Looking for a fun outdoor activity to keep in the backyard, to provide hours of endless family fun and isn’t too complicated to create, even if you aren’t a DIY-kind of gal? Tree stump tic-tac-toe is a great backyard game you can create with supplies you probably already have in your backyard and others which are easy to snag at a nearby craft store.
Tic tac toe is one of the simplest games for children to learn, and this easy and cheap DIY activity is one your whole family will love to play together.
Here’s your easy step-by-step tutorial to create your own Tree Stump Tic-Tac-Toe Board and Bug-Themed Playing Pieces.
SUPPLIES YOU’LL NEED:
- One Tree Stump (you can buy at your nearby craft store, online or shop craigslist to buy locally)
- 10 Rocks (Here are the ones I used. Just a note that if you want to find these at a craft store, they are very popular and are often sold out so you may have to go to several before you find them in stock.)
- Outdoor Paint in the colors you need (Here is a set of outdoor paint in many colors. You don’t need large tubes because you won’t need a lot of paint, but make sure there is black outdoor paint for the tic-tac-toe board.)
- Final Setting Spray (I used this Krylon Acrylic Coat to give it a permanent gloss coat. I used this for both the tree stump and rocks.)
- Paint Brushes
- Paint Pens (I use this set when I paint on rocks and you’ll use these for the finishing details.)
- Newspaper or Plastic Sheeting to Protect Your Surface
STEPS TO CREATE A TREE STUMP TIC-TAC-TOE BOARD:
1. Paint a Tic Tac Toe Grid onto the Tree Stump
2. It’s Time to Create Bug Themed Rocks!
How you design these rocks is completely up to you. I did fingerprint bugs for this tree stump tic tac toe board to make each bug personalized with my children’s fingerprints but you can decorate them however you want!
If you want to go with fingerprints, dab your child’s finger into the paint and then press firmly down on the rock and set it aside to dry. Repeat for all the rocks and in the colors you need based on the bugs you select.
Here are some other design options:
- Paint the rocks completely yellow (bumble bee) and red (ladybug) (Here is what this looks like)
- Go with a patriotic theme and paint half the rocks blue with white stars and the other half red and white stripped (flag-like appearance) (Here is what this looks like)
- Stick to the traditional Xs and Os route. Go with single colors and paint half the rocks one color and the other half another. In the end you can use the paint pens or paint to design traditional X’s and O’s on all the rocks. (Here is what this looks like)
Give all the stones plenty of time to completely dry.
3. Detailing the Rocks & Putting on the Finishing Touches
Your rocks are painted, but need the finishing touches to make them look like bugs (or whatever style you’ve chosen to go with.)
Using your paint pen, it’s time to draw the lines, antennas, and wings on the bumble bee. Next, grow the antennas, stripe down the middle of the ladybug and polka dots on it’s wings to finish up. our bug has come to life!
4. Apply the Finishing & Sealing Spray
Head outdoors for this part! You don’t want to spray aerosol cans in the house – it’s dangerous for you and toxic for your home!
Apply a generous coat to each of the rocks and the tree stump. Let dry and repeat this step several times to have a crystal clear, glossy coat to your board and playing pieces which will help it withstand little fingers handling them and dropped pieces. (We all know how gentle kids are with rocks!)
Voila, your tree stump tic-tac-toe board is finished and ready for the family games and fun to begin!