Aug 29, 2017

DIY Yard Games for Labor Day Weekend

I know the first day of fall isn't for a few more weeks, but Labor Day Weekend always seems to mark the end of summer. To make the most of your long weekend with friends and family, I'm sharing four DIY lawn games featured in my book, "Well Played".

Giant Scrabble

* In my book, I included the directions for lawn scrabble. For this post, we shrunk it a bit to be more portable and personal. I love taking this set to the park.

What You'll Need

  • About 8 - 1x4 wooden boards
  • Wood paint or colored sharpies
  • Tape Measure and Saw (if cutting boards yourself)


  1. I asked the hardware store to cut my boards into perfect squares. If you'd rather, you can do this at home using a saw. Make sure you have 100 squares total.
  2. Print 4x4-inch letters of the alphabet on separate sheets of paper, then cut out the letters to make stencils... or use your own unique handwriting. 
  3. Position the stencil on top of each dry tile and paint. Make these amounts: E(10); A(8); R, I, O, T, N (7); S, L, C (5); D, U (4); P, M, H (3); G, B, F, Y (2); J, W, K, V, X, Z, Q (1)

 How to Play

  1. Using the short stakes firmly in the ground and the nylon rope, create a taught line you can rest your blocks against as a tile holder. Repeat to make a tile holder for each player. Alternatively, the blocks may be able to stand up on their own. 
  2. Place all tiles facedown on the ground. Each player selects 7 tiles and places them along their rope.
  3. Let the word games begin!

Giant Outdoor Tic-Tac-Toe

 What You'll Need

  • Roll of colorful duct tape
  • Shower curtain (I recommend a local dollar store) or sheet
  • 6 Frisbees: 3 of one color, and 3 of another color


  1. Use the duct tape to create a tic-tac-toe grid (nine squares) on your shower curtain or sheet.
  2. Lay your new grid on the lawn and choose a point for players to stand behind to toss their Frisbees. You may want to pin down the corners of your shower curtain with a few rocks or maybe your Scrabble letters.

How to Play

  1. Players take turns tossing their Frisbee onto the shower curtain to create a winning combination. This might take some practice, but soon you'll be Frisbee pros. 

Yard Yahtzee

What You'll Need 

  • 6 cubes for your dice (You can purchase a 4x4 from the hardware store and have them cut it for you. I've also used foam, or cardboard boxes in the past)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Round sponge brush
  • Sealant
  • Yahtzee score sheets (Here are some free printable ones)
  • Plastic tub or bucket (optional)


  1. Get your kids to help you paint the cubes. Let them pick out the colors for each die and have them paint all the sides of the cubes. You'll need to let some sides dry before painting others.
  2. Once all paint has dried, use the round sponge brush to add dots to your die. Make sure to use a color that contrasts well. 
  3. When your dots have dried, use an outdoor sealant on all sides of the die. Because there may be strong fumes, this is an adults-only step, preferably outdoors.
  4. Once the sealant has dried, you're ready to play!

How to Play

  1. Roll die singularly, or use a bucket to toss them all at once. 
  2. Use the printable score cards to keep track of who is ahead. (Full rules here)
  3. At parties, this is fun to play in teams to get more people involved.
  4. These dice can also be used to play matching games with younger kids.

What is your favorite outdoor game? I'll always be a sucker for cornhole. 


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