Things to Do | Backyard Games -
cornhole board for backyard games

Nothing says summer like barbecue and games in the backyard. While it’s easy to order games online, you can make a family project out of building some fun outdoor activities. We scoured the internet for ideas and found lots of fun projects. You can find the detailed directions online, but these suggestions should spark your imagination.

Ladder golf

This is a fun game for any age! You toss two golf balls joined by a length of string at a “ladder” and earn points based on which rung you hit. You can buy a set or follow directions we found online at


What’s easier to make than a game of tic-tactoe? Make it simple with a board drawn with sidewalk chalk and two types of markers. Upscale it a bit by attaching rope or cord to divide the board and purchased Xs and Os. Or mark a piece of decorative wood for the board and paint rocks with two different designs for the markers. Who said Xs and Os get to have all the fun?

Backyard bowling

How about repurposing some plastic bottles to bowl? You just need up to 10 bottles, a ball, and a somewhat flat surface to bowl on. Versions we saw online included painting the bottles to look like real bowling pins or using clear water bottles with glow sticks in them for night bowling.


This popular version of a bean bag toss game requires a slanted board with a hole and some bean bags. The board is usually 2 feet by 4 feet with a 6-inch hole centered nine inches from the top. Ideally there are two boards and four bags per team, but you can take turns in a pinch. DIY instructions can be found at

Bean bag toss

Repurpose your bean bags for another tossing game. Set up some scored goals across the yard and challenge the kids to earn the most points by landing their bags on the highest-level target. The farther away and harder to hit, the higher the points. Use anything from weighted paper plates to clay saucers for targets. You can also take a large piece of plywood, paint a fun design, and cut holes into it for the targets. There’s so much you can do with bean bags!


If you have four horseshoes, you’re almost ready to play! They need to be painted two different colors and you need two posts to toss them at as you try to get a ringer. You can use pipe for the posts — consider painting them a bright color if you’re going to leave them in place so you don’t trip over them. Traditionally, the posts are in a sandpit with a barrier behind them for safety.

Ring toss

Don’t want the kids throwing heavy metal horseshoes around the yard? How about something softer, like ring toss? You can toss the rings at a weighted bottle, or put some posts in the ground, similar to horseshoes.
Rings can be made from some rope taped securely into a circle.

Washer toss

We love tossing things, so another option is a washer toss game, also called Texas horseshoes, holey boards, or huachas in Spanish. Another easy-to-build game, this features two boards with three holes in each. You toss washers at the holes and get points based on which hole they fall into. Directions to make your own can be found at

Originally written for The Neighbors Magazine by Cheryl Fallstead
Photos courtesy and by Olivia Belcher

This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead
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