Make Your Own Yardzee Game


Make a Yardzee Outdoor Game

Make Your Own Yardzee game!

Do you want your kids to spend more time outside? Do you want them to spend more time outside playing games? I may have an answer for you: Yardzee! You can easily make your own YardZee game in just a day, and you’ll be ready to play!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s way ok if you aren’t the DIY kind of person. You don’t have to do a single thing except click this link to buy a set. For those who live for want to create their own, keep on reading.

There are so many different games you can play with this set, Yardzee is just the first. There are SO MANY other games you can play with this set, but I’ll talk about that in a bit.

Make a Yardzee Outdoor Game

Supplies Needed to Make Yardzee

5 Gallon Bucket
You are going to need some sort of large container to roll & dice, we prefer a 5 gallon bucket with a lid, a lid is not required but it helps for storage purposes. You don’t need to use a bucket, you can use any kind of large, lightweight container.

Wooden Dice
*You can skip the next steps if you use these inflatable or foam dice

If you have the tools you can make your own, but you can buy premade cubes that make life easier. We have 3.5″ inch dice and find them to be the perfect size for a 5 gallon bucket, but the 2″ blocks will work and are hella cheaper. Plus, if you use 2″ blocks you can use a smaller bucket. (You can also make your own from a wooden post purchased at a lumber store, but yeah, I wasn’t going to do that.)

Paint
As seen above, our dice are stained. The stain makes them look nice but it’s not necessary. You’ll want to use an outdoor acrylic paint, a 2 oz bottle is more than enough. Also, a sealant is a really good idea until you want to continually re-paint them.

Directions
You can’t play YardZee if you don’t know how. It’s totally ok though, there are directions and printable score cards all over the internet. Click here for directions and here for score cards.

How to Make Your YardZee Game

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YardZee is quite possibly one of the easiest games to make. It only takes a few steps, the cost isn’t too outrageous, and you your kids will have a ball playing it. This is the perfect first game for kids to make, and there is just as much educational value in that.

1. Turn each block into a die. Use paint colors that is vibrant enough to see from a short distance. Seal the die once they have dried completely.

2. Put the die in the bucket.

3. Have fun!

Pro Tip: if you want to get fancy and label your bucket, you can find stickers galore on Etsy for a couple of bucks.

What Makes Yardzee Educational?

Full-Body Motor Control
Your child has to use their entire body to play YardZee, but the game is still adaptable enough to accomodate players of differing abilities. This is a great game for getting the kids outside and moving!

Math, Math, and More Math
Number recognition, counting, multiplying, comparison, recording scores, probability, speed drills)

Good Sportsmanship 
Nothing gets kids riled up like a raucous game, especially when the game is taken outside! It can be very easy for players to engage in “trash talk” during games like this, making this the best time to remind players of appropriate behavior and treatment of their opponents. This includes graceful losing.

Ways to Adapt YardZee

1. To prevent sensory overload switch to foam, inflatable, or printable dice.

2. Use only one section of the YardZee score card to accommodate & improve skills in players with higher attention needs.

3. Turn the game into a math-only game by using the dice to divide, multiply, compare numbers, etc. You can also roll the die to spot prime numbers, or even convert improper fractions to mixed fractions. The math possibilities, endless.

4. Use giant foam polyhedral dice to make the math more complex. You can try inventing a new scorecard too!

5. Create even bigger games! 
Players can create a Candyland-style game using sidewalk chalk. Don’t forget those hazard spaces! You can integrate your ideas from idea #2 into this idea, easily.

6. Use for PE! Creative thinking, amirite?
Using just one die you can create a super easy exercise routine. Roll a 1 and do 6 push-ups, that kind of thing.

Meg Grooms, Gameschooling at HomeschoolGameschool.com

Meg Grooms (she/her) is a decades-long secular homeschooler, mother of many, writer, Florida ex-pat, and all-around swell gal. Meg & her partner have raised their kids all over the USA, finally settling on Southern California. For now, anyhow.

Meg blogs about Gameschooling, Educational Gaming, and the Gaming Community at Homeschool Gameschool. Meg is available for speaking engagements, workshops, and gameschooling classes. If you’re interested in scheduling a workshop, review, ad space, or just saying hi –> Click here. Happy Gameschooling!

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