easy. The plastic fins on the end were smart for accurate throwing but the metal tip that stuck in the ground had the potential to be a killer.

MushyDay 361 – lawn darts at an elementary school rummage sale!! (I didn’t buy ’em)
A package of Franklin brand lawn darts. Photo taken at an elementary school yard sale in Washington state, United States, with a Kodak Z650 Zoom digital camera.

I’ve also seen them called Jarts.

They came with a yellow plastic circle that was the target. Play, as I recall, was like a lighter game of horseshoes.

Now, playing by the rules was something that we did when my parents were around. Left to our own, we had other uses for them.

  • catching them
  • throwing them overhand for distance
  • being merciless when a friend would climb up a tree and become a target
  • using a newspaper as the target and trying to hit the pictures
  • and probably a few other things

Despite these uses, I don’t recall a serious event happening in our side yard with their use. We weren’t allowed to take them off our property though.

I do recall an incident once with someone else while we were camping. He came into the camping office bleeding from the forehead. A couple of bandages and he was off again.

Eventually, they were banned in Canada. They aren’t in the same deadly category as Kinder Eggs, but I don’t recall anyone being upset when they were banned. Sometimes, it’s just common sense.

For a Sunday, your thoughts…

  • did you ever own or play with lawn darts?
  • do you have any accident stories to share?
  • do you have any non-standard games that you played with them?
  • interestingly, real darts are still a thing. I’d argue that, in the wrong hands, they could be even more dangerous. I mean arming people with these things while they’re drinking in a pub? Your thoughts?
  • can you think of any current toy in production that should be banned?
  • is there a safe way to implement the lawn dart concept? (Answer is yes, there are alternatives)

Please take a moment and share your stories in the comments below.

This post originated on:


If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: http://www.dougpeterson.ca Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dougpete I'm bookmarking things at: http://www.diigo.com/user/dougpete

5 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …”

  1. Doug, I don’t remember lawn darts, but I did find your stories intriguing. It’s interesting how nobody was hurt using them. Or, any real injury seemed minor. So many things have the potential to cause injury. Is the key instead to teach children how to be responsible and support them in making these safe choices? I’m not suggesting bringing lawn darts to school, as there would be too many kids and too small an area, but maybe this is part of the thinking that kids need to hear and see. As adults, do we sometimes make too many decisions for children, and thus, decrease their ability to work through these problem solving situations? The kindergarten teacher in me thinks about this one a lot. Your trip down memory lane took me in a different direction.



  2. I remember them, but we never had them. I remember the older kids playing with them at a family picnics. I also seem to remember watching them being played one hot summer, where the clay soil was baked so hard, the darts just sort of bounced around the circle and slid out.


  3. These were wicked things. Mr 18 did end up at emerg on one occasion as he and a friend were sword fighting with lawn darts, and he ended up with a nasty cut that came far too close to an eye for comfort…..


Comments are closed.