In the months leading up to summertime, my kids start getting crazy antsy. It’s like they’re turning into little balls of energy I can scarcely control. They start tearing around the house. I find myself wishing as much as they would that the weather would warm up enough already to go outside!
But then summer comes, and my kids get bored a lot more quickly than you’d think! They chase each other around playing tag and other favorite games, and for the first few weeks, it’s an absolute blast. Then they run out of ideas. They get tired of playing the same games. That means I am still dealing with kids with a lot of excess energy! This can get to be especially trying during a barbecue or neighborhood party.
So this year I decided I was going to take matters into my own hands! I’ve been scouring the web for the coolest DIY backyard games for summer. Some of these take some setup, but they are all pretty easy. My kids are more excited for summer this year than ever, and so am I, because this year I’ll be keeping them entertained!
1. Ladybug Tic-Tac-Toe
If you liked the tic tac toe set that I shared with you earlier, you will love this one. You just replace the X and O stones with cute little beetles and ladybugs and use a tree stump for the board. It’s got a cute summer theme!
Project Source and Instructions: chickenscratchny
2. Create a Chessboard Patio
If your kids enjoy playing chess, they will love the giant outdoors version of the game. This is quite an intensive project, but once you have it set up, it be a lot of fun to play with, and it will also just look awesome! You can bet you’ll get a lot of compliments from neighbors and guests!
Project Source and Instructions: diynetwork
3. DIY Giant Jenga Tower
If you liked the idea earlier with the plastic balls and straws, you can try building an actual giant Jenga tower with real wooden blocks. This would be a really fun game for both younger and older children! Be sure to check out the Sourcee link for instructions as well as a few other ideas for backyard games!
Project Source and Instructions: lemonthistle
4. Build a Backyard Movie Theater
There are backyard projectors and screens you can buy, but they tend to be expensive. You can save money by building your backyard theater yourself. The screen uses PVC pipe and is durable enough to withstand even strong winds. Looks like a fun and cozy way to spend an evening watching movies!
Project Source and Instructions: pvcplans
5. DIY Tire Swing
I still remember that during my childhood, an acquaintance with a tire swing was literally the envy of the entire neighborhood, and that her yard was the place to be. It’s surprising backyard tire swings aren’t actually more common, considering how easy they are to make. And you’re recycling, so this is an eco-friendly activity for your kids! I love how great these look embellished with the bright polka dots!
Project Source and Instructions: bobvila
6. Bean Bag Ladder Toss
If you own a ladder, you won’t need to buy any supplies at all for this project, which is awesome! Just tape points to each rung and challenge kids to throw bean bags through and see who can get the highest score. It doesn’t get easier than this! Make sure to check out the Sourcee link for a lot of other awesome backyard game ideas.
Project Source and Instructions: landeeseelandeedo
7. Outdoor Chalkboard
Here is another ridiculously simple idea which will provide for endless hours of fun. Put up a chalkboard in your backyard. Provide a few colors of chalk and your kids will have an awesome time writing and drawing.
Project Source and Instructions: parentmap
8. Bowling with Recycled Bottles
Backyard bowling is always a blast. Instead of going and purchasing bowling pins, though, why not create your own set using recycled bottles? I love how these are painted to look like the real thing!
Project Source and Instructions: moonfrye
9. DIY Tic-Tac-Toe
Here is a very simple idea for making an outdoor Tic-Tac-Toe game. You just use a wooden board and mark some stones. It’d take no time at all to make this, and it will provide hours of entertainment!
Project Source and Instructions: tatertotsandjello
10. Patio Scrabble
Getting this set up would take some doing. The project you see pictured here involved creating a wooden frame and pouring concrete, then adding a number of tiles. The concrete had to cure, so this project took over a month, but the result is totally awesome. Reproducing this would require that you have some experience with this kind of DIY project, but your kids will love you for it.