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