12 DIY Backyard Party Games for Adults

Published April 27, 2020
Friends watching woman play horseshoe in backyard

Whether it's a backyard date night or a backyard barbecue with friends, you can create backyard games for adults with things you have on hand. Sometimes, the best backyard party game ideas are the ones you invent yourself. Try to think of ways you can recreate your favorite backyard games with the contents of your porch or garage.

DIY Backyard Spikeball

If you love playing Spikeball, but don't own a game set, try making your own. This active backyard game is great for couples since you need four players.

What You Need

  • Mini trampoline
  • 1 medium-sized ball that isn't too hard
  • 4 players

How to Play

  1. Set the mini trampoline in the center of your yard.
  2. Each team of two lines up on an opposite side of the trampoline.
  3. Teams use their hands to hit the ball onto the trampoline.
  4. The serving team starts by hitting one ball onto the trampoline. The goal is to make it hard for the other team to hit the ball back.
  5. The opposing team can touch the ball up to 3 times to get it to hit the trampoline again. However, one player can't touch the ball twice in a row.
  6. If the opposing team hits the ball into the net within three touches, the serving team now has possession and has to try hitting it back into the trampoline again.
    • You get one point if the opposing team lets the ball hit the ground.
    • You get one point if the opposing team hits the ball into the rim of the trampoline.
    • If your serve doesn't hit the trampoline and bounce up, the other team gets a point.
  7. If the opposing team does not hit the ball back properly, the serving team gets a point.
  8. The first team to score 21 points wins.
    Playing spike ball on green turf

Bucket Bullseye

Create a 3-D bullseye to play a fun new backyard game that's a cross between cornhole and darts. The game is meant for two teams of two, but can be played one-on-one.

What You Need

  • 2 large buckets
  • 2 medium buckets
  • 2 small buckets
  • 10 bean bags or small balls

How to Play

  1. Each team will set up their bucket bullseye so they are directly across from each other and about 20 feet apart.
  2. Set the large bucket right-side up on the ground. Set the medium bucket upside down in the center of the large bucket. Set the small bucket right-side up on the medium bucket.
  3. Each team gets five bean bags or balls.
  4. One player from each team stands behind their bullseye and the other player stands behind the opponent's bullseye.
  5. Follow standard cornhole rules by taking turns tossing your bean bags at the opposite bucket bullseye.
    • Any bean bag that goes in the small bucket is worth 3 points.
    • Any bean bag that goes in the large bucket is worth 1 point.
    • Points from opposite teams cancel each other out. So if you get 3 points and your opponent gets 3 points, no one gets any points.
  6. The first team to reach 21 points wins.

Pallet Cornhole

Create a quick and easy cornhole game in your backyard by using a pallet as your cornhole board. You'll need bean bags to play. Simply set up your pallets so the slats are horizontal in front of you and play by standard cornhole rules. Since there are a few spaces where bean bags could go through the pallet, consider writing point values next to each one.

DIY Cornhole Flat Lay Woodwork Project with Tools

Bottle Bash

In the game of Bottle Bash, you try to knock down your opponent's bottle with a frisbee. You can easily recreate this modern backyard game using things you'd find in your garage. The game is meant for two or four people.

What You Need

  • 2 sawhorses
  • 1 frisbee
  • 2 empty plastic bottles or beer/pop cans

How to Play

  1. Set the sawhorses about 30 feet apart. Each should be placed horizontally in front of you.
  2. Place one bottle in the center of each sawhorse.
  3. Each team stands behind one sawhorse.
  4. On a turn, toss the frisbee toward your opponent's bottle. Your goal is to knock down the bottle.
  5. Your opponents must try to catch the frisbee and the bottle if you knock it off the sawhorse.
    • If you knock the bottle off the sawhorse, you get 2 points.
    • If the bottle touches the ground, you get 2 points.
    • If your opponent catches the frisbee, they get a point.
  6. Teams take turns tossing the frisbee.
  7. The first team to 21 points wins.
Man Wearing Shorts Aiming Bottle By Frisbee Outdoors

Bottlecap Bullseye

Make good use of all the bottle caps lying around from your backyard party with an easy game inspired by darts. You can have as many players as you want in this great outdoor party game for adults.

