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Watching the Olympics this week has probably made most of us feel severely inadequate. Sure, you thought you were good at Ping-Pong a month ago… Well instead of throwing yourself a pity party because you might not stand a chance against an Olympian, you can still take the gold in your backyard. Get outside and have some fun. With these do-it-yourself backyard games, you can have a little family competition of your own.


Corn Hole

Is this really not an Olympic sport yet? That’s good news; you still have time to train your five-year-old. Corn Hole is a classic backyard game often associated with tailgating. It consists of one part hand-eye coordination and two parts smack talk. Instead of going to the store and buying some plastic version of the game, break out the tools and do it yourself. This will be fun for the whole family – you can even have the kids customize a family crest and get a Fathead of it to put on the platforms. It’s pretty easy to do if you follow the directions. Go here to find out detailed steps on creating your own corn hole game.

Lawn Twister

Does your family love Twister but hate the way that white mat slips around the living room? Or is dad always feeling left out because there’s no room for him? Time to move the action outdoors. It’s super easy to do. All you need is a few different colors of marking spray paint and a bucket with the bottom cut out. Then just spray the circles on the lawn using the cut out bucket as a template. Make the Twister field as large as you want, just make sure it’s dry before you use it.

Ring Toss

The game looks easy from afar. Almost too silly to indulge! But once you get into it, you discover the concentration and frustration involved. How hard can it be to get a small washer into a coffee can? You tell me. This game is easy to make – simply screw a coffee can to the bottom of a wooden box. You can use washers or pennies to toss.

Backyard Jenga

The title gives it away. Backyard Jenga is just supersized version of the classic game of mental strategy and steady hands. Just get some 2x4s and cut them into 10 ½-inch pieces; 54 pieces should be enough. You can sand them up, unless you want to add in the element of splinters. If you’re feeling really creative, take a sharpie and write some truth or dares on the blocks. Just be careful that no little kids are standing around the large unsteady tower.


The easiest DIY game yet. Place two stakes around 40 feet apart, get four horseshoes, and start throwing. The most difficult part is the scoring, but don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. If the horseshoe lands within six inches of the stake it’s one point, horseshoes that lean against the stake (leaners) are also worth one point, and when the horseshoe completely encircles the stake (ringer) it is worth three points.

Don’t let summer slip away while you spend your time indoors.  If you can’t find a game you like, make one up! Want to add a little more competition? Get a family trophy or medal to pass around to the winner (try to let your kids win once in a while). The best thing about backyard games is you don’t have to wait four years like the Summer Olympics – you can play every night!



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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Great suggestions on outdoor games. I think cornhole is probably the most popular around Ohio, but other games are catching on. Keep up the good posts.

  2. Love these suggestions! We’ve tried to do our own “Olympiad” around the office. Backyard jenga is next on our list.

    KEEN Recess Team

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