Due to the #stayhome order, my fiancé and I have been finding simple ways to spend time together that we hadn't considered prior to this pandemic. On warm, sunny days we sit outside in our front yard in our beach chairs with our bed tray that I bought from a thrift store specifically to have as a table for the beach. We spend our time playing games, strumming the guitar, working on a puzzle book, or hanging out to just be.
One of my favorite games to play when I want something to do but don't want to use much brain power is the game of Yahtzee. While playing one day recently, an idea came to me. What if Yahtzee could be enjoyed by preschoolers and their families?! So here you have it. Rules for Yahtzee with a preschooler.
Yahtzee is a game that uses five 6-sided dice and a pad of paper and pencil for each person participating. You can either purchase Yahtzee score sheets, create your own, or download my freebie. My freebie includes customized score sheets for each level that I have created for your preschooler.
Now, you can easily google the rules of Yahtzee. However, the rules that I provide here have been modified for your preschooler. I have broken the rules into different levels. Choose the level that best suits your preschooler's skill sets. As your preschooler improves, challenge him by leveling up.
You will find the basics of Yahtzee first followed by the modified rules. If you know the game, you may want to skip the paragraphs that are italicized as those will indicate the basic Yahtzee rules.
Here are the basics for any Yahtzee game. The goal of the game is to have the most points after thirteen rounds. When playing, each person gets up to three rolls per round. After the first and second roll, the person has the choice to keep all of the dice and stop rolling, some of the dice and roll again, or none of the dice and roll again. Once the player chooses to stop rolling or has rolled three times, he must choose an empty slot on the score sheet to mark down points. No slot may be used more than once per game.
Now, for the levels!
LEVEL 1: USE THE TOP HALF ONLY
In a regular game of Yahtzee, you have the top half of the score sheet with the numbers 1-6. When you choose to use a specific slot, you add up the face value of one the dice with the number you are using. For example, let's say you roll two 1's, two 3's, and one 5. You could put "2" in the 1's slot, "6" in the 3's slot, or "5" in the 5's slot.
Choose which number will be used based on the outcome of the rolls. Count the total number of dice with that number, and write that down in the appropriate slot. For example, with the previous scenario, your child can choose to write "2" in the 1's slot, "2" in the 3's slot or "1" in the 5's slot as long as the chosen slot has not yet been used.
At the end of six rounds, add up for the total.
LEVEL 2: USE THE BOTTOM HALF ONLY
In a regular game of Yahtzee, you have the bottom of the score sheet with the options for different combinations of numbers. "Three of a Kind" and "Four of a Kind" allow you to add up the face value of all of your dice as long as you meet the required number of same numbered dice. A "Full House" (worth 25 points) can be used when you have two of one number and three of another number. A "Small Straight" (worth 30 points) can be used when you have four consecutive numbers. A "Large Straight" (worth 40 points) can be used when you have five consecutive numbers. Chance is used when you either can't or do not want to use any other slot. This allows you to add up the face value of all of the dice.
The slots will be the same, but the values for each are modified.
Three of a Kind - Write the number that shows up on three dice.
Four of a Kind - Write the number that shows up on four dice.
Full House - Add the two different numbers. For example, if the outcome is two 2's and three 4's, that round would be worth 6 points.
Small Straight - 4 points
Large Straight - 5 points
Yahtzee - 10 points
Chance - Highest numbered die. For example, if the outcome is one 2, three 4's, and one 6, that round would be worth 6 points.
At the end of severn rounds, add up for the total.
LEVEL 3: USE THE ENTIRE SCORE SHEET
Combine both Level 1 and Level 2.
LEVEL 4: PLAY THE REAL GAME!
Challenge your child to now play the real game. So often do I witness parents underestimating their children's abilities because of the belief that they are too young. Trust me when I say that your child understands so much! Sure, it may take some time as your child learns the harder version. However, with your patience and energy, you can slowly teach your child this game that provides some pretty awesome skills throughout life!