Labor Day marks the end of the summer season, so it’s a good reason to squeeze in a little more time outdoors. To help observe the occasion, here are five do-it-yourself activities and games you can play in your own backyard this Labor Day weekend.
1. Backyard Bowling
Set up a DIY bowling alley using plastic bottles as pins, a soccer or basketball and streamers to mark the lanes. You’ll need 10 clear plastic soda or water bottles — remove the labels and fill the bottles with water. Parents.com recommends adding a few drops of food coloring to each pin.
The “alley” can be any flat surface in the backyard, a nearby sidewalk or your driveway — but if you use the driveway, be careful and let any drivers in the house know you’ll be there. You can use streamers to make the sides of the lanes, says Parents.com. Then, grab a soccer ball or basketball, and see how many pins you can knock down. If you don’t have any plastic bottles, grab a few cans from the recycling bin.
2. Build an Outdoor Chalkboard
To keep creative little ones busy for hours, make your very own backyard chalkboard to secure to your fence. According to HGTV, you’ll need:
- Plywood, cut to your your desired board size
- Flat, latex, exterior paint in any color
- 2 tablespoons of unsanded grout in a similar color to your paint
- Paint roller and paint tray
You can likely get these at your local hardware store. To make your chalkboard, mix the paint and grout together, roll the paint mixture onto the board and let it dry. Then, mount the chalkboard on your fence or wall at kid height. HGTV recommends using 2-inch wood screws about 1 inch from the edge of the chalkboard, and don’t space them more than a foot apart. Put a bucket of brightly colored chalk, a rag and a bucket of water for cleanup nearby and watch the kids create an outdoor masterpiece.
3. Set Up an Obstacle Course
Wear your kids out with a backyard obstacle course, says MarthaStewart.com. Use safe objects you have lying around, such as swim noodles, hula-hoops and buckets. The kids can crab walk through various obstacles or pull a wagon around a slalom course of buckets. Or, give them three pieces of newspaper, and make them keep their foot on one piece with every step around a pool noodle track, says MarthaStewart.com. Get creative with the course, and watch the kids go.
4. Lawn Memory Match
Looking for a fun way to entertain game lovers of all ages? Studio DIY suggests that you use cork tiles and cardstock to make an oversized outdoor memory matching game set. Leave one side blank, and have fun painting matching images on the other sides of the tiles — get creative. You’ll need about 10 pairs of tiles with simple summer images — think two pineapples, two pairs of sunglasses, two suns, etc. If you’re hosting artsy guests, they can even help paint the game images on the tiles, and then play with the set they helped create.
5. Movie Night
Soak up the final days of summer by watching your favorite flick outside, says Better Homes and Gardens (BHG). For the screen, hang a white sheet off a clothesline or between two trees. You could also attach it to a few poles or the side of the house, says We Lived Happily Ever After. Or, make a screen with some PVC pipes and a dropcloth, according to BHG. Hook up a laptop or tablet to a projector, and settle in with some popcorn. For added fun, consider setting up a concessions table with special treats.
As autumn approaches, Labor Day weekend is a great excuse to spend some time outdoors with friends and family. With a little planning and creativity, you can have make some great memories in your own backyard.
Originally published on August 27, 2015.
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