If your house is anything like mine, you have at least one child who HATES MATH! Unfortunately this can greatly affect their ability to learn the math concepts set out before them. One way to make math more fun is to use dice for math.
Use Dice for Math
1. Highest Tower
Use any building material you want. Things like Legos, pennies, wooden blocks, popsicle sticks, and Keva Planks work well. Have players roll a pair of dice and add the two numbers. The player gets that number in building materials if the dice are added correctly and uses them to build a tower. Go through 10 or 15 rounds. The player with the tallest tower at the end wins. You can also choose to playing by subtracting.
2. Dice Wars
Based on the card game by the same name, this is a fun and easy dice game that can be modified to teach addition, subtraction and multiplication skills. Have each player roll one die. The player with the highest number goes first.
Each player rolls two dice. The numbers on both dice are added together to come up with an individual player’s score. The player with the highest scoring combination wins the round.
Winning rounds can be noted on a pad of paper with a tally mark under the winning player’s name, or with counters such as beads, rocks, or pennies.
Play a set number of rounds and have players add up their counter or tally marks at the end to come up with a winner.
Note: Play with one dice for younger children or more dice for a greater challenge. You can even practice place value skills by having players create a double-digit number from the rolled dice.
3. Math Vocabulary & Number Sense
This game requires the players to have the list to go by, or someone to call out the tasks. It can be fun to have someone player the “announcer” who will roll the dice and call out the directions. Large foam dice can add to the fun as well. Once the dice are rolled, the announcer calls out the task. Then the first person to show the right answer wins the point.
You can use scrap paper, chalk boards, or dry erase boards for each players work space. The “announcer” can keep the points tally on a piece of paper.
Some tasks to get you started:
- Write the sum in word form.
- What is the difference of the two numbers?
- Make a fraction using the lower digit as the numerator.
- What is ten more than the product of the two digits?
- Write the numbers between the two digits.
- Create the highest (or lowest) number you can.
Pig uses mental math. The goal of Pig is to be the first player to get to 100 (or any number you decide to set at the start of the game). You need a pair of dice, and paper and pencil for scoring.
The first player rolls the dice, calculates the sum (mentally), then rolls again if he or she wants to. The next sum is added to the first. The player can roll as often as s/he wants to before play goes to the next turn. However…
If a 1 comes up on one of the dice before the player decides to stop rolling, the player scores 0 for that round. The play goes to the next player. Or even worse, if a 1 comes up on both of the dice, the turn ends and the player’s entire total falls to 0.