Do It Yourself Summer Party Games

Summer is a great time for outdoor gatherings. Kids birthday parties, barbecue get togethers, 4th of July parties and family picnics are all great reasons to spend time outside celebrating. Even just an evening outdoors with the family can be a great time to break out a party game.

You don’t have to break the bank to have fun at these outdoor gatherings. Here are several do it yourself party game ideas that will keep you and your family entertained all summer long.


This unique outdoor game is like an over-sized game of KerPlunk. The design uses a bit of chicken wire, bamboo plant stakes and plastic pit balls.   This Old House offers detailed plans to build this fun group game. They suggest it takes about 6 hours to make. Their version also requires some minimal carpentry skills, but a simplified version could also be made with just the chicken wire.

Beanbag Toss Games3717875703_4deb9c25ea

There are a variety of backyard beanbag toss games that are fun for kids and adults. Cornhole is quickly becoming a very popular game. It uses bean bags and two flat, slightly elevated boards with a single hole. You must work in teams to toss bags into the holes. This site offers complete construction instructions as well as the rules. This game requires some carpentry skills and power tools to create.

This fun and easy kids beanbag toss game simply uses old cans and a few beanbags. Paint six or ten clean cans in fun colors and designs. Beanbags can be made with old material scraps or bits worn out clothing and filled with dried beans. Stack the cans in a pyramid shape and take turns attempting to topple the stack.

Crafty Carnival offers the simple suggestion of using cardboard to cut out and paint fun themed designs to make a beanbag toss game. She used monsters, but the design could be changed to fit any theme.

Backyard Bananagrams

Take the speedy scrabble-like game Bananagrams outdoors. You can easily make game pieces by using 12‘x12’ masonite tiles to make a giant version of this fun game. Using lauan makes for a lighter weight version. You can also make the dimensions a bit smaller to use less space. 

Use this summer to have some creative fun in the backyard or at the park. Getting outdoors and playing with family and friends will help you get exercise and may even relieve some stress. 

Photo “My Cornhole Board” courtesy of Stevie Lee

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