7 DIY Backyard Games

The best way to enjoy summer's warm weather is with great company, chilled beverages and a little friendly competition. But if it feels like the standard outdoor party games have gone stale, don't call off the get-together. We've got tons of new DIY backyard games to enliven your lawn lifestyle.

GIANT JENGA
Good For: Relaxed hosts and those who don’t want to get too sweaty.
Materials and Tools: Plywood, boards, orbital sander, drill, miter saw.

If you’re looking for a fairly simple way to flex your DIY muscles, start by building a giant Jenga set. This nail-biting yard game — often played at breweries and relaxed wineries —riffs on the original tabletop version. But, this version is bigger and better. Players take turns removing wood blocks and replacing them on the top of the tower. With these enlarged Jenga pieces, players create an increasingly more precarious structure until the whole tower comes tumbling down.

BUCKET PONG
Good For: Anyone on a budget or a time-crunch.
Materials and Tools: 12 five-gallon buckets & plastic or inflatable balls.

Life-sized ping-pong? Sign us up! This simple backyard game only costs a few bucks for materials and only takes a few minutes to set up. Arrange two sets of six large buckets in a triangle (like a massive version of the beer pong table). A quick trip to the hardware store and boom! You’ve got yourself an ultra-entertaining backyard game offering hours of entertainment.

MÖLLKY
Good For: Minimalists and those who love tossing games.
Materials and Tools: Wood dowels, measuring tape, saw, number stencils, paint.
MÖLLKY

The Finnish throwing game, Mölkky (sometimes called Finnish skittles), is beloved throughout Europe and gaining steam worldwide. Simple and entertaining, it involves tossing a designated throwing stick to hit 12 numbered pegs. Think of it as a simple and more compact version of backyard bowling. Making a Mölkky set at home is relatively easy, too.

RING TOSS
Good For: Those who don’t want to break out the tools.
Materials and Tools: A wooden box, soda bottles, paint, plastic rings or rope, masking tape.

We all know that throwing rings onto bottles over and over again is surprisingly fun. Ring Toss is the ideal backyard game for hosts who aren’t huge on breaking out the saw or making a trip to the hardware store. In fact, many of the best DIY ring toss tutorials require no tools at all — just grab some old plastic bottles and some paint, which you probably already have lying around the house.

BACKYARD PLINKO
Good For: Crafty types.
Materials and Tools: Foam boards, glue, duct tape, scissors, toothpicks, recycled bottle lids, paint, stickers and glitter.

Remember Plinko? The beloved game from The Price is Right involves releasing a flat disc through a maze of pegs to earn cash (or, in the case of your outdoor Plinko set, points). Since it’s the show’s most popular pricing game, it will definitely become a huge hit in your backyard, too. It’s surprisingly easy to make using items from the craft store and various odds and ends.

CORNHOLE 
Good For: The moderately handy.
Materials and Tools: Jigsaw, measuring tape, compass, plywood, paint (optional).
cornhole

If you’re all about classic lawn games, you can’t go wrong with cornhole. Otherwise known as bags, sack toss, bean bag toss, beans in the hole, doghouse ramps or dummy boards, this backyard game involves hurling handheld bean bags onto a raised platform with a hole in the middle. If you’re comfortable with a jigsaw and aren’t afraid to get crafty with some plywood, it’s not too hard to build a regulation cornhole set at home.

CROSSNET
Good For: Sporty hosts and those who don’t want to DIY.
Materials and Tools: An outdoor CROSSNET set.

Crossnet

Let’s face it; not all of us were blessed with the skills of Bob Vila. While our DIY aspirations are admirable, they aren’t always as realistic as we’d hope. For the times when a DIY project feels DOA, an established backyard game is a perfect choice. CROSSNET is an endlessly thrilling backyard game and everything you’ve ever wanted in a lawn-based pastime. Okay, so you don’t have to build anything, but you do have to order a CROSSNET set. The great part is that it’s compact, easy to set up, uber-popular and (most importantly) super fun. This competitive backyard game combines four-square and volleyball, and you can play it pretty much anywhere (even in the pool). It also adjusts to suit kids and grown-ups alike. Bonus points: the set comes with everything you need to get started and requires zero tools whatsoever.

It doesn’t take much to discover an endlessly engaging backyard CROSSNET game that keeps your crew entertained. These outdoor DIY pastimes will surely inspire some rousing competition and make your backyard the place to be.

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