How to Build a Bean Bag Toss Yard Game

Things You'll Need

  • 3- by 4-foot sheet of ¼-inch plywood
  • Pencil
  • Plates or other round objects for patterns
  • Electric drill with a ¼-inch drill bit
  • Electric jig saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Light blue enamel paint (pint)
  • Red, dark blue, yellow, and green enamel paint (1/2 pint)
  • 1-inch paintbrush
  • Clear polyurethane finish
  • Paintbrush for applying finish
  • Turpentine or other cleaner for brushes

An outdoor bean bag toss game will give kids both lots of outdoor fun and opportunities for improving their coordination. In this game, bean bags which successfully make it through smaller holes win the player more points than those which make it through larger, easier-to-target openings. You might consider making the bean bag toss for a school carnival or other fund-raising event before making it into a permanent attraction in your own back yard.

Cut a 3- by 4-foot piece from a sheet of ¼-inch plywood. The 3-foot sides will serve as the top and bottom of the bean bag toss.

Use a pencil to plan the spacing of the various openings. For patterns, use plates of various sizes. Draw two 12-inch circles, one in the lower left and the other in the upper right. Equally space three 9-inch circles diagonally from top left to bottom right, and then draw two 6-inch circles, one above the bottom 12-inch circle and the other below the top 12-inch circle.

Drill a hole inside each circle to give you a place to insert the saw blade. Drill the hole close to the edge of the circle to reduce the amount of sawing. Saw out the opening.

Sand all the edges until smooth. Be sure to sand the back side of the circles as well to make sure that there are no splinters.

Paint the entire front of the board light blue and let dry thoroughly. Then paint 1-inch circles in bright primary colors around each opening. Use a different color for each size hole. See illustration.

Paint green numerals above each of the openings. The 12-inch openings should be labeled with the numeral 5, the 9-inch openings should have the numeral 10 painted above each, and the two 6-inch openings should be labeled with the numeral 15.

Put two coats of polyurethane on the front and back of the game to protect it from the elements.

Prop the bean bag toss up against a tree or fence.


  • You might want to be creative and use an animal or circus motif.