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McCoy's Kid

If you’ve got some wood scraps and a kiddo or two, we’ve got a great way to spend the afternoon. Get your little builder working on DIY yard dice for some outside fun with our easy step-by-step instructions. With a little guidance from you, they’ll be terrific at painting, sanding and – best of all – playing! Plus, we’ve got some fun lawn game ideas.

Getting Started


Wooden yard dice are an easy DIY project that can be completed in just a few hours. Plus, there are several ways to make these yard dice truly your own creation. First things first, set up your workstation—even better if it’s outside. Make sure you have enough room to sand and paint. Lay down a drop cloth if you don’t want any tables getting messy.

For this project you will need:

  • 4x4 Treated Post (1)- We went with a treated post here to prevent rot and decay as these will be outdoor dice.
  • Medium grit sandpaper- You can also use a router for the edges and corners.
  • Paint- Any kind of craft acrylic paint works great here. You will also want a painter's palette or paper plate and some water to clean the brushes.
  • Paint brushes- These can be regular flat brushes as well as round sponge brushes from the craft store (or that junk drawer).
  • Circular saw- This is important to cut the posts evenly and quickly.
  • Drill with spade bit- This is optional for making the dots on the dice indented into the blocks.

How to Make the Dice


  1. The first step is for an adult. Cut the 4x4 post with your circular saw into five or six cubes of equal size (or a few sets of dice—an eight-foot post will make several sets of dice). 4x4 treated posts are actually 3 1/2 x 3 1/2, so the actual size of the dice will be 3 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches. Mark your cubes down the length of the post with a pencil for a guide before you cut. Measuring with a speed square is best.
  2. Next, the kids can join in at their workstation and sand the cubes' edges and corners down to rounded curves. This helps to remove any rough patches that would be irritating when playing.
  3. After the cubes have been sanded, it’s time for the base coat of paint. You can choose any color that will be light enough for the dot colors to be visible. We chose white. You can also choose to leave your dice a natural wood color or even stain them.
  4. When the cubes have dried, lightly sand the base paint for a distressed look, if you like.
  5. Now it’s time for the dots—also called “pips”. Use our dice dot template for help with the placement. Print out the template and wrap it around a cube. Use something sharp like a punch to make a small hole in the middle of the dot. You can also freehand the placement keeping in mind that the number of pips on every opposite face of the die equals the number seven.

    We added the dot on with a round paint brush, but you can even use a drill with a spade bit to make true dot holes and then paint them. Only drill down about a quarter to half an inch deep.

  6. After all the paint had dried, we then sanded the dot to match the distressed look of the face. You’re done and ready to begin playing!

Yard Dice Games for Afternoon Fun


  1. Yardzee is one of the most popular games to play with yard dice. If you've played Yatzee™, the rules and scorecard are the same just with bigger dice and maybe a change of playing location.
  2. Snake Eyes is a team game and great for younger kids. You will need something to mark out a circle (like a rope or Hula Hoop®) and decide on a place to throw from. You can make the distance as far or as close as you need. Each team tries to throw their dice into the circle and points are scored based on the number of dots facing up. The team with the most points win the game.

We hope you and your little builder have fun both making and playing with these easy DIY yard dice. Looking for other projects? Check out our other McCoy's Kid ideas for more afternoons of fun!