Our spring weather has been cuckoo here in Vancouver this year. One day it will pour, the next day it with be bright and beautiful, and the day after it will rain again. I can’t wait for summer when we get to experience more than 1 day of sunshine in a row! We are making the most of the sunny days and getting outside to work on fun projects and to play as a family! On the rainy days we have been planning our summer vacations, thinking ahead and playing lots of board and dice games. We can’t wait for a June, July and August packed full of camping trips!
Does your family camp? I used to camp when I was a kid with my family, and my husband did the same with his family. Both of us stopped camping in our late teens, and we had never gone camping together until last year! As soon as we set up camp at our first campground we were hooked. We took 5 camping trips last summer as a family! Being outdoors, connecting with nature, hiking, campfires, s’mores, hanging out at a picnic table eating good food and playing fun games… What’s not to love about camping?
Last year, two of our camping trips required travel via ferry to get to our destination. We always bring games on board with us to keep ourselves entertained during the sailing. We also keep an eye out on what other passengers are playing because we love to discover new games. Over and over again we kept seeing families playing a game with brightly colored dice. Each person had ten of one color and would roll the dice fast and furiously, eventually yelling “TENZI!!!”
The Hubs and I looked the game up right away, read what the fun was all about and ordered ourselves a four set of dice. Within months we bought a second set of dice… Everyone we introduced TENZI to loved it and wanted to play with us! Dice for four people just wasn’t enough!
The most basic way to play TENZI is simple– everyone starts out with 10 dice, your roll your dice as fast as you can until they all have landed with the same number showing. Each time you roll, you are allowed to set aside any dice that match your desired number. When all ten of the dice show the same number, you shout “Tenzi!” Obviously, speed is key here, but there is also a big dose of luck involved.
You can also purchase a card set that has 77 additional ways to play Tenzi. It has ideas ranging from making a barnyard noise after each roll, to stacking your dice in a pyramid and having to start over if the pyramid topples!
TENZI has quickly become my families favorite game. My kids want to take it everywhere with us and while I indulge with most places, I’m always worried that the dice will get lost when we go to the park or the beach. I’m afraid a dice or two will get lost in the sand or the grass never to be seen again.
What’s a crafty girl to do when she’s afraid that she’s going to lose small dice from her favorite game while playing outside? Make a bigger wooden set for outdoor play!
Last summer, everyone I know was making Yard Yahtzee games, so I decided that this summer (and every summer that follows) will become the summer of Yard Tenzi!
I started dreaming about this project over the winter, going through the logistics in my head. I knew that the wooden TENZI dice needed to be painted in bright and beautiful colors. Rust-oleum Spray Paint originally came to mind as the perfect paint for this project! Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover Paint comes in 50 beautiful colors so each family member can pick a color for their dice that they love. It’s easy to use, dries fast, has a durable finish, and the angle spray feature lets you spray paint in any direction allowing you to paint 5 sides of the dice without having to move them!
The coverage is phenomenal! I could have gotten away with spraying each die and bucket with only one coat each, but decided to do a second coat just to be safe. After I burned all the circles for the dots using a word burning tool, I gave the dice a final coat of protection by spraying them down with a clear coat of Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover Paint. One can of each color is more than enough to paint each set of dice, a bucket for the dice to go in and have lots of paint left for future projects. One can of the clear gloss was more than enough to spray all 40 TENZI dice and the buckets.
My whole family got in on the fun of making these, and we are so pleased with how they turned out. While they were a bit time intensive, the project could be broken down into smaller tasks and broken up over a few weekends. Believe me, your family will love their dice and be thrilled to play a game that they made with their own two hands!
Ready to make your own set of DIY Outdoor Yard Tenzi Dice Game? Read on for my tutorial!
DIY Outdoor Yard Tenzi Dice Game Tutorial
-One 2X2X8 piece of lumber (This should be enough to make approximately 60 dice or 6 sets of dice)
-Optional: Electric sander
-1 bucket for each set of dice (I used these Socker Bucket/Plant Pots from Ikea)
–Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover Paint, 1 colored paint for each set of dice (We used Sun Yellow, Key Lime, Magenta and Aqua)
-Wood Burning Tool (this is the one I have)
–Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover Paint in clear– Available in Gloss, Semi-Gloss, Matte and Satin depending on your preference
Step 1: Purchase your wood and have it cut. I purchased my wood at a chain hardware store and talked to them about cutting it for me. They usually have a cut limit, but when I told them what I was making they said that they would be happy to do it for me. I asked them if it was common practice for them to make this exception and they said as long as you go in during the week when they aren’t too busy that they are happy to do it for free. Lumber shrinks as it dries, so wood that starts out 2X2 usually shrinks down to approximately 1.5X1.5. Make sure to measure the diameters of the wood before it is cut. You want to cut the wood in the same length blocks as they measure in width. My finished blocks are 1.5X1.5X1.5. Alternatively, you can cut the wood yourself at home.
Step 2: Your wood is going to be rough after cutting it, and no one wants to get slivers so you are going to want to sand your blocks. An electric sander will make quick work of this project, but sanding manually is a good way to get kids involved in the process. The Hubs came up with the genius idea of putting a group of dice in a vice and sanding them all at once, one side at a time.
Step 3: Once all of the blocks are sanded comes the real fun! Spray painting! Remove the handles from your pails, go outside or into a well ventilated area and start spraying your buckets and blocks! I laid a big piece of cardboard in my driveway and then had 4 medium pieces of cardboard (1 for each color) that I laid each color of dice and bucket on top of. I was able to easily slide each piece of cardboard to the side with the dice on it to dry. I covered each set of dice and bucket with 2 coats of Rust-oleum spray paint.
Step 4: Once your dice are dry you are ready for the most time consuming part of the project– The dice dots! I thought long and hard about how to do this part of the project and I still think that burning the dots is the best way to make the nicest looking dots that are going to last. You are probably going to want to divide this part of the project up into multiple sessions burning the holes in 10 dice at a time. I wanted my dice dots to be consistent with real dice, to do this remember that opposite side of the dice add up to the number 7– so 1 is on the opposite side of 6, 2 on the opposite side of 5 and 3 on the opposite side of 4. Make sure you wear a ventilation mask when burning the dice dots so that you aren’t inhaling the smoke.
Step 5: Once your dice dots are all burned spray Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover Paint in clear on your dice and buckets and leave to dry one last time. 24 hours later put the handles back on the buckets, toss the dice in the coordinating color pail and your all set to play Tenzi!
I hope your family has as much fun making and playing with your DIY Outdoor Yard Tenzi Dice Game as mine does! I hope you all have a happy summer full of lots of creative adventures!
Did you enjoy this post? I shared a lot of “behind the scenes” moments of making this project on my Instagram Stories. I often give sneak peeks of projects I’m working on. I’d love for you to follow me at @HelloCreativeCrystal.
Disclosure: Thank you to Rust-oleum for working with me on this post. As with every article on Hello Creative Family, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own!
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Tell me… What are your family’s favorite games? Do you enjoy camping? What family project would you like to see us make next?
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