You’ve chosen your game, and you have everything ready to go, all that’s left is to mark out the area where you will play.
You can use purpose-built field line markers and field marking stakes or you can use the homemade line-maker solutions and alternatives we will discuss in this article.
Whether it’s hopscotch, soccer, or horseshoes, you need some way to mark lines or goals.
These line-markers are all fast and easy, using tools and objects you are likely to have in your household or can make/find easily so that you can get to have fun as soon as possible.
Easy Line Markers for Yard Sports
If you’re playing on a paved driveway, or the sidewalk, chalk is an excellent line-marker. Sidewalk chalk is bright and accessible for all players to see, and can be used to mark out the perimeter of your hopscotch, four square, tic-tac-toe or other games that you can play on a hard surface.
You can get sidewalk chalk for pretty cheap, ranging from about 75 cents per stick for the normal kind of sidewalk chalk or you can spend more and get the fancy glitter kind of sidewalk chalk (Amazon links, but I’m not an affiliate). Also, both kinds of the sidewalk chalk I linked to have a special anti-roll shape to prevent it from rolling down driveways.
A standard tool of after-school games in the park, backpacks and other bags can make for useful goalposts in a pinch. Simply place the backpacks on either side of your “goals” for games like soccer or football, or in the corners of your playing field for other games.
Looking for something bright and colourful that will stand out while you are playing? Consider making flags.
Dig around for your stash of unopened chopsticks that came with take-away, or find some sticks in the backyard to use as your flagpoles.
Next, find some scrap fabric or construction paper to use for your flags. Pick a range of colours to make things more fun. Cut the fabric or construction paper into rectangles or triangles, whichever you prefer. If you want to add an extra step to your crafting, consider decorating the flags with markers, glitter glue, or stickers. Attach the fabric or construction paper to the flagpoles, and there you have it.
Flags can be planted into grass or sand to mark goal posts or other lines that you may want to draw in your games.
If you are looking to mark the boundary of your game for sports like soccer or volleyball, or a finish line for three-legged races, consider using some ribbon. Cut pieces of ribbon the length of your desired playing area, and lay them on the grass to mark out the boundaries of your game.
Choose a bright colour so that all players will be able to clearly see the line, and consider holding the ribbons down with small rocks on either end of each piece to keep them from getting blown away on particularly windy days.
An old garden hose can serve as your finish line, 10-yard line, or goal for outdoor games. Lay the hose on the ground to mark off where you want your line to be.
You can also take advantage of the ability to bend a garden hose into different shapes. This could be useful for games that involve throwing a ball or horseshoe a certain distance or to a specific spot. Simply bend the hose into a circle or other shape to have a more precise target.
If you are looking for some flexibility in your line markers, consider using spray chalk.
Spray chalk is a great option for drawing obstacle courses and other lines on grass, dirt, or pavement because you can make different shapes in addition to drawing straight lines or goals, making this a versatile option for many lawn games.
Spray chalk washes away with water and will not damage your lawn.
You can buy a good bottle of Testors brand spray chalk on Amazon. The Testors brand lasts about 80 feet of spraying. Testors spray chalk is washable and non-toxic and it dissolves naturally over time with exposure to rain or water.
Garden stones and stepping stones
Stones and small rocks from your garden can be used to mark goal posts and other lines for your outdoor games. Make sure they are fall enough that if you fall on one, you won’t get hurt.
Place the stones on either side of goals or where you want to draw perimeters or finish lines for your games. When you are finished playing, return the stones to your garden.
Cones or pylons, like kinds put on your street for construction are a good way to mark out your lines when playing outdoor games.
Place cones around the perimeter of the space you want to play, as goalposts, or along your finish line.
Cones are light, and easy to transport, making them ideal not only for use in your backyard but to bring to the park or the beach during the summer.
If you don’t have any cones in your garage, you can buy the small ones gym classes use on amazon for pretty cheap. You can get 50 cones for less than $20.
If you are playing a game at home and are looking for a way to mark your lines, consider using outdoor waste bins. Drag the bins into position so that they are clearly defining where you want the lines to be in your game, and start having fun.
During the fall and spring, consider using full yard-waste bags instead of waste bins. This could provide some extra motivation to rake up those leaves.
Sometimes, it’s more fun to play to an audience. Bring some toys out to your yard and let them watch you play while using them to mark out the boundaries of your game. If the ground is wet, opt for plastic or metal toys rather than stuffed animals, so no one gets dirty.
If you’re in your yard or at the park and you don’t have any line markers with you, take advantage of your surroundings. Use trees, bushes, or large rocks to mark the lines or goal posts you need to play your game.
These are just some of the many ways you can mark lines when playing outdoor games. Use your creativity when thinking about what your line markers will be made of. Give household objects a second use as part of your time outdoors by making them your goalposts and the finish line for your races. Consider decorating objects like cones, stepping stones, and flags on rainy days to make them more noticeable and unique when you are able to play outside again.