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12 Make-and-Take Tailgate Games

The crisp air, falling leaves and pumpkin spice everything means one thing—it's football season. If you're meeting up with friends before the big game, here are 12 make-and-take tailgate games that will keep everyone busy and having fun before kickoff.

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JengaChristi Tolbert/Shutterstock

Giant Jenga

Jenga makes a great tailgating game. You can make a giant version, which is fun for all ages, with simple tools. Here’s how to build your own giant outdoor Jenga game.

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Sylwia Ramach/Shutterstock

Outdoor Twister

Bring some different colors of sidewalk chalk and play some outdoor Twister. Just color in some dots and let the fun begin. Check out these 14 super fun DIY projects for all ages.

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watersrisakorn wonglakorn/Shutterstock

Bottle Bowling

Fill up some plastic water bottles or empty two-liters and play some bottle bowling for a tailgate game. Use a soccer ball or basketball to see how many pins you can knock down. Check out these 21 nifty ways to reuse plastic jugs and bottles at home.

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tic-tac-toe board


Looking for a simple woodworking project? Tic-Tac-Toe is great for tailgate games. This design even allows you to store the marbles inside. Build a Tic-Tac-Toe board with game piece storage.

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Outdoor Chalkboard

Here’s a simple idea for your next tailgate: Just take along a chalkboard. Kids will stay occupied with a game of hangman and adults can use it for Pictionary. You can build a chalkboard in just a couple hours. Here’s how!

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finished and painted cornhole boards

Cornhole (aka Bags or Bean Bag Toss)

You can make cornhole boards in just a couple of hours. They are small enough to transport to the tailgate party and will result in hours of fun for everyone. Here are complete how-to instructions for how to build cornhole boards.

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Giant Scrabble

Scrabble anyone? Put your DIY skills to the test and build a giant Scrabble game to take to your next tailgate party. There are lots of instructions available online to help you build the frame and tiles—simply search “DIY giant scrabble.” Check out these 12 DIY backyard games.

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ring Koltsov/Shutterstock

Bucket Ring Toss

A ring toss game will be a hit at your next tailgate and it’s easy to set up. Just bring some baskets and some plastic rings, give people a starting point and see how many rings they can get into the basket. Here are seven outdoor games you can make with things you already have.

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diceRoschetzky Photography/Shutterstock

Giant Yahtzee

Yahtzee is a fun game for all ages since it’s easy to teach and easy to learn. Before your next tailgate, create some giant dice out of wooden or cardboard blocks and bring along a couple of pails to “shake” the dice in. And don’t forget scorecards and pencils! Are you grilling at your tailgate party? This DIY fold-up grill table will come in handy.

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Bean Bag Ladder Toss

Here’s an easy tailgate game: Grab some beanbags and a ladder. Tape points to each rung and challenge kids and adults to throw the bean bags through the rungs to see who can score the most points. Grilling at your tailgate party? You’ll want to check out these 25 grilling tools.

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Lawn Dominoes

Who doesn’t love a good game of Dominoes? Make some giant Dominoes with scrap pieces of plywood or particleboard and paint on the dots.

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gameRuslan Guzov/Shutterstock


All you need for this fun activity is a broom handle, long stick or even a ribbon. Hold it up, crank up the tunes and let everyone see how low they can go! Need a place to watch the big game at home? Here are 15 awesome man caves to inspire you.

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.