5 Easy Backyard DIY Games
Updated: Jul 26, 2018
The summer is for creativity and outdoor fun. These cheap and easy backyard DIY projects will have your kids playing outside for hours on end!
1. Giant Jenga: This is a giant version of everyone's favorite stacking game.
Supplies: Seven 2x4's cut into 10 1/2 inch pieces. This makes 63 pieces (9 per 2x4). If you don't have a saw at home, Home Depot and Lowes both offer wood cutting services.
We recommend sanding down the ends once they're cut to make sure no one gets splinters!
Once you've cut and sanded your pieces, you are ready to go! If you don't know how to play Jenga, the rules can be found here.
2. Safari Garden Animals: This is a perfect activity for young kids who want to explore the backyard. It can also be set up in playgrounds or parks for additional fun.
Supplies: Plastic Safari Animals, Paint and Paintbrushes (acrylic paint works fine), Clear spray paint
Have each kid choose 1 color and paint their animal. Some animals might need more than one coat to cover up their original designs completely.
Once the paint has dried, cover each animal in a coat of clear spray paint and let that layer dry too.
After each animal is ready to go, have an adult hide the animals around the backyard and then send the kids out to find them, similar to what you would do for an easter egg hunt. Another alternative is to set them up and lead the kids around the backyard pretending they're on a safari. Tell them about each of their "habitats" and then quiz them at the end and hand out cold treats such as popsicles when they get questions right.
The animals can also be drawn on with chalk and used to label different plants around the garden. Check out our original inspiration here.
3. Kickball Croquet: This kid-friendly version of an English Classic game with have the whole family spending hours in the backyard.
Supplies: Pool Noodles (at least 4), Scissors, Garden Stakes, and Kick Balls (one per kid)
Instructions: Cut the pool noodles in half and create arches using garden stakes to keep each end in place. Space them out in your backyard to create a course and stick one stake at the very end of the course as a finish line.
To play, kick the balls through the course, alternating between players. The first one to get to the finish line stake wins! The course can be made harder or easier depending on who is playing and if needed, more pool noodles can be added to make the course even longer.
4. Key Wind Chime: While this activity isn't a game, it's a great DIY project that will encourage kids to appreciate the power of the wind.
Supplies: Keys (at least 5), colorful yarn, acrylic paint, a piece of driftwood or stick
Instructions: Paint keys and stick and allow to dry. If you want, you can also add a coat of clear paint sealer to ensure your colors will last. Start off by tying a piece of string or yarn to either end of the stick, giving you a place to hang the wind chime once you're done. Next, tie one end of the yarn/string to a key and the other end to the stick. Repeat this step until all your keys are attached to the stick. Make sure you cut each string evenly and hang the keys close enough so they will chime in the wind.
Hang your wind chime up anywhere that the wind can reach it!
5. Glow-In-The-Dark Ring Toss: This is a nighttime version of a classic backyard game. There are many different ways to set up your ring toss but the easiest we've found is to simply set up some old wine/soda bottles filled with water. You can remove the labels and spray paint them for a more kid-friendly and cute look.
Another alternative is to use PVC piping or drill some wooden dowels into a solid wood base.
Next, buy some glow-in-the-dark necklaces. Try to find ones that are made to be necklaces instead of bracelets, as these will be easier to play with. Most grocery and drugstores sell these necklaces all summer long.
Once you have all your supplies, all that's left to do is activate the necklaces, set up the bottles on each end, and play! For extra fun, stick a glow stick into each of the bottles so they light up too.