Bri Schoch (far left) watches her son Krayton (far right) toss the giant dice during a game of Yardzee, as sister Tierney keeps score. Like many families in the age of COVID-19, the Schoch’s say they are spending more time in the yard.

Even as directed health measures are loosened, families continue to come up with novel ideas to entertain despite the novel coronavirus.

Krayton and Tierney Schoch are two of the many recipients of yard Yahtzee: “Yardzee.”

Tanya Crawford, 4-H Extension Educator for York and Polk Counties, said that the Extension office has offered opportunities for fun summer at-home activities, because of social distancing – including a kit for kids to make their own Yardzee game. Yardzee was a kit consisting of pre-cut giant dice ready to be painted to the recipient’s liking, plus a bucket to throw the dice and instructions. The giant Yahtzee game is played like tabletop Yahtzee. A large wipe board makes an excellent scoreboard for the lawn version.

Krayton and Tierney said they have played several yard games, including Yardzee. “We also play cornhole and washers,” Krayton said. “We play Jenga – it’s a really big-sized Jenga,” Tierney said.

“We definitely play yard games more because of COVID,” said mom Bri Schoch, as her kids tossed the giant dice out of a bucket. She said her family has tried other games like Ladderball. “We have also liked Frisbee golf,” Bri said.

“Anything you do outside is a benefit in the summer,” said Michaela Stuhr, York Parks & Rec Recreation Coordinator. She said that there are horseshoe pits available at Harrison Park; players must provide their own horseshoes.

Cruising the information superhighway provides ideas for plenty of DIY lawn games, from elaborate to simple. Yard Bananagrams is made simply out of cardboard squares with painted letters. Another easy-to-make game is Lawn Twister – just use a circular template (cardboard or cardstock works) and four different colors of spray paint to create a Twister mat in the grass. It’s contortion fun for the whole family.

For nighttime gatherings, glow-in-the-dark ring tosses can brighten up a dark back yard; bend glow sticks into rings. Position a straight glow stick into the hole of an overturned ceramic or terra cotta pot, wait for dark and start tossing the glowing rings.

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