Looking for some fun, no-prep games? These dice games for kids are engaging and effective at teaching addition to kindergarten, first, and second-grade students! Before I dive in, I wanted to let you know you can watch or listen to all this information in video format below:
If you have followed me for a while, you know that I love card and dice games because they are fun, easy, and no-prep activities that are great for practicing all different kinds of skills in the classroom. I have created a whole playlist of short videos where I teach plenty of different card and dice games that you can play with your students. There is even a card game that I made last year to be played independently for social distancing! You can check out the whole playlist of videos here: dice and card games for students
To read how to play each game, just keep scrolling!
This game is great for your first and second-grade students in particular, and all they will need to play is a pair of dice and a sheet of paper. To start, you are going to choose a KNOCKOUT number and write it at the top of your paper. You want this to be a common number that is rolled with dice so it will come up often during the game, usually 6, 7, or 8.
You can see above, I chose the number 7 and wrote it in the box at the top of this recording sheet.
Next, your students will take turns rolling the dice each round and recording the sum of their roll on the sheet. If either of the players roll the dice and get the KNOCKOUT number, then they are “knocked out”. That means the player will get a zero for that round, but they also have to cross out all of their previous rolls so they have a total of zero. It can get pretty nerve-wracking towards the end of the game when you start to build up a high total, because one KNOCKOUT number will make you lose all of your previous rolls.
In the above example, player 1 has a current total of 8 (5 + 3) and player 2 has a current total of 9 (all other numbers were crossed out from the knockout that happened in round 4).
Once the last round is played, both players will tally up their total at the bottom of the sheet. Whoever has the highest total at the end of the game wins!
While this game is set up to play in pairs, you can also have your students play independently with a blank piece of paper and their own set of dice. Or you can turn it into a whole group activity and play along with your students. Just set a timer and whoever has the highest total when time runs out wins!
This game is perfect for your k-2 students as a center or small group activity, and all you need to play is six dice and a piece of paper. Again, I created an easy-to-use Sevens worksheet that you can download by clicking that image above!
All you need to do to play Sevens is to roll all six dice at the same time and look for sums of 7. Each player will take turns, and if they can make a sum of 7 using any of the dice that they rolled, they will pull those dice out. For example, the photo below shows that one of the players rolled a 6 and a 1 that they pulled out of the pile. When all sums of 7 are removed, the players will add the sum of the remaining dice and record it on their sheet (3+5+5+1 = 14). The next player will take all six dice and repeat the process for their turn.
Note that there can be more than one sum of 7, so you want to make sure that you are removing all of them from the pile. In the roll shown below, both 6+1 AND 3+4 equal 7, so they would take all four of those dice out and add only the two remaining dice (6+5 = 11).
Both players will take turns and repeat until all 10 rounds are completed. At the end of the game, they can add up all their numbers, and whoever has the bigger total wins!
Tip: For k/1 you might want to stop each round and just see who has the higher number each time and circle it! At the end of the game, they can see who won the most rounds.
There you have two fun addition games that you can play with just some dice on hand! You can play either of these with a simple blank piece of paper, but I wanted to make it a bit easier for you by making those recording sheets above. If you didn’t grab them yet, you can get them here >>> Dice Addition Sheets
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