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This week on the blog, we are talking yard games because it’s nearly summertime here in Canada, and I immediately have the urge to spend as much time as I can outdoors. As I was sitting one morning, chilling with my tablet outside, I recalled my earlier post about barbeque parties and thought I’d dedicate a whole post to party games that you can create yourself and set up in your backyard!

When I think yard games, I think croquet, but there are many other options!
When I think yard games, my mind immediately goes to croquet. However, there’s tons of other options out there!

Yard games can be a great deal of fun, and from the looks of some of the ideas I’ve found kicking around online, you needn’t spend a fortune buying the ready-made games available at stores like Wal-mart. There’s a wide variety of materials you can use to create these entertaining games, but I’ve noticed pool noodles and wood seem to be the most popular ones.

So if you’re curious about how you can use pool noodles, wood or something else to entertain your summertime guests, read on!

Ideas Using Pool Noodles

Pool noodles are not just for swimming around in the pool, and they can be used to make some fantastic yard games! Plus, you can often find a wide variety of colors and styles at your local dollar store.

Obstacle Course

I stumble across this brilliant idea from PBS For Parents to create three types of obstacles out of pool noodles! All you need in addition to a selection of pool noodles are some duct tape, yard stakes, and some sponge footballs. What a great way to spend an afternoon!

Pool Noodle Games

I found a variety of game ideas from this post from Mission to Save. I particularly like the idea of creating a ring toss game using them, a great way to inspire a little friendly competition! You can also create a cool soccer goal as well.

DIY Wooden Games

If you like jenga, you can make a yard-sized game!
Pieces of wood can create a wide variety of games to play outside!

If you are relatively handy with some tools, you might feel comfortable enough to create some beautiful wooden yard games to entertain your people. You can often find ready-made slices of wood where you would only need to paint them.


This adorable idea comes from Chicken Scratch NY, and it is fairly easy to create. All you need is a wooden surface for the game (I like the idea of using what you might call a “tree disc”) and some beautifully painted river rocks. The tutorial at the link above uses ladybugs and bees, but some other cute ideas include:

  • Strawberries and Kiwis (or some other fruit);
  • Stars and Stripes; or,
  • Moons and Suns.

Lawn Dominoes

Dominoes is a fun game if you’ve ever had the pleasure of playing, and there are so many different varieties to keep things interesting as well! I like this ingenious idea from Iron & Wine to create your very own enlarged lawn set of dominoes! All you need for this craft is wood planks (you will need to saw these into domino-sized bits) and some paint. I also quite like the idea of using different shades for each domino to keep things colorful.

Outdoor Scrabble

You can find the full details of this idea on Sunset, but if you are a lover of the popular word board game, you’ll definitely want to check out this cool idea using patio stones and wooden pieces! This project will be a bit more involved because you’re creating a permanent patio space into a “board.”

Other Brilliant Yard Games

While wood and pool noodles are great mediums to create DIY yard games, I found some other super inventive ideas that you might want to consider!

Yard Twister

This idea is so simple to set up, provided you don’t mind painting your lawn. I found this idea and some other cool ideas on One Good Thing, and it’s incredibly easy to throw together. Perfect for those impromptu gatherings once the covid-19 pandemic is resolved.

Paver Hopscotch

Paver stones with some paint creates a lovely (and colorful) hopscotch game!

If you have some spare paver stones, this is a colorful idea! All you’ll need, in addition to the pavers, is some spray paint and number stencils. Check out all the details at Happiness Is Homemade!

Frisbee Golf

Who knew that tomato cages, laundry baskets, and beachballs could combine for some fun? Well, Chas from Chas’ Crazy Creations knew, and you can read all about it on her blog

Giant Matching Game

If you’ve ever played the matching game, it’s fun, and this version from Studio DIY is enlarged and lawn-sized! All you’ll need are some cork squares, paint, stencils, and a few other tools.

DIY Beanbag Toss

I love the simplicity of this game, and you can read all the details on the Mod Podge Rocks Blog, all you need is six things to create this fun tossing game!

Flashback To The 90s – DIY Velcro Catch and Toss!

Prepare yourself for some nostalgia! I’d like to thank Brit + Co for sharing this throwback DIY project. Best of all, it’s a video tutorial! You just need an embroidery hoop, velcro, and a tennis ball.

Balloon Darts

Test your aim with this smart idea of using cardboard and helium-filled balloons (and, of course, darts)! Also, be sure to check out the full details (as well as some other super cool ideas) at She Knows. Best of all, all of these easy crafts are built around using cardboard, which I can’t speak for everyone, but I usually have a lot of that lying about!

Ladder Golf

Ladder golf kits are usually made with wood, but PVC pipe is so much more economical!
Most ladder golf games I’ve seen are made with wood, but you can find patterns using PVC piping!

I see this lawn game come out every year for the summer, and it’s super expensive (most sets I’ve seen are wooden and around $90 or more!). You can create a much more economically friendly version using PVC pipe, check out the full tutorial on Momtastic!

Cup Racing

I love the simplicity of this cute game from All For The Boys, all you need is some string, some plastic drink cups, and water guns. Simply thread those cups onto the line and anchor that string in the air and have at it!

Cork Boat Racing

Yep, another racing idea. My final inspiring yard game idea is fashioning some simple cork boats. All you need are some corks, toothpick, and washi tape (different colors so you can identify each “boat”). You can find the full scoop over at No Biggie, along with a cute idea to fashion a finish line!

Wrapping It All Up

When hosting summer parties, it’s vital to entertain your guests, and I think one of the best ways to do that is a friendly competition at a yard game or two. However, the ready-made yard games that you see in stores are often quite expensive, and it’s hard to justify spending $100 when you simply don’t have the budget. All of the ideas I’ve discussed here aren’t just fun as heck to play, and they aren’t expensive to set up either. They are also sure to provide hours of entertainment!

Alright, that’s it for this week, thanks so much for reading! I’d love to hear about your favorite game idea, especially if you have one that’s not listed here. Drop me a line in the comments below!

Be sure to come back next week for another fun summertime craft post, all about Friendship bracelets! Until then, stay crafty my friends!

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