I have to admit in all my years, I’ve never heard of “Yardzee”. How is that even possible? I feel like I’ve let my fam down. Countless cookouts, BBQ’s, outdoor birthday parties, camping trips and holiday adventures and we’ve never played Yardzee!? I’m nothing if not a lot bummed by the thought of it all.
Our family enjoys outdoor gatherings and we always bring out everything we can think of to entertain the masses, volleyball, horseshoes and of course, “Washers,” our family’s go-to outdoor game. Well, after a recent mini vacay that ended with a road trip through Waco, Texas to see the Magnolia Market, all my daughter had been talking about were Chip and Joanne’s lawn games. More specifically, Cornhole! She wanted us to make our own Cornhole game. So, off to Pinterest I went to research measurements for the game and of course every lawn game ever invented popped up and low and behold, I laid my eyes on Yardzee for the first time and to my surprise it popped-up over and over again. How have I missed this craze?
New to me, I was instantly excited and felt this could be easily created. And, I was not wrong, it’s definitely easy to make, but can get time consuming.
All you’ll need is one to two 4X4’s from your local hardware store, depending on how many dice you want. We chose to make enough dice for everyone to have their own, but you could easily share and take turns. We decided to make enough for a 6 person game.
A 4X4 isn’t exactly 4 inches, it’s more like 3.75″. So, we placed a mark at 3.75 inches and used a chop-saw to cut the wood; after the first one we used the block as a guide for the rest. That was the easy part! We then used a palm sander to sand all sides and rounded off the edges to match the factory edges. That was very time consuming, but not as time consuming as adding the dots.
After the blocks were nice and smooth we wiped them down with a damp cloth and then sealed with a clear Polyurethane. At this time you could paint or add some fun colors if you choose, but we were going for a more natural look. So, we just used the Poly. We let the blocks dry overnight.
Endless Dots: We looked into several ways to add the dots/circles to our dice. Some people drilled holes, but we wanted to spread out the work amongst a few people. Some used vinyl sticker sheets and a hole punch, but we figured even the stickers for outdoor use would eventually peel back, especially with damp grass and dirt. Some painted the dots, but the OCD side of me figured that would get frustrating very quickly. So, I landed on using Sharpies. They worked like a charm. We used nickles to trace the perfect size dots and then used a Sharpie to fill them in.
The Number Pattern: All opposite sides should add up to 7. So, 1 will go opposite 6, 2 opposite 5, 3 opposite 4, you get the idea!
Added Fun: I created a “Yardzee” scoreboard in Photoshop (using Yahtzee as an example) and then had it printed at Staples for about $3.50. I then framed it in a poster frame from Walmart so we could use a dry-erase marker and use it over and over again. I used a two-part magnet and hot glued one side to the marker and one side directly to the poster board, to keep track of the marker. Also, in making the scoreboard, I left off the bonus point lines and the lines to add upper and lower sections and just streamlined the categories.
Buckets: The blocks are a handful, but honestly even my 7 year old niece was able to pick them up and roll them on the ground; however, adding a galvanized bucket for each player to carry their dice around and then use the bucket to roll their own dice was an AWESOME thing and super cute!
I see our fam using this game for years to come!
Now, go build your own outdoor family Yardzee game! You’ll be happy you did!