DIY Lawn Games for Kids and Adults
Lawn games are a great way to spend more time outdoors with your family and friends and also a good way to keep kids occupied and active. While you can purchase outdoor games locally or online, there are also plenty of DIY lawn games options that you can make at home. For some options, you do not even have to leave the house for materials or supplies.
Here are five backyard games you can make and play with your family and friends.
1. Bean Bag Toss or Cornhole
You can purchase a cornhole game set inexpensively, but, if you are handy and have some tools, you can also make your own. If you happen to have a circular saw and jigsaw and are comfortable using them, you can follow this tutorial from Home Depot to build your own cornhole boards.
If not, there are several ways to create a DIY backyard bean bag toss game with items you likely already have around the house.
First, let’s start with making the bean bags. If you have a sewing machine, it will only take you a few minutes to sew bean bags using fabric, thread, and dry beans. If you do not have a sewing machine or fabric, you can also make bean bags out of old socks. Simply fill the sock partway with dry beans, tie it in a knot to create a bean-filled bag, and then cut off the excess. If you do not have dry beans, you can also fill your bean bags with dry rice or flaxseeds.
For the targets, you can use bowls and buckets in different sizes. Make smaller bowls and buckets worth more points than the larger bowls and buckets. You can also use a ladder as the target with the spaces between the rungs being worth different amounts of points. Creating the signs with the point values on them is another fun craft project and one that kids can easily participate in completing.
2. Lawn Bowling
There are two basic types of lawn bowling. There is the historical game of lawn bowling that involves trying to get your ball closest to a target ball (similar to bocce) or there is the modern bowling-alley-brought-outside type of lawn bowling that families enjoy at picnics and backyard barbecues. This modern version is much easier to DIY, and that is the one that we are talking about here.
You can always purchase a lawn bowling set locally or online that includes bowling pins and a ball. Or, if you want to play right away, you can create a DIY lawn bowling game with stuff you have around the house. For example, you can save plastic soda bottles or water bottles, and then fill the bottoms with a bit of sand, gravel, or dry beans to weigh them down just enough to not fall accidentally. Most lawn bowling games call for 10 pins, but if you are playing with kids or just do not have 10 soda bottles laying around, you can also play with just five pins. For the ball, you can use whatever small ball you have on hand.This type of lawn game is particularly fun to play on artificial grass, since this provides a smooth, level playing surface. Since synthetic turf does not get muddy, it is also nice for impromptu lawn bowling games shortly after it rains.
3. Backyard Dominoes
There are lots of DIY lawn games that do not require any skills to make. Backyard dominoes is a great example of this. If you are comfortable making straight cuts, you can cut lumber into dominoes yourself. But even if you are not comfortable cutting wood, dominoes can still be a DIY project. You will need to go to a home improvement store to pick up some lumber anyways, so you can just have them cut the boards to size while you are there.
Select either 1×4 or 1×6 boards, depending on how big you want your dominoes. If you choose 1×4 boards, cut them into eight-inch lengths so that your dominoes will be roughly four inches wide and eight inches long. If you choose 1×6 boards, cut your wood into 11- or 12-inch lengths. You will need enough pieces to make 28 dominoes.
Sand the edges of each domino to make sure they are smooth and free of splinters. Paint or stain the dominoes, and allow this to dry completely before painting the dots on each domino to create your set.
Make sure you know the basic rules of the game so that you are ready to teach your family or guests how to play.
4. Outdoor Tic-Tac-Toe
An over-sized game of tic-tac-toe is fun for all ages and easy to make. You can create the squares with sticks, pool noodles, tape, rope, or just about anything you can use to create a relatively straight line. For a game you can easily put away and take out again later, you could paint the playing board on a small tarp. If you are playing on a patio or walkway, you can use sidewalk chalk to dray the tic-tac-toe board on the ground.
For the x and o markers, you can paint x and o on paper plates, pie tins, frisbees, or rocks. For a more personalized game, you can paint four rocks one color and four rocks another color. Just make sure you have four of each.
5. Giant Jenga
A giant, outdoor, wood-stacking game takes about the same level of skill as a backyard domino game. All you need is lumber, a saw, and a sander or sandpaper. Purchase six 2x4x8 pieces of lumber and either have the lumberyard cut them or cut them yourself into 54 pieces that are 10.5 inches long. Sand all sides and pay particular attention to the corners on the cut edges, which could be sharp or have splinters.
It is possible to make your DIY jenga out of larger pieces of lumber if you want a bigger, taller game, but keep in mind that wood is heavy and you want to make sure that kids can play too.