Labor Day is the perfect time to make an escape from all things digital – at least for a few hours. Barbecues and yard parties are some of the most popular ways to celebrate this unofficial end of summer. The Labor Day holiday is also a great time to rummage through the garage for supplies to recreate a few classic games from bygone days that your party guests can play outside on the lawn. Guests of all ages will enjoy the opportunity to connect with these simple DIY games. Here's how to make them:
- Nine large flat river rocks
- Four long sticks (1 yard in length minimum)
- White paint (we used non-toxic Tempera paint)
- Paint brush or paint sponge brush
Paint an “X” on four of the rocks and an “O” on another four. Also paint an “X” on one side and an “O” on the other side of the last rock. Let the paint dry in sun. Then simply lay the four sticks out in a grid format on a flat lawn surface and have fun!
- 4” X 4” lumber scraps
- Sandpaper (Electric sander, optional)
- Wood burning tool or paint
Measure and carefully saw lumber into two 4” X 4” X 4” cubes, then sand cubes to create smooth surfaces and edges. Paint or burn dots onto sides of dice. Let the paint dry for at least two hours in the sun before you are ready to play a game. Use your imagination or the Internet to come up with fun games to play in your backyard.
- Cardboard box (a file box is the ideal size)
- Plate or Frisbee approx. 12” in diameter
- Scissors or box knife
- Red, blue, yellow, and green washable paint (we used non-toxic Tempera paint)
- Cardboard scrap
- Printout of spinner (click to download PDF)
- Wire brad
- Material to craft spinner/clock arms
Trace a round object such as a plate or Frisbee onto a piece of cardboard to mark an approximate one-foot circle. Cut out the circle using scissors or a box knife. This is your template. Locate a flat, open, grassy surface in the yard. Use the box as a stencil to paint a row of the four colors across the lawn. (Be sure the spacing between the four colors is as equal as possible, and remember you need enough yard space for six rows of each color.) Then repeat painting that row of colors so you end up with four columns containing six rows that follow the red, blue, yellow, green pattern. Let dry for at least two hours before playing a game.
Download and print our spinner graphic here. (The spinner prints on 8” by 11” paper; trimmed it will fit onto an 8” X 8” backing.) Glue it to a piece of cardboard scrap left over from creating the template. Use scissors to trim off any excess paper. Use the brad to poke a hole in the center of the game board. Insert the brad through the spinner hands you created and then through the hole in the cardboard. Separate ends of the brad to secure to back. Look up play instructions online or invent your own. Have fun and try not to fall down!