DIY Outdoor Games for Fun Summer Gatherings

5 DIY Outdoor Games for Fun Summer Gatherings

Summer is the perfect time for getting outside, soaking up the sun, and fostering memories with friends and family.

What better way to enhance these experiences than with some DIY outdoor games? Not only are they a blast to play, but they also add a personal touch to your gatherings that store-bought games simply cannot match.

The benefits of DIY outdoor games are numerous.

They encourage creativity and teamwork both in building and playing, they’re often more affordable than their store-bought counterparts, and they can be customized to fit your specific party needs and style.

Plus, they get everyone moving and involved, proving to be great ice-breakers for guests who might not know each other well.

In this article, we’ll dive into 5 DIY outdoor games that are sure to make your summer gatherings unforgettable.

We’ll cover everything from the materials you’ll need to easy, step-by-step instructions for crafting your very own outdoor game set.

Additionally, we’ll provide tips and variations to make these games your own.

5 DIY Outdoor Games for Fun Summer Gatherings

DIY Giant Jenga

Overview of the project

Giant Jenga takes the fun of the classic tabletop game and supersizes it, making it perfect for outdoor play.

As the tower grows taller, so does the suspense, making for an entertaining and engaging game for all ages.

Materials needed

· 54 pieces of 2×4 lumber, each 10.5 inches long

· Sandpaper

· Paint or wood stain (optional)

· A carrying case or container (optional)

Step-by-step instructions

1. Cut your 2x4s to 10.5 inches in length, creating 54 blocks.

Remember, the exact dimensions may vary slightly based on the lumber you select, so it’s important to measure carefully for uniformity.

2. Sand the edges and surfaces of each block.

This not only prevents splinters but also helps the blocks slide smoothly during play.

3. If you wish, you can now paint or stain your blocks.

Go for a single color or make it more colorful with multiple hues.

4. After the paint has dried, stack your Giant Jenga set in layers of three, alternating the directions as you would with regular Jenga.

Tips for making the most of your DIY giant Jenga

· Stability is key.

Ensure your playing surface is flat and firm.

· Size matters; don’t skimp on the sanding, as this will make playing much more enjoyable by reducing snagging between blocks.

· Consider weight when choosing wood, as you’ll need to transport and store this game.

· For added fun, write rules or challenges on some of the blocks.

Variations and customization options

Get creative with your giant Jenga set to suit your party theme or personal style.

Here are some ideas:

· Go monochromatic with various shades of the same color.

· Add a rustic feel with wood stain.

· Create a glow-in-the-dark set with fluorescent paint for nighttime gatherings.

DIY Cornhole Boards

Overview of the project

Cornhole is the quintessential lawn game that pairs skill and luck in a simple yet strategic bean bag toss.

Personalizing your cornhole boards allows you to tailor the game to any occasion.

Materials needed

· Two 24″ x 48″ plywood sheets for the platform

· Eight 2×4 boards (four at 48″ and four at 21″ to frame the platform)

· Four 11.5-inch 2×4 pieces for the legs

· Cornhole bags (can be homemade or purchased)

· Screws and bolts

· Paint or decals for customization

· Tools: saw, drill, screwdriver, compass or round object for tracing sandpaper

Step-by-step instructions

1. Build the frame by attaching the 48″ and 21″ 2x4s to make a rectangle.

Secure the plywood on top.

2. For the hole, mark a 6-inch diameter circle 9 inches from the top and centered from side to side on each plywood surface.

Use a compass or any round object as a guide.

3. Drill a small hole on the edge of each circle to insert a jigsaw blade, then cut the circle out.

4. Attach the legs by drilling a hole through the upper corner of each leg and the frame, then secure with a bolt that allows the leg to pivot.

5. Cut the bottom of the legs at an angle so that when the legs are unfolded, the top of the board is 12 inches from the ground.

Tips for making the most of your DIY cornhole boards

· A smooth surface makes for the best gameplay.

Be sure to sand down any rough areas, especially around the edges of the hole.

· Prime the wood before painting to help your designs last longer.

· Seal the painted surfaces with a clear coat to protect them from weather and bags sliding across during play.

· Installing a handle on the side makes transport much easier.

Variations and customization options

Customization is one of the best parts of building your cornhole boards.

Here’s how to make them stand out:

· Paint with the colors of your favorite sports team or holiday themes.

· Use stickers or decals for an easy yet polished look.

· Create a chalkboard surface for keeping score directly on the boards.

