DIY Outdoor Fun & Games for the Family

Originally Published on June 15, 2016. Last Updated on March 19, 2020.

With the Fourth of July fast approaching, we’ll all soon be busy gathering hot dogs, hamburgers, sparklers, and outdoor entertainment for guests. While setting up a sprinkler for the kids is always a great go-to, here are just a few DIY game/activity ideas to consider (and with plenty of time to get them ready for the 4th!).


Ladder and Bean Bag Toss

Landee from Landeelu organized an outdoor carnival event. Check out her full post for more fun outdoor ideas.
Landee from Landeelu organized an outdoor carnival event. Check out her full post for more fun outdoor ideas.

You’ll need:

  • A standard height folding ladder
  • Poster board, markers, and tape
  • A few beanbags
  • A pencil and notepad to keep score
  • Tape

Place your ladder somewhere steady. Cut the posterboard into four pieces with scores on them—25, 50, 75, 100—and tape one to each rung. Voila! Create a tape line 10 to 15 feet from the ladder, and get to throwing. Give each player 10 turns, and tally up scores at the end.

Football Toss

Need to improve your throwing accuracy, or simply channel your running back fantasies?

Check out HGTV's full tutorial.
Check out HGTV’s full tutorial

You’ll Need:

  • A tarp
  • A pair of scissors and a marker
  • Duct Tape (use fun colors or patterns!)
  • A football
  • String or rope
  • A place to hang the tarp

Draw shapes on the tarp at random spots. The shapes should be more than big enough through which to throw a football. Cut out those shapes, assigning score values to each shape. For instance, a narrower diamond shape may be 100 points.


String up the tarp either between two trees, on the bottom of a high-up deck, or on the edge of a carport or porch. Give each player five throws and tally up scores.

Nature Scavenger Hunt


You’ll need:

  • Grocery bags (paper or plastic)
  • List of scavenger items
  • Pens or pencils

This can be as easy or as complicated as you like, depending on the age of the players. For preschoolers, for instance, a scavenger hunt sheet may include photos of leaves, plants, etc., while an older child or adult may have more complicated instructions like “something thin and brown.” Give players five to ten minutes to collect as many items as possible. The player or team with the most items checked off the list wins. has a great free printable with the following list of items to find:

Hiking Scavenger Hunt

Lawn Scrabble


You’ll need:

  • 144 Masonite squares
  • Vinyl Letter Stickers (or paint if you have a steady hand!)

Whether you decide to use vinyl letters or paint letters on yourself, this game is a lot of fun for any age! Larkin from Constantly Lovestruck used 12″ squares to create the following breakdown of letters:

2: J, K, Q, X, Z
3: B, C, F, H, M, P, V, W, Y
4: G
5: L
6: D, S, U
8: N
9: T, R
11: O
12: I
13: A
18: E

Which one do you think you’ll try this summer? The lawn scrabble is calling our name…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *