Crafting Your Own Backyard Games for Summer Entertaining

Hosting summer barbecues and parties will be more fun with some backyard games to play. These will keep kids and adults entertained as you grill meat, hang out with friends, or just enjoy a warm summer evening as a family. Rather than purchasing pre-made backyard games, which can vary in quality, making your own is a fun project to kick off the summer entertaining season!

Pipe Ball Lawn Game: If bean bag toss isn’t providing enough of a challenge for you and your guests, make the switch to pipe ball. This challenging game features an array of angled pipes that you have to toss a tennis ball into. Each pipe is worth a different number of points, and the rebounds will get you every time. Carefully saw metal drain pipes into 10 pieces of varying lengths, and then set them up in an array like bowling pins. Before playing, paint the pipes for a splash of color and to make your version of pipe ball unique to your family and style.


Giant Jenga: Take the classic tabletop game to the next level, literally, by making a giant version for your yard. You’ll need a hard surface to play it on, whether that’s on the deck for kids or on a patio table for adults. All you need are some 2×4′s, a saw, and a sander. Cut the 2×4′s into lengths measuring 10.5 inches each. If you didn’t already know, 2×4′s are actually only 3.5 inches wide, so three across will measure 10.5 inches. You’ll need 54 blocks, and you should use a sander to smooth out the rough edges so nobody ends up with splinters. You can even paint or finish them with a treatment to help them last longer.


Yard Scrabble: You won’t even notice you’re getting a workout when you’re playing a huge version of speed Scrabble or Bananagrams with tiles you constructed on your own. However, when someone finishes their setup and wins, you’ll probably all notice the sweat dripping off your brows. Make your set with thin square boards measuring a foot in each direction, and paint letters on them according to the distribution you prefer. Once the painted letters are dry, it’s time to pile them all in the middle of the yard and set players loose to arrange their increasing collection of boards into a valid array of words.

These games will put your accuracy, steady hands, brains, and brawn to the test as you enjoy your time outdoors this summer. All of them are easy enough to learn in just a few minutes, but offer endless challenges as you develop your skills and try to do better each time around. Your time spent with friends and family will fly by as these games keep you occupied. You may even get some requests to help others build them!


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