DIY Ring Toss Game

Overview of the project

A ring toss game has all the charm of an old-fashioned carnival skill game.

It’s simple, portable, and suitable for every member of the family.

Materials needed

· A wooden board or large piece of plywood

· Dowels or bottles (for the targets)

· Paint (optional)

· Rings (You can make these from rope or buy rubber rings)

· Screws or sturdy glue

Step-by-step instructions

1. If using bottles, secure them to the board using screws or strong adhesive.

If using dowels, drill holes slightly wider than your dowels and secure them into the board.

2. Space your targets evenly and consider adding various point values based on difficulty.

3. Paint your board and targets if desired, adding numbers for scoring.

4. Create rings from rope by cutting lengths and securely fastening them together, or use store-bought rubber rings.

Tips for making the most of your DIY ring toss game

· Sturdiness is critical; you don’t want your targets toppling mid-game.

· A variety of ring sizes can adjust the difficulty level for different age groups and skill levels.

· If using rope rings, tape can add weight and color to the game.

· Light up your game for evening parties with glow sticks or attach small LED lights to your board.

Variations and customization options

· Create a treasure map aesthetic by painting your board to look like an island with the targets as treasure locations.

· Use wine bottles for a more adult-themed game.

· Themed rings, like inflatable donuts or squishy toys, can make the game more fun for kids.

DIY Lawn Twister

Overview of the project

This twist on Twister is perfect for outdoor play, with the “game board” directly on the grass, making for a hilarious and active game for your guests.

Materials needed

· Spray paint (in Twister colors: red, blue, yellow, green)

· Cardboard or poster board to make a circle stencil

· Scissors or a knife to cut out the stencil

Step-by-step instructions

1. Cut a circular hole out of a large piece of cardboard or poster board to use as a stencil.

The size is up to you, but a good starting point is around 8 inches in diameter.

2. Press your stencil flat against the lawn and use the spray paint to create the Twister circles.

Follow the traditional color and row pattern of Twister or get creative with your arrangement.

3. Let the paint dry before playing.

It’s a good idea to do a test spray to see how long the paint takes to dry on your grass type.

Tips for making the most of your DIY lawn twister

· Grass health: Use temporary marking paint or a mix of cornstarch, food coloring, and water, which is gentle on the grass and washes away with rain or a hose.

· Make sure there is enough space between circles to prevent stepping on multiple colors at once.

· Play on level ground to prevent unnecessary slipping and accidents.

Variations and customization options

· Instead of circles, use unique shapes or personalized icons.

· Create a giant spinner out of cardboard or use an app for the traditional twister commands.

· Theme the colors around a holiday or special occasion.

DIY Water Balloon Piñata

Overview of the project

Perfect for those hot summer days, a water balloon piñata is an exciting and refreshing game that promises to cool down guests in the most enjoyable way.

Materials needed

· Water balloons

· A rope or clothesline to hang the balloons

· String to tie the balloons to the rope

· A tree branch or other overhead structure to hang the balloons from

· A soft bat or stick to burst the balloons

Step-by-step instructions

1. Fill your water balloons and tie them off securely.

2. Tie a piece of string to each water balloon.

3. Hang the rope or clothesline between trees or from an overhead structure.

Make sure it’s at a height you can reach but high enough to be a challenge.

4. Tie the balloons onto the rope at varying heights and distances.

5. Each player takes turns being blindfolded and attempts to burst the balloons with the soft bat or stick.

Tips for making the most of your DIY water balloon piñata

· Mix in some non-water-filled balloons to add to the suspense.

· Safety first: Use a soft bat and have players stand at a safe distance while waiting for their turn.

· Use biodegradable balloons to be more eco-friendly.

Variations and customization options

· Fill some balloons with colorful non-toxic paint for a colorful splash.

· Use themed balloons or rope colors for specific occasions.

· Instead of a bat, let players use their hands or feet to add to the challenge.


DIY outdoor games are an amazing addition to your summer gatherings and can turn any simple backyard hangout into an epic event.

By crafting your unique set of games, you not only personalize the experience but also create an opportunity for bonding during the building process.

I encourage you to give one or all of these DIY outdoor games a try this summer.

Whether you opt for the Giant JengaCornhole BoardsRing TossLawn Twister, or Water Balloon Piñata, your efforts are sure to result in laughter, excitement, and memories to last all season long.

Remember, the true benefit of using DIY outdoor games is the way they bring people together, fostering friendship and camaraderie under the warm summer sun.

So, grab your materials and get to work – your next summer party is about to be a smashing success!