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DIY Yard Games as seen on The Today Show!

This collection of yard games is perfect for whipping up come Labor Day or any day that finds you out in the backyard hosting a little get together. I mean flamingo croquet? How could you possibly go wrong with those cuties? If you missed Abby gabbing with Hoda and Jenna on the Today Show about large and in charge outdoor games plus a few hilarious #StyleMeBlooper moments, then dive into the slideshow for all the juicy details.

DIY Yard Games
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DIY Yard Games
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Photography and Design: SMP Living


DIY Yard Yahtzee

Who doesn’t love Yahtzee!? We just supersized ours so that guests could play on the lawn while enjoying a cocktail. We used 3.5″ wooden cubes adding traditional dice dots to each using round Avery labels, then sealed them with all weather sealant so that we could enjoy them for years. It’s fun, it’s crazy simple and it will provide tons of entertainment for your guests and it also makes a really cute gift when bundled into a tin can jazzed up with gold duct tape!

est. time to make: 1 hour for 2 buckets of dice

3.5” wood blocks
Exterior paint in various colors
1/2” white circle stickers
Gold duct tape
Mod Podge
Bucket large enough for 5 blocks
Mini pencils
Printable scorecard templates

step-1 Cut a roughly 3′ long strip of duct tape in half. Wrap the tape around the bucket to form gold stripes. Continue cutting and wrapping until you fill the bucket with stripes.

step-2 Paint the blocks in a variety of colors and let dry 1 hour. Make sure to use exterior paint if you plan to use this game outdoors.

step-3 Add white dot stickers to each die (each side of the die should be numbered from 1 to 6).

step-4 Paint all sides with a thin coat of mod podge and let dry 1 hour.

step-5 Print out the scorecard template and cut out each scorecard. Toss each set of dice in a bucket.

step-6 Give a bucket of dice, mini pencil, and scorecard to each player. Standard Yahtzee rules apply- you can get the rules here.

Photography And Design: SMP Living

DIY Flamingo Croquet

Croquet is a game that everyone loves, young and old and we’re just bringing a sense of whimsy to the game but dressing up plain mallets with a pink flamingo…the kind of plastic flamingo lawn ornaments that you find gracing front yards this time of year! We think it’s a chic way to bring a smile to your guests faces. While you do need a drill to make the hole on the flamingo, it’s a one shot deal and totally easy even for the novice.

Spade drill bit (same size as the diameter of the croquet mallet handle)
Washi tape in various prints and colors
Spraypaint in coordinating colors to the tape
Croquet set
Plastic flamingos
Super glue

step-1 Wrap the colored stripes on your mallets with printed washi tape or paint. Each mallet should be a different color, one for each player.

step-2 Spraypaint your croquet balls so each ball coordinates with each mallet.

step-3 Drill a hole on each side of the center of the flamingo.

step-4Slide the flamingo onto the mallet handle and put a touch of super glue around the hole to lock it in place.

step-5Create a course in the yard with the white hoops by following the instructions that came with your croquet set.

step-6 Give each player a matching mallet and ball before the game begins!

Photography And Design: SMP Living

DIY Jenga

Our large scale version of Jenga is made by cutting 2 x 4’s down to size. And while I’m never afraid to get my hands a little dirty, this was a job for our local hardware store. Most box hardware stores will cut down wood to whatever size you want – in this case, you need 48 7.5″ pieces of wood. We sanded the edges, painted them in fun colors and a jenga we had!

est. time to make: 4 hours for 1 set of 48 blocks

(6) 2”x3”x8’ boards
Sandpaper or sander
Exterior paint in various colors
Painter’s tape and/or washi tape
Bucket for blocks (we found ours at Michael’s)

step-1 At your local hardware store or lumber yard, have them cut the boards into 7.5” long blocks. You need 48 blocks for your Jenga game.

step-2 Sand the edges of each block until they are smooth on all sides.

step-3 Paint the blocks in a variety of fun colors and patterns. To make a stripe pattern, lay down washi tape (for thin stripes) or painter’s tape (for thick stripes) in parallel lines down the sides of your block, then paint over the block and tape. Let dry 1-2 hours, then remove the tape to reveal your stripes!

step-4 Play Jenga with 2 or more people! Rules here.

Photography And Design: SMP Living

DIY Fort Kit

I have three children and the art of building a fort that can withstand their squeals and wiggles reigns queen in our house. These fort kits make the process SO much easier, with ready to hang bed sheets that we fitted with grommets that can either be tied with rope to trees or even chairs. We used really inexpensive, easy to find ingredients for this project making fort building totally doable inside or out then included a few fun add-ons like a pretty lantern and some glow sticks. We give them as hostess gifts for casual summer parties.

est. time to make: 45 mins for 1 kit


2 twin-size sheets
Metal grommeting kit
Suction cups with hooks
Plastic stakes
Washi tape in fun prints and colors
Striped paper favor bag
Canvas tote bag
Colorful rubber bands
Iron transfer paper
Flashlight, lantern, snacks, or glowsticks (optional)

step-1Decorate the sides of the clothespins with strips of washi tape. Trim any excess tape.

step-2 Cut a 2” x 6” piece of paper. Clip lines of clothespins onto the strip of paper.

step-3 Put the suction cups in the striped paper bag and seal the bag with a strip of washi tape.

step-4 Wrap the rope and stakes with a few colorful rubber bands.

step-5Grommet the 4 corners of each sheet and once in the center of the long sides of the sheet (6 grommets per sheet) according to grommet kit instructions.

step-6 Print out the “Fort Kit” template onto iron transfer paper. Trim any excess paper around the letters, then iron on to the front of the tote bag according to paper instructions.

step-7 Assemble the sheets, rope, clothespins, stakes, and suction cups inside the bag and any fun fort accessories, like a lantern, snacks, or glowsticks.

Photography And Design: SMP Living