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5 Games to play at home to develop maths skills using dice

While there are some specialist materials for teaching maths skills, you don't need these in order to teach maths at home. Some of the best materials to use are often things you have at home like dice. Here are some ideas for games to play with children at primary school level using just dice.

  • Target Number

This game can be played by 1 or more players. To play the game you must first choose a number appropriate to the age/stage of your child and they have to try to make this number. You will need 2 dice which you will take turns rolling. You can then add, subtract, multiply, or divide the two numbers to try to reach your target number. You must keep a running total. If your number is 4 digits or bigger, you may wish to roll more dice or roll twice each time to create bigger numbers to work with.

  • Highest Number

This a 2 player or more game. The aim of this game is to make the highest number in each round. This game is linked to reading numbers and place value. Your child will need one die but they will need to roll it the number of times required to make the size of the number they are working on - for example - if they are working on 3-digit numbers, they will roll the dice 3 times. They should then use all the numbers they have rolled and arrange them to make the biggest number possible. The winner in each round is the person who makes the biggest number. You can vary this game to make the lowest number possible too if you like.

  • Even or Odd

This is a game for 2 players. Decide who will be odd and who will be even. First player rolls 2 dice and can add, subtract, multiply or divide the numbers to get an answer. Players receive a point depending on whether the answer is odd or even. You can allow players to freely choose if they will add, subtract, multiply or divide each time or you can limit it to one skill per game.

  • Head to Head

This is a 2 player challenge with each player requiring two dice. Players roll their dice at the same time and must perform the same operation (add, subtract, multiply, or divide) using their numbers. The player with the highest answer wins. You can decide at the start which operation you will do or allow free choice each time.

  • Watch out for 1

This is a 2-player game with the aim of the game to reach a target number. The target number will be different depending on the age/stage of your child but for the purpose of explaining the game, we will make the target number 100. The first player rolls two dice and adds them together. They can continue rolling as many times as they like but if they roll one, they score 0 for that round. If they roll double 1, they lose all their points and their total score becomes zero. Players keep playing until someone reaches the target number. You can make it harder by making another number on the dice zero the score.

We hope you enjoy trying out our suggested dice games at home. If you feel you would like some extra support for your child, our online one-to-one and small group sessions can really help your child to create confidence in learning and feel better about maths. Please get in touch through our website or social media channels.

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