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{Lawn Games} DIY Yard Yahtzee

These DIY yard dice are an easy craft for kids and make a great family Yahtzee game night!

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These DIY Yard Dice make playing games like yahtzee a fun outdoor family activity for the summer!

We love having family game nights and as the kids get older it is getting so much more fun as we can do more activities and play a broader range of games.  With the summer months heating up and the evening being absolutely gorgeous, I figured it was about time to move game night outside!  Yard dice are easy to make and so economical costing only about $5 for the whole project!  The can be used for Yahtzee or a whole smattering of other games.

My little guy loves to help with ANY project mom is working on, and I knew this would be the perfect one to get him involved with!  It is one part creative and one part active, and all FUN!  This project is a part of the Summer Survival Series for Mom’s of Boys on The Joys of Boys, which features a new project, craft, or activity to keep busy boys entertained all summer long!

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How to Make Your Own Yard Yahtzee Set

So let’s get this project started!  What you will need:

  • Wooden 4×4 (approx 2 feet)
  • Acrylic Craft Paint – We used DecoArt
  • Round sponge brush
  • Sealant

You will need 6 wooden cubes for this project.  I found the easiest and most economical way to get them was to cut down a wooden 4×4.  You can find one easily at your local Home Depot.  To cut the cubes you have a few options.  First some stores have the ability to cut them for you.  In that case make friends with the guy in the wood department and keep all that saw dust in the store!  If they don’t have an electric saw to cut them, they will always have a regular saw you can make cuts with for free in the stores.  Or if you have a saw at home, you can cut them there.

When you cut the 4×4 into cubes, it is important to measure the actual width of the wood first.  A 4×4 isn’t actually 4″.  The wood has experienced shrinkage while it was waiting for you to buy it, and so it is probably closer to 3.5″x3.5″  So after measuring the actual size of your 4×4, use that measurement to cut the length of the wood into cubes.

Now we get to the part where our little guys can help out!  The next step will be to paint your cubes.  I let my kiddo pick out his own color palate and he went with a bunch of bright colors!  If you would rather you can make them all matching or even use stain instead to give them a more natural look.  Whatever color scheme you choose, use a foam brush to cover each side with the paint and let dry.  You will probably have to come back and do the bottom after the other sides have dried.

Once ever thing is painted and nice and dry, we will use our round foam brush and a contrasting acrylic paint color to paint the dots onto our dice.  You can find the round sponge brush in the stencil section of any craft store, mine was 1 inch in diameter.

These DIY Yard Dice make playing games like yahtzee a fun outdoor family activity for the summer!

Pour a bit of your paint color onto a paper plate and dip the round sponge brush into the paint.  Dab it off a bit to make sure it is evenly coated and then let your little one use it to dab round dots on each side of each wooden block to make the dice.  Since my little guy is still pretty young, I used a pencil to make marks on each side of the dice to show him exactly where his dots should go.  It worked perfectly, letting him feel like he was doing the project independently, and we ended up with dice that had the right number of dots on each side!

These DIY Yard Dice make playing games like yahtzee a fun outdoor family activity for the summer!

Once the dots dry use an outdoor sealer or polyurethane coating to make sure that the blocks will hold up outside.  This might be something that mom or dad needs to do if the fumes are a concern.

Once it is all dried again you are ready to play!  I find for little hands you can throw each dice separately, or you can use a plastic tub like we did to pile them in and them roll them all out together.

If you love the idea, but don’t want to make your own, or want to skip cutting your own wood, here are some great options on Amazon to cut down on the DIY part of the project:

These DIY Yard Dice make playing games like yahtzee a fun outdoor family activity for the summer!

I think these yard dice will make some great fun mixed with a fantastic learning opportunity for numbers this summer.  If your little one is still a bit too young for Yahtzee, there are all sorts of other creative games they can play.  My little guy liked to roll the dice and then put the matching numbers together.  He would reroll until all of the dice had a match.  The sky is the limit for what you can play!  I would love to hear in the comments if there is another fun game you play with your yard dice!

These DIY Yard Dice make playing games like yahtzee a fun outdoor family activity for the summer!

To see more summer fun on The Pinning Mama click here, or join us on Facebook and Pinterest to get the first look at what we are up to and what family fun we cook up next! And don’t forget to stop by The Joys of Boys to keep your boys entertained all summer long!

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  1. says

    First, I had no idea that 4 x 4 wood isn’t necessarily 4 x 4. Shows how little I know about buying wood! Second, if one doesn’t have the ability to cut the wood, I wonder if you could make these with foam cubes. Painting them might be a little more challenging, but they would be lightweight if it worked out. SUCH a cute idea!!

    • says

      I know! I remember when I first figured that out. Who would have thought… I think foam cubes would be awesome especially for indoors! The wood is a bit more durable if you want to play and store them outdoors. If you go the foam route, Floracraft sells a compound you can put on the foam to smooth it out. I bet that would be perfect for making the dice!

  2. says

    This is so cool. My grandson would love these. He would probably hit my granddaughter with them…playing of course. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. says

    Great idea! I played Yahtzee as a kid but I must teach my own kids to play and this wold be a clever way to get them outside as well.

    • says

      It is super fun! We can have dinner outside and play games all evening. It is a fun way to let kids get energy out without being too crazy!

  4. Kelly says

    We made two sets and can’t wait to play this weekend at the campground! But, we only made sets of 5 blocks, since that is the number of dice required to play Yahtzee. Was there a specific reason you made a set of 6?


    Just bought a set of these from a yardsale site. Paid $40 and they were wood colored. I like the painted ones the best. We had a fun time playing with them. I wondered why there are 6 blocks here instead of 5????

  6. Dawn says

    I’m sorry but you have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to lumber. Let me inform you.
    A tree is cut down and cut into a log it goes to the saw mill, the saw mill then cuts it into lumber, this is the first cut it is called rough cut lumber. Then each piece of the log goes through planers which creates the smooth piece of lumber you buy in the store. Since lumber is from trees and trees wick water and nutrients up and down their trunk the logs are wet (not soaking wet) while they had been dried before being milled they lumber is still wet (again not wringing wet but enough so that it would warp). So the pieces of newly milled lumber are stacked and dried for a proper amount of time. Then they are sold and bought and cut up again (apparently for yard dice).
    So in this process. The rough cut lumber is an exact measurement of say 4×4. When it is planed about 1/4 inch comes off each side. Making it 3.5×3.5. When it dries it has a little more shrinkage but not much, this is mostly all the water leaving it.

    • Susan says

      Then why were older pieces of wood (2×4) actually 2 inches by four inches. The same reason a pound of coffee isn’t a pound any more.

    • julie says

      Wow! If you left off that first sentence of your comment it’d sound so much nicer! Instead it just sounds condescending & most won’t read the rest.
      You can be right & be nice. Or you can be right & be annoying and condescending.

  7. Kirsten says

    The reason a 4×4 is not exactly 4″ x 4″ is NOT because the wood shrinks before you buy it. It’s because the rough cut was 4″ x 4″, and then when they make the board straight and smooth, it’s about 1/4″ off each side or so, resulting in 3.5″ x 3.5″


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