Dice Games to Play with your Kids this Summer
Do you ever have board games that have lost their pieces so now you can’t really play the game anymore but you still keep them because maybe you’ll want to use those game pieces for something else? We think alike! Having extra dice laying around, we thought, we can use these to create new activities.
Dice games are easy, fun, and can be played anywhere! Expose kids to the wonder of probability, improve social skills, and help them learn patience, taking turns and good sportsmanship. Dice games are a fun way to put math calculation skills to use, improve visual perception and manual dexterity. Similar to playing board games, it’s also easy to play these games with 2 people or a large group.
Play is the best way for children to learn! While we’re getting them to move their bodies, we’re also going to have them use their brains. Support younger kids in strengthening number recognition, addition, and subtraction as well as learning shapes and colors. Older children can practice reading, comprehension, and higher level math skills such as multiplication and division.
Dice games also promote strategy, cognitive and social skill development. Quick thinking, problem solving, and organizational opportunities are all actively engaged during game play. Competition, collaboration, creativity, and group bonding connect players to heighten each play experience.
Play these games anywhere: In your living room, backyard, or even on vacation!
To make your own dice:
- Use the provided cut-out for your number die as well as your activity and color die. Paper, cardboard, or an old cereal box work great.
- Cut the die out along its outside border.
- Fold the die along each of the six sides (along the lines).
- The tabs on the blank one will help when taping the die together, you’ll tuck them inside.
- Tape each edge to another edge to hold the cube together.
- The bigger the paper, the bigger the die!
5 Dice Games to Play with your Kids this Summer
1. Dice Scavenger Hunt – (Improves number and letter recognition, reaction time, decision making, agility, and playful movement)
- Have one die as a regular numbered die and one die with letters on it.
- Roll the dice!
- The letter die will tell you the first letter of the items for which to search. The number die will tell you how many of those objects need to be collected.
- For example, if you roll a 3 and a “C,” then you will need to collect 3 things that begin with the letter “C.”
- Keep changing the letters on the die to add more rounds.
- Use colors instead of letters for younger kids.
- Put the letter in a different part of the word for older kids. For example, make “C” be the 3rd letter in the word rather than the first.
- For more fun, add in a 3rd die
- The 3rd die is another letter die. You can choose to put this 2nd letter anywhere in the word. For example, if you roll a “C” as the first letter and an “E” as the 2nd letter, each item would need to start with a “C” and end with an “E.” If it’s too difficult, whoever brings back the most items would win the round (if you’re playing competitively).
- The 3rd die is a color die. So all the items you collect have to start with the letter from the letter die and then color rolled on the “color die.”
- The 3rd die is another number die. You can use this number to add or subtract (multiply or divide, depending on the age of your kids) from the first die. Or you can use it for time. So if you roll a “1,” players would only have 1 minute to collect as many items as possible
2. Color Dice Game (Improves running, jumping, balance, crawling, and body awareness)
- For this game, you will need 1 color die and items matching each color on the die (hula hoops, construction paper, spots, socks).
- Spread out the colored items around the room, backyard, or wherever you’re playing.
- Establish a “home” line for kids to start at and return to after each round.
- Roll the die and then move to the matching colored item.
- Begin with having kids place one hand on the color. If playing with multiple kids, wait for all kids to get to the color and then return to the “home” line.
- For example, if you roll red, then kids will move to the red object and place one hand on it.
- Change it up:
- Choose various ways to move to the colors (running, jump, hop, crawl, roll…)
- Choose different body parts to place on the color (elbow, knee, big toe, hip)
8. Increase the challenge for older kids:
- Choose more challenging ways to move to the colors (spin 3x first and then run, run or crawl backwards, bigger jumps).
- Make it competitive, whoever gets to the color first, wins.
- Instead of placing the color on the die, write the name of the color. For an even greater challenge write the color in a different color – for example, write the word “RED” using the color blue. This way you can challenge them to move to the color it reads or the color in which it is written.
3. Active Dice Game (Improves agility, leaping, galloping, skipping, striking)
- This game requires 2 dice, one numbered and one with various activities on each side.
- Fill the numbered die with age-appropriate activities (see below).
- Roll both dice. Perform the activity that comes on the movement die the number of times that come up on the number die. For example, if the number 3 comes on the number die and jumps comes up on the activity die, then 3 jumps would be completed.
- Can add a 3rd die that has direction options (up, down, left, right, rotate left, rotate right, foreword, backward) to change the activity without having to keep coming up with new actions.
- Activity die options for younger kids – use pictures of the actions so kids can “read” the die on their own.
- Jump on 2 feet
- Striking with pool noodle and scarf
- Bear crawl
- Crab walk
6. Activity die options for older kids – write the words so kids can also work on reading skills.
- Jump on 1 foot
- Striking with pool noodle and wiffle ball
- Duck walk
4. Create a game (Improves leadership, creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, and patience)
- Make at least 2 dice. One die will be the amount of the action you have to do (time, amount). One will be the die that tells you what movement to do.
- You can create a 3rd die for an added challenge.
- You can create a giant board game and move to different spaces after you do the action.
5. Dice Art Activity (Improves throwing, kicking, creativity, directionality, body awareness, laterality)
- This game requires 2 dice, number die and activity die, a large piece of paper or cardboard, paint.
- If you’ve been playing with us all summer, you may already have your canvas from the previous posts. If not, tape your paper to the wall or place it on the floor, or both.
- Roll both dice and perform the number provided on the number die of the movement given on the activity die.
- Choose any activity for that die that allows paint to splatter on the paper.
- Throw/Kick a ball through paint onto the paper
- Dib the Wiffle ball in the paint and hit it into the paper. If that’s too difficult, you can also dip noodle in paint and hit it against the paper.
- Use left hand only to paint
- Paint using your toes, elbow, knee…
- Decorate your masterpiece with other items that you may have to collect, such as flowers, dirt, or sticks
- Paint with your eyes closed