Learning Games with Dice

This post is written by contributing writer Becky @ This Reading Mama.

photo of Learning Games with Dice

Learning through games is a great way to make learning meaningful for kids.  No matter the age of the child or the subject being taught, sometimes a good game just “hits the spot”.  Not only are games fun, but they are usually a two for one, meaning you can cover a lot of learning objectives at one time; a definite bonus for the brain.

One of my favorite manipulatives for learning games is dice because they are open-ended, fitting into every content area, fun for kids, and can be played with very little preparation.

“Drilling” Doubles with Dice

Take, for example, this dice game my son (a 1st grader) and I played in math with two dice.  Because I knew drilling with worksheets and flashcards would have been met with resistance, I needed a way to “drill” his doubles (1+1, 2+2…6+6), but in a sneaky and fun way.  {By the way, there were several other math objectives I snuck into my lesson, like double digit addition, comparing numbers, and clock skills.}


  • 2 dice
  • dry erase board/marker (or pencil and paper)
  • a clock or timer
  • 2 players

To Prepare: Draw a vertical line down the middle of your dry erase board (or paper).  One side is labeled as “Player 1” and the other side as “Player 2”.

Objective: To roll as many doubles as you can in one minute’s time to get the highest sum.

How to Play:

1. Player 1 takes the two dice and has exactly one minute to roll as many doubles as he can.  If he rolls a double, he shouts out the two numbers (for example: “4 plus 4”).

photo of adding up sums for dice game

2. Player 2 is the time and record keeper.  When player 1 shouts out the two numbers making up the double (4 plus 4), player 2 quickly adds those two numbers and writes down the sum (8).  Player 2 does this every time player 1 rolls a double.  {Only double sums are recorded.}

3. After one minute is over, players work together to add up the sum of all the doubles rolled.  Once this is calculated, they switch roles.

photo of calculating sums from dice game

4. The player with the highest sum after their minute wins that round.

5. Players can decide how many rounds they want to play.

Variations: Use this same concept to work on multiplication by 2 or add another die to make it more difficult.

More Simple Dice Games


Becky Spence is a homeschooling mama to four little blessings. She is passionate about teaching, specifically literacy. She is the author of This Reading Mama, where she shares reading and writing activities as well as free literacy curricula and printables. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.