Game On!

August 1, 2017

Game for some late summer fun? Summer’s the time to take full advantage of your Southshore backyard for entertainment. The health benefits of outdoor play have been touted for years. So, give your kids and guests a tempting menu of game options, and your backyard at Southshore will be this summer’s hottest destination!


For a tic-tac-toe game board, Alecia at Chicken Scratch NY used an old tree stump, and painted rocks for game pieces – lady bugs vs. bumble bees. If you don’t have an old stump, you can find one at Oriental Trading for $12.99. Or you can use a section of burlap fabric, a leftover paving stone or piece of tile (10-by-10).

Nine Pin

Save up a few two-liter soda bottles and find a plastic ball that’s heavy enough to knock over those “pins” and you’re all set. If you’ve been to a bowling alley, mimic that. Pins should be set up in a diamond and the rules are simple: players get points for knocking down pins every time they “bowl” the ball.

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Hands on as We Grow has 32 fun scavenger hunt ideas for kids, with printables plus ideas for maps and clues and where to plant objects of the hunt.

Freeze Tag

Imom created a few backyard games from a dozen variations of freeze tag, like Clothespin Tag, Dragon’s Tail Tag and Sock Tag, to keep kids busy and happy in the backyard. You’ll need clothespins (from the dollar store), rags for tails, and your kids’ (and the neighbor kids’) own socks. She has printed instructions and offers free printables so kids can shuffle the 15 games and pick one to get the fun started.

For Older Kids and Adults

If you have kids in middle school and older, they’ll gravitate toward games of skill and strategy like bocce, horseshoes and croquet. Here are just a few ideas for buying or making the perfect backyard gaming equipment.

gameBocce, Yahtzee® and Cornhole

Momtastic features a giant Yahtzee® game, with supersized dice made from five wood blocks plus a bucket for tossing. You might need a refresher on the rules and a dry erase board for keeping score, but after that, shake, rattle and roll!

Home Stories A to Z offers instructions on making your own cornhole board with a complete list of what you’ll need, including the wood, power tools, screws, paint and safety goggles! Beth offers a separate tutorial for making bean bags, filled with unpopped popcorn.

Bocce is played with eight large balls and one smaller target ball. Each team has four balls and points are given for the ball that is rolled closest to the target ball. For a basic explanation of the game, check out Walmart has a bocce set, with poly-resin balls and a storage bag for $31.79 plus free two-day shipping.

gameYou can buy a ladder golf set and carrying bag for $69.95 or make your own. This pipe ladder golf game from Momtastic uses painted and plain PVC pipes and elbows, with golf balls drilled and strung on lengths of nylon rope. Players toss the golf ball “bolas” from 15 feet away onto the different rungs of the ladder (scoring 1 to 3 points) and the first person to 21 points wins!

Get in the Game at Southshore

 Backyards adjoining the new homes in the master-planned community of Southshore are perfect for creating play and game spaces! Check out the brand-new, lakeside ranch and two-story designs priced from the upper $300s to the $700s. Tour the brand new models from Richmond American Homes and Century Communities at The Hills in Southshore!