Old Fashioned Lawn Game

This summer for Canada Day some of my family headed out to our local pioneer village. We had a lovely time looking in all the old buildings, sitting through a turn-of-the-century school lesson and playing some of the old-fashioned lawn games they had sitting out on the green. One that we all loved was made up of hoops and sticks. You use the sticks to toss the hoop (detailed instructions – in just three easy steps! – are at the end). I have since learned that this game is called the Game of Graces because it was supposed to teach young ladies how to be more graceful. However, it got pretty competitive between the uncles when we played!

Supplies to Make the Hoop:

  • Cross stitch frame (One frame makes two hoops. You only need one hoop for a game. I made two sets, one with pink ribbon and one with green ribbon. The one with green ribbon has the cross stitch tightening mechanism. The pink one is just a wooden hoop.)
  • Ribbon (about 4 feet per hoop)
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Lighter or matches (not pictured)

Instructions :

  1. Using a hot glue gun wrap and glue your ribbon around the mechanism on the cross stitch frame. If you’re only making one set of this game you can just use the frame that has no mechanism.

2. Continue wrapping the ribbon diagonally around your hoop, thoroughly gluing it down as you go.

3. When you’re all the way around your hoop tie the two ribbon ends together. Tie one knot, put a dab of glue on the knot and tie another knot around the glue. This should keep your knots extra secure.

4. Use a lighter or matches to melt the end of the ribbon to keep it from fraying.

Supplies to Make the Sticks:

  • 1/4 inch dowel
  • Mitre box
  • Sand Paper

Instructions for Making the Sticks:

  1. My dowel came in 2 foot lengths. Since this would be too unwieldy for the game I had to cut it down. I thought 18 inches would be good, but a bit shorter would work too. I used a mitre box to cut my dowel, but you can probably use whatever sort of saw you’ve got. If you’ve never used a mitre box before you’ll love it! It’s so easy to measure and line stuff up. Such an awesome way to saw.

2. Sand the dowel. I sanded the ends because they were really rough from sawing them. While I was at it I decided to sand the rest of the dowel. This was likely not absolutely necessary, but it felt a lot softer afterwards and only took a minute.

Get Out and Play!!!

How to Play this Game in 3 Easy Steps

*Disclaimer: I think this is how you play. There was no one there giving instructions. This method works really well and was so much fun. We played for ages!

  1. While facing your partner a short distance apart, put both sticks through the hoop.
  2. Quickly pull the sticks apart. This will send the hoop soaring to your partner.
  3. Your partner must catch the hoop with their stick(s).

For added fun use two hoops at a time!

I hope you like this old fashioned game! I threw both of my sets together in less than an hour, and it wasn’t that expensive, either. The cross stitch hoops I got for about $2.50 using my Michael’s 40% off coupon, the ribbon I got at Dollarama for a couple bucks and the dowel was $8. A very inexpensive game, easy to take places, and fun for so many ages. So go make one quick before the snow comes!


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