Fun DIY Backyard Games Perfect For Summer

I lived a nomadic life as a kid. I never know how to answer the question, “So, where are you from?” when my Southern neighbors detect my generic accent. I’ve lived in seven different states and spent less than four years in each. Some residences I loved more than others. Indiana had an amazing reservoir to fish on, New York had six parks within biking distance, and Pennsylvania … uh, had snow. But, it doesn’t matter where you live - with just a little bit of green space, you can make your own playground.

Odds are, you’ve frolicked through a garden sprinkler and risked your life on a Slip‘N Slide before, but there’s so much more you can do in your yard. Check out these 12 clever DIY projects that’ll keep you and your family entertained for hours this summer.

1. Water Balloon Piñata

Milk Allergy Mom

You don't have to wait for a birthday party to bust out a piñata! Instead of paper mache and candy, string up some big ol' water balloons and let it rip.

2. Giant Water Balloon Ker-Plunk


I loved this tabletop game as a kid! Switching out marbles for water balloons sounds like a blast and a fun way to stay cool as a cucumber. 

3. Nerf Gun Battle Course

Taryn's Journal

This is a much safer alternative to paintball. Save your money and your kids' skin by setting up some simple plywood barriers in the yard to create a Nerf gun battle arena.

4. DIY Pallet Cornhole

Flynnside Out Productions

Stores will charge up to $100 for these little games - it's ridiculous! Cornhole boxes are so simple, it's easy to make your own. Grab some pallets and start building. Customize your set with paint to make it one of a kind. Check out this tutorial for a step-by-step guide.


5. Giant Jenga

A Beautiful Mess

Another cool outdoor rendition of a popular tabletop game. Make a giant outdoor Jenga set out of wood - just don't knock it over! Find out how to make your own here.

6. Pool Noodle Games

David Roth

These colorful, soft noodles are cheap and plentiful. Tape a few together to create a fun obstacle course or a noddle-archery post. You'll be ready to go whenever pool noodle track and field gets added to the Olympic games.

7. Coke Bottle Sprinkler


Well, that's certainly one way to recycle your plastic bottles. String up a garden hose, adhere a 20oz bottle to the spout, stab a couple of holes in it, and voilà! Coke bottle sprinkler.

8. Glow-In-The-Dark Wiffle Ball


Regardless of what the box says, Wiffle ball is a riot at any age. I play Wiffle ball all the time (not to brag, but I do boast a .400 batting average). However, the middle of the summer is a bit too hot for a game. Play under the moonlight by fitting glow stick bracelets inside your Wiffle balls to create the ultimate night game.

9. Glow-In-The-Dark Ring Toss


Again, the fun doesn't have to stop just because the sun goes down. Kids love those glow-in-the-dark bracelets and necklaces. Use the bigger ones to create a colorful game of ring toss or hopscotch.


10. Lawn Twister

You + Me

I've attempted to play Twister more times than I've actually played it. Every time I would open the box, I'd realize that we had ripped the mat a few games ago - oops. With a little bit of temporary paint, you can have a Twister set up that you can't possibly destroy. Spray a few dots on your lawn to turn it into a Twister game mat that won't rip or crumple up.

11. DIY Bubble Station

Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons

Blowing bubbles is a simple joy. You can make your own bubbles at home ​by following the recipe here. Create a refill station out of a plastic beverage dispenser for everyone to enjoy.

12. Balloon Dart Game

This is Do-Able

Instead of water, fill a few balloons up with little prizes. Coins, candy, beads, whatever will fit. Staple your balloons to a board to create a fun dart game. It's sort of like a piñata - just don't throw darts blindfolded, please!

Be sure to SHARE these summertime activities with your friends and family.

H/T: Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons

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