Summer in Dallas is less like one of the four seasons and more like most of our year! There are definitely times to beat the heat, but unless you want to spend March through November indoors, you’ve just got to embrace it. Thankfully, we love summer. One of our favorite places to go in Dallas during the summer is Klyde Warren Park. It is a park on top of a bridge in the middle of the city full of fun games and play areas for families. Our family loves to play their lawn games like Croquet, Pantique, and Ping Pong.
Since a we can’t always just hop in the car for a trip downtown, I wanted to find a way to bring the spirit of Klyde Warren Park into my own backyard. So I created these Giant DIY Lawn Games! These games are perfect to play with the whole family. You can make them in one afternoon and enjoy them all summer long. The three games we are making today are Yard Dice, Kubb, and Giant Jenga. I’m tired of being cooped up inside – let’s get started!
DIY Yard Dice
Dice are a classic part of any family board game night and this giant DIY version makes the game come to life! To make your DIY Yard Dice, you will need:
- 5 Blocks of Wood (Either these pre-cut blocks or a 4 x 4 board cut into 4″ cubes)
- Circle Foam Brush
- White Paint
If you are cutting your blocks out of a 4 x 4″ post, sand the sides really well. You can finish your dice however you like! We decided to stain them, but you could paint them or leave the natural wood.
Using a circle foam brush will help your dots (called pips) to be uniform, but you can use any brush to paint the dots on your dice. Cover your foam brush with paint and use a picture of a dice (or real dice) to help you correctly place your pips.
Helpful Hint: The opposite sides should always add up to seven. So opposite sides will be 1 and 6, 2 and 5, 3 and 4.
You’re ready to play! There are so many great games to play with dice – we love to play Yahtzee (you can find instructions from Hasbro here and a printable score card here) and Farkle (you can find instructions here). One of our new favorite dice games (that’s perfect for kids) is called Cooties – you can find the instructions and free printable score cards here.
This game (pronounced Koob) is a cross between horseshoes, pool, and bowling. It’s a great game for a bigger crowd (it can be played with anywhere from 2-12 players) and kids can easily join in the fun. To make it, you will need:
- 6 Feet of a 4″ x 4″ post (To make the King Pin and Kubbs)
- 6 Feet of 1.5″ – 2″ Dowel Rod (To make the Throwing Sticks)
- 4 Feet of .75″ Dowel Rod (To make the Corner Pins)
To make the King Pin, cut 12 inches off the 4 x 4 post. Decorate the King Pin however you like to show its importance (this is a great way to let the kids get creative with paint!)
The Kubbs will measure 3″ x 3″ x 6″. Because 4 x 4 posts are actually only 3.5″ x 3.5″, you just need to cut off .5″ from each side. Then cut them into 6″ posts.
To make your Throwing Sticks, cut the 1.5-2″ dowel rod into 12 inch pieces. make your corner pins by cutting the .75″ dowel rod into 12 inch stakes.
To play, mark out a playing area of about 15 x 25 feet with your corner posts. On the two shorter ends, set your 6 Kubbs on end in even intervals between the corner posts. Then set the King Pin directly in the center of the playing area. The object of the game is to knock over all five of your opponents Kubbs (like horseshoes) before finally knocking over the King Pin to win the game.
If you knock over the King Pin before knocking over all their Kubbs, you immediately lose (like the 8-ball in Pool). Teams take turns tossing their throwing sticks and trying to knock over their competition’s Kubbs. You may only toss the Throwing Sticks underhand and end over end.
If you have an especially competitive crowd, there are variations of this game, which can be found here.
This simple game has entertained families for years and this giant, outdoor version bring the fun to the next level. To make Yard Jenga, you will need:
- (54) 10.5″ Pieces cut from 2 x 4″ boards
- (Optional) RIT Fabric Dye
We cut the 2 x 4″ board into 10.5″ pieces and sanded each piece so they would slide easily. At this point, your game could be ready to go! We took it one step further and dyed the pieces different colors. We just used the instructions from RIT. After dying, allow them to dry overnight.
Jenga is a simple game to play, but you basically stack the blocks three at a time so they are in a square when you look down on them. Each person takes a turn pulling one block out from the stack and putting it on top of the stack. The person who makes the tower fall is the “loser”, although I would argue that the falling tower is the best part! You can find more detailed instructions here.
These three $DMBDIY lawn games should help bring the spirit of Klyde Warren Park to your backyard.