The most popular word game in the world can now be played outside! If you have 8’ of flat outdoor space, you can create your very own Lawn Scrabble board in your backyard, at your campsite, in a field, or at a park. Unlike table-top Scrabble, this version gets you up and moving to lay tiles and make words. Using easy-to-find materials at craft stores and a little creativity, this homemade Scrabble board is a breeze to make. So grab your family and friends, some cold lemonade, a dictionary, and let’s get wordy!
225 pavers (to make a 15 x 15 board)
100 wood plaques for the letter tiles (available in craft stores)
paint for the bonus tiles (pink, light & dark blue, red)
vinyl letter stickers or black paint/stencils (for letters)
old, repurposed shelves (for the tile racks; one per person)
polyurethane (if desired)
Directions for Making Your Lawn Scrabble Board:
- Using vinyl letter stickers or black paint with stencils, mark each tile with a single letter and its corresponding point value (in the bottom right corner). See the charts for this information.
- Paint about 60 Bonus Tiles (pavers) in pink, light/dark blue, or red and label them with Double Letter Score, Triple Letter Score, Double Word Score, or Triple Word Score. Mark a separate Bonus Tile with a Star.
- Lay out your 225 pavers on your 8’ area to create a 15 x 15 Scrabble board. Mix in the Bonus Tiles so they are evenly distributed throughout the board. Place the Star Bonus Tile right in the middle of the board.
How to Play Lawn Scrabble:
- Place all letter tiles face down on the ground.
- To determine who goes first, everyone draws one tile at the same time. The player with the letter closest to A goes first. A blank tile beats all other tiles.
- Return the letter tiles to the pool of tiles and mix them up. Everyone draws seven tiles and places them on their rack (old shelves). No one should be able to see anyone else’s tiles.
- The first player uses two or more of their tiles to form a word and places it going across or down on the board with one letter being on the center star tile.
- The first player counts up their points and records them. Then they pick as many new tiles from the pool as they used to make their word so that they have seven tiles on their rack again.
- Play continues to the left. The second person to go, and each subsequent person, plays off of the words that have already been placed on the board to create new words. All letters placed in one turn must be put in one row across or down to form at least one complete word. Diagonal play is not allowed. If the letters happen to touch other letters in adjacent rows, they must form a word as well. The player gets credit for any and all new words they form.
- Once a letter has been placed on the board, it can’t be moved.
- Blank tiles can be any letter and they remain that letter for the entire game.
- You can use your turn to exchange some or all of your letter tiles. Just place your tiles face down in the pool, mix them up, and draw new tiles so that you have seven tiles on your rack. This is your entire turn.
- The game is over when either all tiles have been drawn and one player uses their last letter OR all possible plays have been made on the board.
How to Score Lawn Scrabble:
- For each word formed, add up the points of each letter tile. If a letter tile was placed on a colored Bonus Tile, the letter or entire word will be doubled or tripled (depending on the Bonus Tile).
- If two or more words are formed in one turn, each word is counted and added to the player’s score.
- If a blank tile is played on a Bonus Tile, the value of the word is doubled or tripled (depending on the Bonus Tile) even though a blank tile is worth 0 points.
- If you happen to use seven tiles in one turn, you get a BINGO! Total up your word points and then ADD 50 POINTS!
- At the end of the game, the sum of any letters that are remaining on your rack are deducted from your point total. Also, if a player uses all of their tiles, the sum of all the other players’ remaining tiles is added to their final score.
- The player with the highest point total wins!