Simple dice games for kindergarten are probably my most loved math stations and activities I give my students. They love the routines, the game aspect, and they hardly even realize they are doing math the whole time! Dice games are an important part of my math stations and can be used over and over again!
So, why simple dice games for kindergarten?
I love dice games because students love them! They are fun and engaging and simple enough to practice almost any math skill. Dice games are easily switched out because students understand the routines so well. When students know the routines and expectations around games, then they can focus more on the learning happening the game, instead of making sure they understand how to play the game. Dice games are also super easy to set up! Just print and pass out dice. I tend to laminate mine for durability and reusability, but you certainly don’t need to!
When playing simple dice games for kindergarten, students don’t even realize all the math they are doing! They need to either subitize or count the dots on the dice and match to the numeral on the page. If they are using two dies then they are practicing adding fluently! Simple dice games for kindergarten are the perfect way to encourage students to move to a more advanced addition strategy like counting on from the largest number instead of counting all the dots.
Roll and cover
Roll and cover games are perfect for practicing adding, counting, and subitizing. Students simply roll one or two die and cover the number shown. They play until all the numbers are covered. This is also very easy to play with partners. Either they have a game board with two spots to play, two boards, or one board with two colored chips. They can play to see who fills up the most spots or they can play to see who covers their board first. Roll and cover boards are easily switched out to keep with a theme. Students will still know how to play but will be excited to try something “new” (even if it’s exactly the same just with new images!)
Roll and color
Roll and color are just as fun, but not as easily reused. They are perfect for leaving with a substitute teacher because the coloring aspect adds more time to the game. Children roll the dice and color in the image with the number shown on the dice. They keep playing until the whole picture is colored in! Children love coloring, so it’s great when we can add some to our math block!
Roll and write
Roll and write games are perfect for practicing number writing! Students need repeated practice to master the handwriting of numbers (and letters). Roll and write games are perfect for this repeated practice, as long as they have the numbers to trace. We don’t want students to learn bad habits of writing numbers incorrectly. If you do roll and write, include options with 2-12 so that students can get to practice all digits. Plus, they practice adding two numbers fluently!
Addition and subtraction practice
Simple dice games for kindergarten are a perfect way to practice addition and subtraction (and many other skills too) because they can easily repeat the practice. For example, on this addition game, students just roll a die, write down the number, roll again, write down the second number, and then add the two numbers together. They can repeat and repeat and repeat to practice the skill of addition! I love adding in strategies to my addition and subtraction games. I don’t just want my students to mindlessly practice skills or memorize without understanding. This is why I like these addition and subtraction versions with different strategies to try like counting on, drawing, etc.
Best kept secret about dice!
Ever since trying this management strategy I can’t believe I ever went without it! Are you tired of dice flying every which way when students are playing simple dice games for kindergarten? Give them something so they can see the boundary of the dice! I like to use a black tray, like the ones from the lean cuisine meals. The students are expected to drop the dice into the tray gently enough that dice stays inside the tray. If the dice repeatedly go out of the tray, then I have the students practice using dice appropriately, or choose a different game.
The other tip I know some teachers love is having a felt square for the tables. The felt square absorbs the sound of the dice and it shows the students where the dice is supposed to land. Whichever strategy you like best, students benefit from having a boundary for the dice. They can then use the tool appropriately and focus on the learning in the game!
Simple dice games are a very engaging and effective way to practice almost any math skill. Students love playing Roll and Cover, Roll and Color, and Roll and Write, along with other games! Teachers will love that these games are easy to prep and easily switched out and reused from time and time again. If you like these games, I have a growing bundle of monthly dice games that will be completed by June 2022! Check them out now!