Having a party or just relaxing with the family in the backyard? We’ve got you covered.


1. Put glow stick bracelets inside balloons for lighting after dark.

First, snap two bracelet glow sticks (commonly found in bundles at the dollar store) to get them glowing. Blow up a balloon and then insert each glow stick into the balloon. Some air may come out in the process, so blow more in if needed. The average glow stick lasts about 6-8 hours.


2. Tape down lines on a tarp or old shower curtain liner and play tic-tac-toe frisbee.


3. Make a fire pit with a heavy-duty metal tub.

Stay safe by making sure there are no low-lying branches above, and the area is free of any debris. Spread a thick layer of sand on the ground where the tub will sit.


4. Keep snacks chilled by filling an inflatable pool raft with ice.


5. Add a twist to s’mores with bacon and different kinds of chocolate.

Give your s’mores a modern update with a few simple swaps. Substitute milk chocolate for dark or white chocolate. Heat up some fudge or caramel. Throw in some bacon for the perfect finishing touch.


6. Keep bugs out of drinks with cupcake liners.



7. Create an outdoor photo “booth” by hanging a big frame from a tree.


8. Maintain freshness and keep flies away by storing food in glass jars with lids.

This approach to your outdoor party not only keeps food fresh and the bugs away, it also showcases a lovely display of your favorite foods.


9. Play glow-in-the-dark ring toss with glow necklaces and a glow stick.


10. Play giant outdoor Scrabble by printing or painting letters on cardboard squares.

Paint or draw letters on cardboard pieces and use up the entire yard if you want.


11. Turn tin cans into lanterns with a drill or hammer and nails.

Collect some empty tin cans and grab a hammer and nails—or a drill. Fill the tins with water and freeze overnight. Next, wrap the tin in a towel to keep it from moving. Using the hammer and nail or drill, punch holes in the tin. Run the tins under hot water to remove the ice block. Follow these instructions for a more elaborate look involving patterns.


12. Play bean bag toss with decorated cans and socks filled with rice.

Fill a couple of small socks with rice and tie the ends with rubber bands and patriotic ribbon. Then, cover 6 empty and cleaned 15-ounce cans with red, white, and blue tape, making sure the tape covers any sharp edges. Set cans up in a pyramid and have kids stand several feet away. Whoever knocks down all the cans within two tries wins!



13. Chill party drinks with water balloons.


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14. Use ketchup to remind the chef how you like your burger cooked.

While you’re at it, mark the bun with your name so it’s clear who it belongs to.


15. Make party lights out of used K-Cups.


16. Play Twister on the grass by creating circles with marking paint.

Marking chalk spray paint in red, yellow, blue, and green works great and keeps your grass alive. Make your own spinner following these easy instructions, or print one off online then use a pen to spin. My favorite spinner option: a free Twister spinner app available on Android and iPhone.


17. Keep drinks cold in a wheelbarrow.


18. Protect guests from insect bites and sunburns with a sunscreen and bug spray station.



19. Beat the heat and cool off instantly with water balloon piñatas.


20. Make giant bubbles with a hula hoop.

For a maximum-strength bubble solution, mix together 5 gallons of water and 10 cups Dawn dish soap. Let it sit overnight.


21. Make mosquito-repellent tiki torches with empty wine bottles.

All you need is a little citronella oil, wine bottles, and a few other materials to make getting rid of bugs stylish. Get the full instructions here.


22. Use a ladder to play bean bag toss.


23. Turn a yard flagpole into a paper towel holder.


24. Use an old shower curtain liner to keep picnic blankets dry and free from grass stains.


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