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7 Outdoor Games You Can Make With Stuff You Already Have

For your next backyard barbecue or outdoor gathering, have a friendly competition. Horseshoes and bocce are fun, but how about something new? Here are seven outdoor games you can make with stuff you probably already have.

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JengaChristi Tolbert/Shutterstock

Backyard Puzzle

If you like Jenga, try creating a big wooden puzzle for your backyard. You can use 2x4s in equal-sized pieces to make a backyard version of the popular game. Just be sure to keep little ones out of the way and take a step back when those blocks begin to tumble. Follow these tips for using a table saw safely.

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shirts gowithstock/Shutterstock

Frozen T-Shirt Race

Here’s a great outside game for a hot day. Gather up a bunch of T-shirts, soak them in water and place each one in a plastic bag. Throw them in the freezer overnight. The object of this game is to see who can “unfreeze” the shirt first and put it on! Try these 13 ways to keep your home cool without an air conditioner.

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twisterSylwia Ramach/Shutterstock

Lawn Twister

Take the game of Twister outside. Just spray paint some Twister dots on your lawn or use sidewalk chalk if you’re playing on a patio. Then bring out the spinner from your indoor Twister game. Here are 10 things you need to know before you start spray painting.

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kidsESB Professional/Shutterstock

Drip, Drip, Dunk

You’ve heard of Duck, Duck, Goose (or if you live in Minnesota, Duck, Duck, Grey Duck) but have you heard of Drip, Drip, Dunk? Sit in a circle and instead of tapping people on the head and saying “duck,” you pour a little water on their head until you decide to “dunk” someone with all the water. Got a drippy outdoor faucet? Here’s how to fix it.

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bottlesOcskay Bence/Shutterstock

Lawn Bowling

Here’s a fun outdoor game: Just fill 10 empty plastic soda or water bottles with water and set them up like you would bowling pins. Use a soccer or volleyball to try to knock them over. If you want to play this at night, just add some glow sticks to the water bottles.

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Blanket Races

If you have some old blankets, bring them outside for a fun blanket race. Grab a partner. The object is to pull your partner across the lawn faster than the competition. 

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Outdoor Scrabble

Add Scrabble to your list of outdoor games. Grab some boxes and cut out 100 squares, all the same size. Use a Sharpie to make the letters and leave two squares blank. Then enjoy a game of Scrabble in the sunshine!

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.