DIY outdoor games are the perfect way to stay on a budget for your next backyard gathering while creating unique fun that any guests can enjoy. Try these different DIY games and make them your own with creative themes, colors, or get inspired by these suggestions to create your own game ideas!
For a cute, summer-themed backyard game with few supplies needed, try this creative take on a tic-tac-toe board. Be sure to stay safe and watchful, avoiding the risk of choking on or losing pieces!
- Paintbrush and paints for desired ladybug and bumblebee colors, originals are red, black, and yellow
- A tree stump or other outdoor tic-tac-toe table able to be drawn on
- Thick marker or dark paint for tic-tac-toe lines
- Stone or rock pieces to be painted and used as playing pieces, such as store-bought rounded river rocks
Using your paintbrush, draw medium-thick tic-tac-toe lines on your tree stump or other. Paint your stones or other desired into 5 ladybugs and 5 bumblebees each. Here is your chance to get creative with colors and variations on the playing pieces of choice and their appearance! Decide which end will be the head and leave ¾ of the rest of the stone for the body. This DIY looks especially cute on a tree stump or store-bought wooden board for ultimate summer vibes but works great on any other applicable surface available. You can also choose to wood-burn the board lines for longer-lasting results.
Outdoor Scrabble Board
This large outdoor Scrabble idea is an original way to bring board game fun outdoors. Don’t be afraid to make it your own with different sizing and materials!
- One 5 ft. by 5 ft. wooden slab
- One 37 ½ in. by 37 ½ in. wooden slab
- Adhesive-backed vinyl letters and small numbers, enough for 100 Scrabble letter tiles
- Spray lacquer
- Wood sealer spray for waterproofing
Your Scrabble board will consist of 225 squares, 15 squares lengthwise and widthwise running across the space of the board. Start by sectioning off 3 ¾ in. by 3 ¾ in. squares out of the 37 ½ in. by 37 ½ in. wooden slab. Cut your own with a purchased saw or buy pre-cut squares for an easier DIY. You should end up with 100 squares. On the 5 ft. by 5 ft. wood slab, mark square sections 3 ¾ in. by 3 ¾ in., making the marked edges of your squares ½ in. wide on all sides. You should end up with 225 square sections. Make sure to waterproof your wooden board. Now adhere your adhesive-backed vinyl letters and small numbers to each square tile and finish with spray lacquer. The breakdown for the number of letter tiles of each letter for 100 letter tiles is as follows: A-9, B-2, C-2, D-4, E-12, F-2, G-3, H-2, I-9, J-1, K-1, L-4, M-2, N-6, O-8, P-2, Q-1, R-6, S-4, T-6, U-4, V-2, W-2, X-1, Y-2, Z-1, and Blanks–2. The point numbers needed for your letter tiles are as follows: 1 Point–A, E, I, L, N, O, R, S, T, U. 2 Points–D, G. 3 Points–B, C, M, P. 4 Points–F, H, V, W, Y. 5 Points–K. 8 Points–J, X. 10 Points–Q, Z.
Balloon Dart Board
Make this backyard DIY extra fun with water balloons or colorful paints if you don’t mind a little messy fun!
- Large board to staple on such as a composite board, 2 ft. by 4 ft., ⅛ in. thick
- 30 colored balloons
- Hand-operated staple gun as desired, a regular stapler opened flat should work fine otherwise
Get creative with any desired contents of your balloons and then blow up your balloons as applicable. Glitter or numbered pieces of paper for prizes are also cute ideas for contents. Tie off your balloons. Staple the individual balloons to the flat board, starting at one corner of the board and stapling the knots of the balloons. Water balloons are great to keep cool in the summer or for a pool or birthday party!
Homemade Water Slide
For cheap water fun, here’s another great DIY outdoor game that’s guaranteed fun for anyone.
- Heavy-duty clear plastic sheeting or basic camping tarp
- Garden hose
- Clothesline or other area you can hang the garden hose from
- Cheap shampoo or dish detergent
Spread the chosen tarp over a small sloped area of your backyard or outdoor space. Hang your garden hose over your clothesline or other applicable. Set your garden hose to a held light spray setting so it stays on. Drizzle your cheap shampoo or detergent over the tarp to make it slippery.
Use an old pizza box for this outdoor game template and simply recreate this classic game on your lawn space!
- Red, yellow, blue and green spray paints for the Twister circles
- Pizza box, cardstock, or construction paper for circle template
- Cardstock or thick cardboard for spinner piece as desired
Trace the shape of a plate or big pot onto your chosen paper and cut out the resulting circle. The ideal circle size is about 10 in. Discard the cut-out circle and save the relief of the circle to use as your spray painting template. Recreate the standard Twister board of 6 vertical green circles, then next to those 6 yellow, then 6 blue, and finally 6 red circles. You can get creative with the colors as long as you stay consistent. If you choose to have and make a spin piece, cut out a similar 10 in. circle out of your chosen material, divide the circle into 4 color sections of chosen colors, and get creative with your spinner. You can cut out an arrow or use any number of creative pieces to spin or drop on the spin piece. Otherwise you can just have fun calling out determined or random directions for players to follow.
Glow-in-the-Dark Ring Toss
Out of all of these DIY outdoor games, this one is perfect for any backyard parties or gatherings that run late or last after dark.
- 5 glass bottles
- Mini glow-in-the-dark duct tape
- 5 glow sticks
Place glow-in-the-dark tape on each glass bottle in stripes or other desired patterns and quantities. Connect the ends of each glow stick to make a held circle of each for your rings. There are many opportunities to get creative with this one including glow-in-the-dark backgrounds, prizes, competitions, and even a full glow-in-the-dark-themed night!