15+ awesome DIY, off-grid backyard games to play — I can’t wait to try them out with my family!
I had a dream the other night. The power went out. And no one cared. Except me….picture The Scream – Mom with a Prep Style! We had it happen not long ago. The power went out for in our part of town for no real reason. It’s okay, we’re used to it. The problem was, it didn’t come right back up. Our first thought was, let’s run to McDonald’s – they’ll have cold drinks and wifi! Granted, it was a super hot day and no one wanted to go outside to do any kind of activity, and we wanted to get out of the house, but it did get me thinking…how do we entertain ourselves if we are looking at a considerable time being off the grid? We needed some plans!
Sure, our boys can entertain themselves to no end with their bikes and sticks, but we knew we wanted to have some special games and activities we could pull out for family time or neighborhood get togethers should the need arise, plus these are fun activities to do year-round – even without a world-wide catastrophe! They’re great for normal playtime, and perfect for off-grid, backyard play. They also shouldn’t have to require that I go out and buy expensive play equipement – and can be do it yourself from items around the house or easily purchased to DIY. So here’s Pinterest to the rescue! (I think I might mourn losing Pinterest more than anything if the world goes dark!)
Simply cut down some PVC pipe (here’s a good saw which will work for you if you don’t have a powered option), painting it, and using golf balls, you have a great ‘skee-ball’-esque backyard game!
DIY Dice Games
Super-sized Farkle or Yahtzee?? Yes, please! You can purchase this from a few different suppliers online, or you can make your own version from foam. Get an inflatable set that store easily when not in use.
GIANT DIY BACKYARD KERPLUNK
DIY Toss Backyard Game
DIY Water Play
Who needs fancy water toys – this requires little water and can be played for hours. Just use some inexpensive, colorful, household sponges cut into strips, bound by hair elastics (will last longer than a rubber band. Watch the above video to see how!)
DIY WATER PISTOL TARGET SHOOT!
I love games that I played in my youth translated into giant backyard games! Here’s a version of Pick Up Sticks that are easily made with dowels you find at the local DIY store.
GIANT BACKYARD DIY JENGA
This giant game of Jenga is super easy to make with some 2×4’s and craft paints in fun colors. Your bigger kids will love this to pieces! Check out A Beautiful Mess for all of the DIY instructions. This is hilariously fun to do, especially with adults who get so competitive!
This game might take some planning – but consider planting herbs in the open spaces – then you’ve got an edible checker board for your garden! This is also a great place to play hopskotch, as well. Using glow-in-the-dark paint makes this a fun night time game, as well! You can even do this with chalk on the back patio or driveway if you don’t want to do something permanent.
GARDEN TIC TAC TOE from Chicken Stratch NY
A tree stump round set it a quiet place can make for the perfect tic tac toe board – and what a cute piece of yard art! You can do this with any rocks and play it on the porch or sidewalk! Let your kids get creative in their painting!
MILK JUG TOSS
This product from Lakeshore learning can easily be DIY’d with a a milk carton, fun duct tape and any small ball.
DIY BACKYARD OBSTACLE COURSE
This is a great skills game, very physical, and can be reconfigured in so many different ways. Makes an adventurer out of all of us! You want to make sure to use something thick enough to be able to easily for safety.
DIY GLOW IN THE DARK BOWLING
How about a night game? These may take a little stockpiling of glow sticks that you can often get 2/$1.00 at the dollar store, or grab on clearance after halloween, but this makes an awesomely fun game in the dark!
GLOW IN THE DARK RING TOSS
These glow in the dark bracelets and necklaces are oh so cheap!
Use all sorts of objects for this toss game that’s easy to put together with a few pool noodles and duct tape.
A pool noodle is one of the most versatile toys we have in the backyard. So many things can be made – and this ring toss game is super easy to do with PVC pipe (click here to learn about using PVC outdoors) and noodles cut to size.
In the course of prepping for world changing events – or even your own small world changing event, please remember that we need to prep for the fun times, too. Every moment may not be about us defending our lives and property, and as life begins to settle back to normal, we need those breaks from the stress to relieve tension, reconnect, and be family and friends again.
YOUR THOUGHTS: What are your favorite outdoor family time activities?
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