14 DIY Backyard Games That Will Make You Feel Like a Kid Again
DIY Donut Twister
Transform the look of your old Twister mat and spinner board with this cool trick! Just print donut images onto adhesive vinyl, then peel and stick them in place over top of the original colored dots. You'll be hard pressed to think of a sweeter outdoor game.
Homemade Cornhole Boards
Customize homemade wooden cornhole boards by using painters tape and paint samples in all of your favorite colors. As long as you use paint formulated for outdoor use, these game boards can stay out in the backyard all season long.
Kid-Friendly Sandbox and Climbing Wall
Keep the kids entertained and active throughout the warm-weather months by setting up a large-scale play area where they’re welcome to get their hands dirty. A giant sandbox is a classic addition to any backyard play area, but try taking things one step further by turning an exterior concrete wall into a playful climbing wall.
Flamingo Ring Toss
Practice your hand-eye coordination with this neon take on the timeless ringtoss yard game you're used to. Hot pink flamingos give your setup a whimsical and modern edge, and bonus points go to those who use equally vibrant painted stands, too.
Fabric Backgammon Board
Give family game nights an entirely new tone by taking things to the backyard. This handmade fabric backgammon board can easily be unrolled on the soft grass outside, while participants gather around beneath the summer sunshine.
Get everyone in the family involved in a little friendly backyard Yahtzee competition. To make, cut a piece of 4-by-4-inch wood into square cubes and draw on black dice dots with a permanent marker. Roll the oversize dice out on the grass using a bucket and keep score on a white board.
Ice Cream Ping-Pong Paddles
Transform plain, inexpensive ping-pong paddles into gaming tools fit for seasonal fun. Just use exterior paint to give the paddles a base color and then finish by freehanding summer-appropriate shapes on top, such as an ice cream cone, sun, or beach ball. (Project and photo courtesy Laurel Stavros of A Bubbly Life.)
Homemade Sidewalk Chalk
Sidewalk chalk has the power to turn just about any type of paved or concrete surface into a work of art. And with this tutorial from Twine and Table, you have the power to create your own chalk! Just combine plaster of Paris, tempera paint, and water and let it set up in a mold.
Outdoor Play Easel
Who wants to be cooped up inside on a pretty day, when you could be outside painting and drawing instead? This simple wood-and-plexiglass easel is straightforward to assemble and can be folded up flat when not in use to be slipped away until the next pretty day.
Hoola Hoop Ring Toss
Eliminate the fear of soggy bean bags by creating washable versions. These muslin bags are filled with pony beads that easily withstand machine washing and will air-dry with ease. Combine the bags with a hoola hoop, and you've got yourself a long-lasting backyard game that you don't have to waste energy worrying about while out in the elements.
Balloon Dart Painting
This backyard project serves double duty as both an art project and dart game. Simply fill colorful balloons with non-toxic paint, attach them to a white canvas board, and let your kids toss plastic darts at the balloons to pop them. After the balloons have all been popped, you and your family will be left with a one-of-a-kind art piece to show off and enjoy.
Travel Fabric Checkers
During the warm-weather travel season, it’s all about mobile gaming. Make the most of your next travel excursion by making your own version of this fabric checkers mat. Simply mask off the squares, stamp with paint, then put multicolored clay game pieces into play outside.
DIY Yard Dominoes
The classic game of dominoes has gotten a whole new larger-than-life look with this DIY project. To re-create, cut 4-footx1-inch wooden boards down into 28 individual 7-inch game pieces. Stain the wooden pieces and add numeric dots using white adhesive paper cut with a circular craft punch.
Put your child's rock collection to extra fun use by pulling out the flattest specimens for decorating. Use oil pastels to draw on colorful "x" and "o" shapes and seal them with decoupage glue, such as Mod Podge. Finish by gluing thin black strips of felt into a grid pattern on a large piece of square felt in a bold, contrasting color.