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DIY Backyard Games for Your Kids

DIY Backyard Games for Your Kids

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Whether you have a garden, a backyard or a community garden plot, it’s often a relief to release your kids into a safe outdoor space. They can run and play freely, while you have some time to tend to household chores, your beautiful garden or read a book.

If you want to take your kids' backyard games to the next level, we have some suggestions for you that will keep them entertained for weeks to come. These games are also perfect for barbecues with family and friends, garden parties and birthdays.

Tic-Tac-Toe with Stones

A simple idea for an easy game that's hours of fun.

  1. Scavenge your garden (or a local store) for eight flat stones of similar size.
  2. Mark four stones with X and four with O. Acrylic paint works best.
  3. You can use different things as a playing board, depending on what you have available. Paint a large wooden plank or lay four long strings onto the grass to create the board.

Bean Bag Ladder Toss

If you own a ladder, you don’t even really need to buy any supplies for this game. 

  1. Set up a ladder on even ground.
  2. Tape points to each rung starting at 10 and going up to 50.
  3. Challenge your kids to throw bean bags (or similar items you have available) through the rungs to reach the highest score.

Bowling with Recycled Bottles

Backyard bowling is always a blast. But instead of going out to buy pins, you can reuse some of the plastic bottles you have been meaning to return.

  1. Take six (plastic) bottles of similar size and shape. You can make the bottle a little heavier (and the game harder) by putting some sand in the bottles.
  2. Spray paint them white and use red acrylic to paint two stripes on the bottleneck to make them look like the real thing.
  3. Use a heavy ball as bowling ball so it runs smoothly across the ground.

Balloon Darts

This is another fun game that challenges your kid’s hand-eye coordination - complete with satisfying balloon pops. All you need are balloons and darts.

  1. Blow up 20 to 30 balloons
  2. Attach them to a big wooden board or other available surface. Just make sure that there is as little room between the balloons as possible.
  3. Prop up the balloon board against a wall or tree outside.
  4. Give each kid five darts and let them take rounds.
  5. For an extra competitive element, you can put pieces of paper with score numbers in each balloon.

Ice Block Treasure Hunt

This game requires a little more planning and preparation, as well as a big freezer. The result will keep your kids busy for a good while.

  1. Collect a bunch of your kid's small plastic toys.
  2. Put a few in a bucket or plastic container and add a layer of water until the toys are covered.
  3. Put in the freezer and let it freeze completely.
  4. Add another layer of toys and water on top of the first ice layer.
  5. Repeat until the container is full. This might take a day or so.
  6. Take the container out of the freezer and turn it upside down so that the ice block falls out.
  7. Give your kids some tools to excavate their toys.

These are just a few simple and fun games you can play with your kids in your backyard. Enjoy!