Guest contributor, Jessica Snow
Summer is the perfect season to spend quality time with the family outdoors but it can be challenging to motivate some children and teenagers to join in on the fun. These days it seems that computers and TV’s can be the main source of fun in many children’s lives, so it’s important to make the extra effort to get them outside. Games are one of the best ways to get everyone excited and involved in outdoor activities, not only are they a great time but lots of them can be made right at home. Here are five of my favorite lawn games that can be fun and affordable for the entire family!
Horse shoes are an excellent game for kids and adults of all ages and the rules are super easy to learn. In a game of horse shoes, players are split into two teams and try to throw a horse shoe around a fixed metal rod that is at least 30 feet away. Here are some great directionsif you’re not familiar with how to play.
Rebar can be used as a rod for a game of horse shoes. After using a hammer to nail down a rod of rebar, it’s time to look for horse shoes. Many stables can provide old horse shoes for free. In addition, it’s often possible to find old horse shoes in fields where horses graze. If you can’t track down the real thing, you can usually buy the plastic variety at Walmart or have the handyman in your life construct a few using a hardwood.
Lawn darts are a bit of a controversial game because they can be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. That said, they’re an exciting game for teens in particular and a great way to bring out the competitive spirit in your family. The basic premise of lawn darts involves throwing a large overgrown looking dart into a fixed target on the ground or on a stand. Easy peasy!
The darts themselves are easy to make using wood or even pop bottles and a few home improvement supplies – check out this tutorial from Popular Mechanics. You can also play the game using traditional small darts by varying the rules just slightly! The target for a game of lawn darts can be drawn on the ground using chalk of eco-friendly spray paint, and raised targets can be created using a cardboard sign on an easel or chair.
Lawn chess is a perfect activity for larger families and group gatherings because it requires at least 32 people to play. Each person will play the role of a different chess piece. Chalk or eco-friendly spray paint can be used to create a chessboard in a driveway or on a grass surface. It’s also possible to use string to set the boundaries of a chess board.
Two people are chosen to be the actual players for each side, in control of their pieces and directing them where to go. If you want to be extra adventurous, you can try creating side games for the people who get eliminated from the game!
Slip and Slides
If you think back to your time as a child, surely slip and slides make up some of your fondest summer memories. They couldn’t be easier to make and they are a perfect way to cool down on a hot summer day.
All you need to create a slip and slide is a large grassy areas, tarps or large sheets of plastic and a water hose. Lay out the plastic on the grass to create a long enough area that a person has a bit of sliding room, soak the entirety of the plastic with the hose and set the water at the head of the slide. Next comes the fun – just run and go!
While potato guns should not be used without adult supervision, they can be lots of fun in an outdoor environment. While they are a little bit on the difficult side to make, the actual creation of them is an activity that the whole family can get involved in. Nothing beats the feeling of using something you’ve made yourself and understanding how each mechanism works. Instead of breaking down the instructions for you here, I thought I’d leave it to the pro’s over at Spudgun Depot. Their website is filled with how-to’s, tips and tricks to help you and your family build the best, most safe air cannon possible.
There you have it! Five super fun games that are guaranteed to get all members of the family geared up and ready to get outside and have a good time. Thanks so much to Rachel for the opportunity to share my ideas with you guys today! I hope everyone has a fun and beautiful summer, with lots of time spent enjoying the great outdoors.
As a Community Coordinator for home improvement resource PartSelect.com, Jessi Snow is dedicated to helping homeowners embrace the do-it-yourself approach to getting things done around the house. She believes that a DIY attitude begins in childhood and encourages parents to get kids involved in activities around the home at an early age!