3 Childhood Games Super-Sized for Backyard Fun

Remember that one summer cookout back in the seventies when your inebriated uncle was impaled by one of those steel-tipped Jarts?

Talk about a buzzkill.

Jarts are safer now, but removing the element of bodily harm seems to have dampened some of the fun as well. Fortunately, here are a few backyard game ideas that will — safely — bring back a fresh spirit of fun.

Lawn Jenga
Ok, your toes may not put “blocks of falling wood” in the “safe” category, but since when do they get a say? This giant-sized Jenga game is irresistible! Here’s a tutorial to make your own or you can buy a slightly smaller version online.

Twister on the Grass
The coolest thing about this is that you can make your Twister board as big as your backyard will allow, which means more people can play, which means the amount of uncomfortable positions just went up exponentially! Here’s a pretty good tutorial.

Backyard Scrabble
Move over Words with Friends, Scrabble is back, baby! This project requires some time and effort, but the payoff is out of this world!

Finally, in honor of Jarts, I give you this video of John Krasinski (aka Jim from The Office) sharing a traumatic lawn dart story from his childhood that pretty much sums up why it’s a good thing they don’t make ‘em that way anymore.

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  1. Wow, backyard twister sounds awesome! I don’t have a backyard myself but, I work in a group home for people with mental disabilities and that would be so much fun for a few of them, not to mention staff! I know a few of the individuals who would crack up watching us play. I’m so going to bring this idea to work. Thanks for sharing!

    • Great application Anin! I’d love to hear how it goes!

      • So far in the middle of this drought and heat wave we’ve had to keep everyone inside so noone gets sick but, I do still plan to try it!

  2. Libby Miner says:

    At my niece’s 16th birthday party a few years back, we played a backyard version of Dutch Blitz. My brother in law works for a sign company and they printed the cards in a large size. The kids were divided into teams and had a great time running and throwing cards onto the piles; it felt like a real blitz!

    • Sounds pretty fascinating, Libby. Now I just have to learn how to play Dutch Blitz!

      • Libby says:

        This week on facebook a friend of mine posted photos from a family reunion. They played croquet with bowling balls and supersize wickets and mallets! They had a large size Jenga (not as large as here), and also a large game of (oh there goes my memory again).– well, the games with the marbles held up by a bunch of thin sticks in a plastic container and you pull out the sticks until the marbles all let go??? (Work with me here–I have no idea what it’s called!!!) Anyway, that family had their fun on!