When kids are bored on a rainy day, tired of waiting or growing restless while the grown-ups tend to household tasks, give them some simple amusement with dice, a scratch pad and a pencil. Show them how to play games with easy objectives, rules and scoring so they can keep themselves occupied while practicing the cognitive, emotional and social skills dice games encourage.
This game is particularly handy when young children grow bored, restless or impatient while on the go. Simply instruct kids to pick a number between one and six, and then roll the die to see if the number comes out. If the number on the die matches the player’s chosen number, that player receives one point. Make the game more challenging for older kids by playing with two or three dice, and requiring kids to choose three numbers. Score one point for every correct guess. At the end of the game, tally the points to determine a winner, or assign point prices to a few small prizes that kids can cash their points in to receive.
Encourage children to create a collaborative work of abstract art drawn by a game of chance. Instead of scoring dice with a number system, use pictures and symbols instead. Establish a simple drawing, such as a face, a bug, an alien or a robot. Assign a part or feature to each number on the die, such as nose, antenna, and so on. Children take turns rolling the die and populating the picture with whatever item their roll represents. Give older children more complex drawing subjects, such as the ocean or outer space, and use multiple dice to populate the scene with lots of different pictures, each assigned to a specific die and number.
Dice Roll of Fortune
In this simple game, the number 1 represents “bankrupt” and all the other numbers equal their face value in points. The first player rolls the die. As long as she does not roll a 1, she records her earned points from the roll and chooses to either pass the turn to the next player and keep her points, or roll again. She can roll and add the points to her score as many times as she’d like, but if she rolls a 1, her turn is over and she loses all the points she earned during that turn. If she ends her turn before she rolls a 1, the points she earned that turn are safe. The first player to reach 100 wins. Make the game more challenging with multiple dice and higher scores for the win.
Each player creates a playing card by drawing 16 boxes on a piece of paper and numbering them, using each number from 1 to 16 once. The object of the game is to cross off all the boxes, eliminating all the numbers on the playing card. To play, the players take turns rolling three dice. The player can either choose to cross off each number that’s rolled, or add them together and cross off their sum on the playing card. The first person to eliminate all their boxes wins.