What You Need

  • 1 garbage can lid
  • 1 frisbee
  • 1 coaster
  • Rope
  • 3 bottle caps per player

How to Play

  1. Set the garbage can lid on the ground so the inside is toward the ground. Set the frisbee on top of the garbage can lid so the inside is toward the lid. Set the coaster on top of the frisbee.
  2. Make a circle around the garbage can lid using the rope. It should be about 3 feet away from the lid all the way around.
  3. Players take turns tossing one bottle cap toward the lid structure.
  4. On a turn, you stand outside the rope circle and toss one bottle cap toward the lid structure. Your body can't lean over the line, but your arm can extend past it.
    • If your cap lands on the coaster, and stays there the entire round, you get 5 points.
    • If your cap lands on the frisbee and stays there, you get 2 points.
    • If your cap lands on the garbage can lid, you get 1 point.
  5. The person with the most points at the end of the round is the winner.

DIY KanJam

Create your own backyard version of KanJam out of two plastic garbage cans. Use a box cutter or other sharp tool to cut a rectangle about six inches down from the top of the can. The rectangle should be approximately 14 inches wide and 4 inches tall. You should end up with an open rectangular slot. Grab a frisbee and play by standard KanJam rules in teams of two.

How to Play

  1. Place the cans about 50 yards apart and directly across from each other. The rectangular slots should be facing inward toward each other.
  2. One person from each team stands behind each can.
  3. On a turn, you throw the frisbee toward the opposite can. The goal is to get the frisbee through the rectangular hole, in the top of the can, or to at least hit the can.
  4. When the frisbee reaches the opposite can, your teammate can hit it once to redirect it toward the can if needed.
    • You get one point if your teammate hits the frisbee and it hits the can.
    • You get two points if the frisbee hits the can without your teammate touching it.
    • You get three points if your teammate deflects the frisbee into the top of the can.
    • If you throw the frisbee directly through the rectangular slot without your teammate touching it, you win the game.
  5. Teams take turns, alternating teammates each turn.
  6. The first team to reach 21 points wins.

Quarter Can Pong

Create a simple backyard game that resembles Beer Pong using cans and quarters. The outdoor game for adults without equipment is meant for two teams of two, but you can play one-on-one.

What You Need

  • 12 unopened drink cans of the same size
  • 8 quarters
  • A rectangular table

How to Play

  1. At each end of the table, set 6 cans in a pyramid shape. When you're facing the table, there should be three cans in the back row and one in the front row.
  2. Each team gets four quarters and stands together at one end of the table.
  3. Teams take turns tossing or flicking quarters toward their opponent's can pyramid.
    • If your quarter lands on the top of a can and stays there, that can is removed from the pyramid.
    • Optional drinking rule: When a quarter lands on one of your cans, one person from your team has to take a swig of that drink. Cans aren't removed from the game until they are empty.
  4. The team to eliminate all their opponent's cans first wins.
    Friends playing games

Ladder Pong

What do you get when you mix Ladder Golf and Beer Pong? Ladder Pong! You can play this game with any number of players and use any alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks you want.

What You Need

  • 1 step ladder with at least 3 rungs
  • 2 plastic cups for each rung
  • Ping pong balls

How to Play

  1. Set the ladder up so it stands on its own.
  2. Place two cups on each rung, a few inches apart. Fill each cup halfway.
  3. Assign a point value to each rung, with higher point values toward the top.
  4. Take turns tossing one ping pong ball at a time toward the cups. You should stand about 10 feet away from the ladder.
  5. If your ball goes in a cup, you get the points for that rung and can choose any opponent to drink the contents of the cup. The cup is removed from the game.
  6. The person with the most points when all the cups are off the ladder is the winner.

