Math Games: Using Dice With Kids Aged 8-13
No matter the age, we should always be building our children's number sense and flexibility with numbers. Having fun games that can be used anywhere and anytime is essential to our children's love for learning. Consider investing in a bag of multi-colored dice to help practice math facts and develop a stronger understanding of whole numbers, fractions, and decimals! Below are some fun dice games to be played at third grade and higher:
• Factor Dice: Roll 2 (or more) dice and multiply to find the product. Decide whether the product is composite (has more than 2 factors) or prime (has exactly 2 factors, 1 and the number itself). If it's composite, find all the other factor pairs of the number. Record all the factor pairs for each roll, whichever player has the most factor pairs after 5 turns wins! For example: roll a 6 and 3: multiply 6 x 3 = 18. 18 is composite and its other factor pairs are 18 x 1 and 9 x 2.
• Multiple Dice: Roll 2 (or more) dice and add them to find the sum. Say and/or record the next 10 consecutive multiples of that number. For example: roll a 6 and 2 so add 6 + 2 = 8. Find 10 multiples of 8: 8, 16, 24, 32….
• Multiplication Dice War: Using 2 dice each, players roll to find the greatest product. Keep track of points using tally marks. The first player to 10 tallies wins (or set whatever goal you would like)! Variations: Play to find the lowest product; use 3 dice instead of 2.
• Multi-Step Dice: Using 3 or more dice with different colors – players decide the rules ahead of time. If using 3 dice, try 2 green and 1 blue. Roll all 3 dice at once, and add the 2 green and multiply the 1 blue die mentally. The next time, multiply the 2 green dice and subtract the 1 blue die. Using different variations of play will increase flexibility in number sense and excitement in math.
• Fraction Dice: Using 2 different colored dice, designate which colors are the numerator and denominator. Roll the dice to create your fraction. For example, if a player rolls a 4 and 5, the fraction is 4/5 or 5/4 depending on the rules established. From this fraction you can:
- Convert it to a decimal
- If it's improper (like 5/4), convert it to a mixed number
- Compare with a partner's fraction to find the greatest or least fraction
- Roll 6 dice and make 3 fractions, in order from least to greatest
- Plot it on a number line
How do you make math fun with your kids? Share your ideas on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page.