It’s time to get rolling with this fun collection of ten math dice games for kids.
The following ten math dice game ideas all use dice – from one or more regular six-sided dice to those which have a greater number of sides. Be sure to keep a selection of dice in your math resource kit.
10 Math Dice Games for Kids
1. Addition or subtraction
This activity can be easily adapted depending upon the ability of the children you are working with.
Start with two dice and roll them simultaneously. Write down the calculation (either addition or subtraction) and solve it. If you are using two six-sided dice, this will limit you to working within 12, which is ideal for younger children. The addition of one or two ten-sided dice will provide more scope as children develop their problem solving abilities.
You can also challenge older children by having them create two- or three-digit numbers to add/subtract by rolling the dice more than once.
For more simple number facts practice, check out our Uno Flip Math Game.
2. Mental addition or subtraction
It’s easy to practice mental addition and subtraction using a single die. Give the child a starting number, e.g. 37, and tell them if they are going to be adding or subtracting. They should roll the die and add/subtract that from the starting number. Then keep repeating the rolling then adding/subtracting process. This is an excellent way to practice a really important skill.
3. More than, less than, equal to
Grab a couple of wooden craft sticks, straws or draw the symbols on pieces of paper. Roll two dice and place them either side of the symbol to form the correct number sentence, e.g. 4 > 2.
Tip: Remind children which of the > and < symbols to use by telling them the symbol resembles a crocodile’s mouth and that the crocodile will always eat the number of highest value. Try to avoid saying biggest because children may then look at the size of written digits rather than their value.
To challenge older children, use more digits as you did with the addition and subtraction game above.
4. Place value: The dustbin game
This game is a superb way to help kids get a firm grip on place value. We have included a free printable game record sheet for this dice game that can be downloaded at the bottom of the post.
The idea is to create the number with the largest value. Roll the die (a 0-9 die is best for this) and write the number on your paper, choosing to place it in the tens column, the ones column or the dustbin. Repeat twice more.
Chat about the number the child has created and whether they made the right choice regarding the digit they placed into the dustbin.
For students more experienced with place value, the game can also be played with an added hundreds columns and thousands column.
You can also make this a decimal game or change the criteria by challenging students to make the greatest value even number. There really are a wealth of possibilities with this one math dice game!
Playing it along with them is fun for adults too – it can definitely be a game for the whole family. Award one point to the person who makes the highest value number each round. First family member to ten points is the winner.
Give your child two (or three) dice and have roll each one and line them up as a two- (or three-) digit number. Then ask what would the number be rounded to the nearest ten or hundred?
You can use more dice/digits but remember to ask about rounding to the nearest ten, even when the result is a number of greater value. This provides a simple but effective way to practise the skill of rounding.
6. Times tables
Often, there are one or two sets of times tables that a child finds just that little bit tricky to master. This dice game provides a really simple way to provide some all-important extra practice. For this game, choose one set of times tables that your child is finding difficult. Have them roll a ten- or twelve- sided dice and give the answer of the number rolled multiplied by the number you are focusing on. For example, if 6 is tricky for them, they roll a 4 and answer 4 x 6.
It’s a similar way of practising times tables as the Once Through the Deck game included in our Math Card Games article.
There are so many ways you can use dice to support the understanding of fractions. One way is to attempt to create the greatest value fraction. I often say, “The greatest value fraction is the fraction of the cake you’d like when you’re feeling really hungry!”
Start with two 1-6 dice to keep it reasonably simple. Roll the dice twice and then twice again to create two fractions, e.g. 2/5 and 3/4. Use the ready-prepared circles on the printable record sheet to shade in both fractions – which is the greatest one? Which slice of cake would you rather eat?!
We have included a free printable Fraction Dice Game sheet for this game – download a copy at the bottom of the post.
8. Area and perimeter
Roll two dice and use the numbers to draw a rectangle of those proportions onto some squared paper. Your child can then calculate the perimeter and area of the shape they created.
Alternatively, you could roll two die to generate a two-digit number, e.g. 2 and 1 = 21. Can the child draw a shape with an area of 21? What about a perimeter? Would it always be a quadrilateral?
We have included a free printable Area & Perimeter Game sheet for this game – download a copy at the bottom of the post.
9. Co-ordinates: Battleships
Just like a standard game of Battleship, except your guess is generated by the numbers you roll on two dice. It can be fun… as well as a little frustrating when you are sure you know where you enemy’s ship is hidden! Find out more about this fun game, including a printable game sheet >> Math Games for Kids: Co-ordinates Battleship Game.
10. Calculating change
Using a set amount, such as a $10 note, set your child the challenge of mentally calculating how much change they would need if their shopping came to the amount generated by a roll of the dice – roll a dice three times to create the price, for example, 4 5 6 would be $4.56.
You can also use this as an opportunity to decide the most efficient way of giving the $5.44 change by having money ready for them to use. Fun and useful!
Of course, there are countless other ways in which you can use dice to support mathematical learning. I hope these ten math dice games get your students excited and engaged to learn more.
Download & Print our Math Dice Games Printable Resources
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For more math fun:
Math Games Books for Kids