Summer is nearly upon us and it’s time to get outside. But other than eating and drinking on the patio, how do you keep busy in the backyard? Games like croquet and lawn bowling are fun, but sometimes you don’t want to invest in a set if you’re not sure how often your family is going to use them. Luckily, there are plenty of DIY games that you can make yourself for backyard fun.

Giant Jenga

If you have access to wood and a good saw, cut yourself a series of equally-sized blocks and stack them up to play a stand-up size version of the game Jenga. Just make sure no small children are afoot when the tower comes falling down.

Bucket Bean Bag Toss

Secure a series of small buckets to your backyard fence with string or heavy-duty twist ties and label each with a point value. Take turns tossing bean bags towards the buckets for a makeshift version of a carnival game.

Balloon Darts

Blow up a big pile of balloons (or fill them with water) and secure them to a solid wall (not a chain link fence — you don’t want to impale your neighbours) to create a balloon dartboard. Make sure you’re playing with kids old enough to handle standard darts and keep everyone well away from the line of fire.

Water Gun Shooting Range

Drill a series of holes in a piece of wood that will each snugly hold the tip of a golf tee and place the wood on top of a table. Stick tees in each hole and then place a golf ball on top. Fill up your favourite water guns and compete with your friends to see who can squirt the balls off the tees.

Lawn Twister

Spray a series of coloured dots on your grass using outdoor chalk paint (use a stencil to get perfect circles) to mimic a classic Twister board. Somewhere near the “board,” spray a circle on the ground with the various colours painted around the circumference and place a bottle in the middle to make a “spinner.”

Glow Stick Ring Toss

This is a fun one for after dark! Bend a series of glow sticks into rings and place a stake in the ground — a couple of feet high — for a lights out version of ring toss.

Outdoor Memory

Draw or spray paint (with stencils) a series of pictures onto 12” x 12” pieces of cardboard or thin pieces of wood, making sure you do two of each picture. Arrange them on the lawn, picture side down, for a big game of memory.

Stone Dominoes

If you can find a good supply of smooth, flat stones, paint domino patterns on them for a natural version of the classic game.



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