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Yard Dice

May 19, 2016
Older Adults / Seniors
Young Adult
Advance Planning

At the library, 4-by-4 boards were measured into 3.5-inch sections (since a 4-by-4 is actually 3.5-by-3.5) and then cut using a chop saw. (Yes, this happened at the library; some days, "other assigned duties" require that I bring my chop saw to the library).

Sets of five blocks were cut for an estimated 12 participants. Paints and brushes were assembled. Tables were covered with newspaper and cardboard boxes to protect the tables from denting, paint spills and dust from sanding.


We featured this program in our email newsletter; we also print the newsletter and have it available at the library. We also post our programs on our Facebook page. This post was "boosted" and reached about 4,300 people. We also make up posters for our events and put them up around town.

Budget Details

With a very tight budget in general, we had about $50 budgeted for this. We used paint and brushes left over from other programs, and even the 4-by-4s were leftovers from a gardening project. I brought in sandpaper from home, so the actual cost ended up being $0.

If you were planning to do this in the future, I would ask builders, home improvement stores, or lumber yards if they had scrap 4-by-4s they could donate to you. Additionally, see if your local tech center would be willing to cut the boards for you if you don't have power tools or aren't handy with them.

Day-of-event Activity

We had one staff member help people get started and set up the table. We did this program in the library so staff could work the desk and also help participants (as is often required for us). Set-up included covering the table, setting out the paints, brushes, paper plates and paper towels, as well as the blocks of wood.

Program Execution

We had all 12 spots filled and got people started as soon as they came in. (Some people came in a bit later than others.) Sanding was a challenge for some people as they hadn't ever sanded before. People had to be reminded that they need to apply thin layers of paint for even coverage and to keep from dripping (and to allow fast drying). We also printed out dice layouts so people would know how the pips were to be applied. We used wine corks to "paint" the dots onto the blocks. 

Watch a video demonstration of how to make yard dice.


Be sure to find someone who likes tools! Ask for donations! And if you have a local builder with lots of scrap, see if they want to donate/sponsor the event.

Short Title
Yard Dice

Participants signed up to sand, paint and decorate their set of five "dice" — blocks of wood that had been pre-cut by staff — for an oversized game of Yahtzee. Once finished, they could take them home to use. Our goal was to host a multi-generational program at the library that would encourage continued multi-generational interactions all summer long.

Job Functions
Resources and Program Starters
Slideshow Images
  • Participants make life-sized Yahtzee pieces

Residents in a small Michigan town made oversized Yahtzee pieces that they could use all summer long.