Updated on October 5th, 2014
My boys LOVE playing Tic Tac Toe! Whenever my 8 year old gets a scrap of paper, it’s instantly filled with tic tac toe grids and he’s asking all of us if we want to play. On our road trip this past summer we came across a garden tic tac toe game at the Montana Zoo and I absolutely loved the idea and knew it was one DIY project that I had to make! It wasn’t too hard to make, either, but I didn’t have any motivation to work on the project once I bought the supplies until the weather finally started cooling down here in Phoenix so we could set up our garden tic tac toe game outdoors and try it out.
This post is sponsored by Quaker. All opinions are my own.
DIY Garden Tic Tac Toe Game
- (9) square pavers, mine are about 6″
- Spray paint, optional
- Weather protectant spray paint
- 10 flat, smooth river rocks, about 4-6″
- Couple small tubes of paint
I got my pavers from my local home improvement store, but they didn’t have any river rocks. For the river rocks, I went to a rock sales place and they weighed my vehicle, sent me down to pick out my rocks, and then my car was reweighed to figure out the bulk weight for pricing. The owner walked out to our van, rather than having us come in, chuckling and said it was under $1 and we could just have the rocks! Next time, I would have picked up my pavers at the same type of place as they were much higher priced at the home improvement store.
I started by spray painting the tops of my pavers, painting 5 in my “pop” color and 4 in a dark brown. My pavers started red and you can leave them as they come if you prefer. This step is totally optional. After the color spray paint dried, I also used a sealant spray paint to help coat and protect them from having the paint chip off as easily.
Next, I also spray painted just the tops of the river rocks. I left the back sides uncolored so they could be flipped and blend in naturally, if I ever wanted or needed them to. I really love them with the color just on the top, it makes them really pop! I went with two different colors, painting each of the 5 rocks one of the colors. You can skip this step as well, but the color here really will make a big difference. I just reused a bunch of paint cans I already had on hand, so this part was all still super inexpensive! If you don’t have any leftover cans, see if you can borrow paint from a friend. You really don’t need very much paint.
Finally, the fun part! I had all the little tubes of paint, you know like 4 for $1 tubes, in all the colors I would need – red, black, grey, and yellow. I pulled the paint out to start painting one night, only to realize I totally forgot the paint brushes! No big deal, my friend said “let’s fingerpaint!” and we got to work. It was actually really fun finger painting and we used a pencil tip and eraser when we needed thinner lines and circles. I had made printables for my rocks first, but I didn’t like the way they looked modge podged onto the rocks, so we just used the images as a guide and painted our own! Here’s the bugs I used:
After that, it was just letting paint dry again and the pulling all the elements together. I set up my pavers alternating colors to form a tic tac toe grid. My boys the helped me carry out my river rocks and it was time to play!
My boys were absolutely thrilled with their Garden tic tac toe game and I know it’s something that will get use for years to come. The best part is it looks awesome in our yard. Unlike many of their tacky toys that fill our patio it actually adds to our backyard space!
Of course, they’ve already started coming up with their own twists and other ways to play! My 4 year old was all about making lines, patterns and shapes with the rocks.
Quaker Make the Play Contest
While my boys can’t get enough of tic tac toe, Quaker wants to know what unique ways your family plays and gets outdoors together! By sharing how your family plays, you will be entered for a chance to win a day of play with Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Andrew Luck! It’s all about reminding families that getting active together and choosing good foods is important! Studies have even shown that kids that are active and have good nutrition do better at academics and have improved concentration in class!
Head on over to QuakerMakethePlay.com to enter today! The contest runs through 12/1/2014.