Javelin Lawn Darts

This adults-only backyard game could be a little dangerous, so make sure your playing area is free of anything that could get damaged. This game is meant for two people, but could be played in two teams of two.

What You Need

  • 6 sticks of similar sizes
  • 1 knife
  • Paint
  • 2 hula hoops or rope to make 2 hoops
  • Grass or dirt playing area

How to Play

  1. Use the knife to carve one end of each stick into a sharp point, like a javelin.
  2. Paint the dull ends of three sticks the same color.
  3. Place the hoops about 20-30 feet apart directly across from each other.
  4. All players stand behind one hoop.
  5. One team gets the painted sticks and the other team gets the natural sticks.
  6. Teams take turns throwing the sticks like javelins or lawn darts toward the opposite hoop.
    • If your stick lands with the point stuck in the ground inside the hoop, you get 2 points.
    • If your stick lands in the hoop, but isn't stuck point-side in the ground, you get 1 point.
  7. Once all sticks have been thrown, go to the other hoop and take turns throwing from there.
  8. The first team to 15 wins.

Adult Yard Scrabble

What better place than your own backyard to have a little fun with inappropriate words that won't offend anyone? In this DIY Scrabble game, the goal is not to create the longest words, but the most inappropriate ones. You can play scrabble with two or more people.

What You Need

  • 50-100 paper plates
  • Marker
  • 1 picnic bench per player
  • Large open yard

How to Play

  1. Identify your playing area.
  2. Each player should stand on a different side of the playing area. The player should lay their bench on its side so the seat is facing them. This is where you'll keep your letter tiles.
  3. Write one letter on each paper plate. A real Scrabble game has 100 letter tiles, but you can create half that if you want.
  4. Place all the plates letter-side down in a random pile off to the side of your playing area.
  5. Each player chooses seven letter plates and places them along their bench so only they can see the letters.
  6. Players take turns creating words in the play area that are connected to each other. Each word must be inappropriate in some way, like a swear word or other word you might not use in front of kids.
  7. Players should always keep seven letter plates.
  8. You can keep score using standard Scrabble scoring, or just call it a win for everyone because you all had fun.

Human Ring Toss

Create a simple game of human ring toss in your backyard with hula hoops and some brave friends. You'll want at least five players for this large group game. All you need are about three hula hoops and a big open space.

How to Play

  1. Choose two players for the round.
  2. The other three people will be human targets.
  3. The human targets should stand in various positions, like crouching, standing with arms at sides, or standing with arms in a dab.
  4. Each player gets a turn to throw all three hoops. The goal is to get one on each target or all three on one target.
    • You get 2 points if the hoop goes completely over the target and rests on the ground.
    • You get 1 point if the hoop leans on the target in any way.
  5. The player with the most points at the end is the winner.
A group of friends with hula hoops

Can Crush

Make your own adult version of Candy Crush in the backyard using cans you actually crush. The game is best for two players, but if you have a lot of cans, you could have up to four.

What You Need

  • At least 40 cans of different colors and sizes
  • A large playing area

How to Play

  1. Start with 20 cans. Make a large square grid that is five cans across in four rows. Try to be as random as possible so the cans are really mixed up.
  2. On a turn, you get to switch any two cans. The goal is to get a straight line of two or more cans that are the same.
    • Cans that are the same color can form a line.
    • Cans that are the same brand/flavor can form a line.
    • Lines must be horizontal or vertical.
  3. If your move lines up two or more cans, you get to crush all the cans in the line.
  4. You then replace the crushed cans with new cans.
  5. There's no real winner here, but if you clear the board of all the cans together, you win.

Get Your Backyard Game On

Whether you're stuck at home and looking for fun or hosting a backyard party, there are endless creative outdoor party games you can play with large groups or two adults. Make your party memorable by trying out games your guests have probably never heard of, but will definitely want to steal for their own parties.

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12 DIY Backyard Party Games for Adults