Dice games are convenient, inexpensive and educational. Playing dice games as a family can reinforce important math skills your child is learning at school, while also teaching your child about fair play and appropriate socialization. Dice games can be adapted for a variety of skills and ages, and have been popular for at least 5,000 years. These games all require five dice, but could be modifed to use less dice for younger players.
Play "Beat That" to reinforce upper elementary place value concepts and ordering numbers. Roll five dice to create the largest possible number. For example, a roll of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 would allow a top score of 54,321. Keep track of your large number while your partners try to beat it. For the best educational benefit, write your large number in words or say it aloud. For a challenge, use more than five dice.
Run For It
Play "Run For It" to practice sequential numbers and the five times table. Roll five dice at once and look for runs beginning with one. You earn five points for each die that is part of a run. For example, a run of 1-2-3 has three numbers in sequence, and is worth 15 points. You may find more than one run in each roll of the dice. The first player to 100 points wins the round. For a challenge, use more than five dice, or assign a different point value to practice other multiplication facts.
Dice-1000 game involves mental math and probability skills. Begin by rolling five dice at once. Collect 100 points for each roll of one and 50 points for each roll of five. If you throw three matching dice, multiply that number by 100 to calculate the point value (a set of three fours would be worth 400 points). You can roll as many times as you like, but if subsequent rolls result in zero points, you lose your entire score for that round. If your first throw is worth zero points, you lose all points for the game. The winner is the first to collect 1,000 points.
Stuck in the Mud
Stuck in the Mud also involves probability and mental addition. Begin by rolling all five dice at once. Add the point value of all five dice unless you rolled any twos or fives, in which case your throw is worth zero. Pick up all remaining dice that`are not twos or fives (those dice are "stuck in the mud") and roll again. Keep tallying your points. The next player only gets a turn once all your dice are "stuck in the mud." The winner has the highest score after five rounds.
Hollis Margaret has been writing and editing for print and Internet since 2000. Her work has been published on eHow and Answerbag. She has a Bachelor of Education from Mount Saint Vincent University, with a specialty in elementary education.