For no money at all, you can create a whole host of fantastic DIY dice games.
You can create boards, resources, and even DIY your own dice! In this post, I’ll show you exactly how to do all of those things.
I’ve worked as a teacher for the last 12 years, and a lot of these games have been invented for the classroom. However, you can use them at home, school, during parties, and just about anywhere else!
They are for kids (and adults) of all ages!
I have split them into three sections:
1.Games For Lots of Dice (And Nothing Else)
2. Games For Dice and A DIY Board
3. Games For DIY Dice
Games For Lots Of Dice (And Nothing Else)
1. DIY Tenzi
Tenzi is a shop-bought game. But I hope the manufacturers don’t mind me saying that it’s pretty easy to make your own version!
All you need are sets of ten colored dice. For example, have ten blue dice, ten red dice, ten green dice, and so on.
The minimum number of players in Tenzi is two, and there’s not really any maximum. It just depends on how many sets of dice you have.
Every player needs one set of ten dice each.
Tenzi is a game of speed!
To start with each player rolls their ten dice together at the same time. Have a look at what numbers you have rolled, and pick one of them.
It makes sense to pick the number you have rolled the most. So, if you’ve rolled three ‘4s’, and not that many of anything else, then you will be the number ‘4’.
Everyone picks the number that they personally will be, and removes any of the dice that have landed on their number.
Then the race immediately begins! The idea is to roll all the dice you have remaining, trying to roll your number (in the example, it was ‘4’).
Just keep rolling, and remove any of that number when they land.
The first player to have ten dice removed shouts, ‘Tenzi!’ They are the champion.
Here’s a youtube video that walks you through a visual demo of how to play it (if you’re still not sure!):
2. Dice War
This could be a 2-4 player game. Each player needs ten dice to start with.
There is no need for different colored dice in this game. All dice the same color is completely fine.
Each player takes one of their ten dice and rolls it at the same time as the other players. Whoever gets the highest number on their dice is the champion of that round. They get to take all the other dice and put them in their pile.
Then all throw one dice again, and repeat the process, with the highest number taking the dice.
If two or more dice land on the same number, and those are the highest, then the round is a draw, and just all roll again. There has to be a clear winner.
3. Dice Race!
You need 6 dice per player for this game. This game is for 2 players upwards (with no real limit on the maximum).
Someone says, ‘Go!’ The players roll their six dice and try to put them in order from one to six. So, you might get 2, 2, 3, 3, 5, and 6. It would look like this:
Remove 2, 3, 5, and 6, and keep on rolling the other two dice until you get a 1 and a 4.
This can be over pretty quickly, and is all about speed!
4. One at a time Dice Race!
This takes a little longer, but the concept is similar to Dice Race above.
Each player has six dice again. In this game, you just roll one dice at a time. The idea is to roll a 1. Keep rolling until this happens.
Then, with the next dice, try to roll a 2.
Then a 3. And so on.
In the end, the winner is the player that has rolled 1 to 6.
5. 1 To 5 Towers
This is a two-player game, that requires teamwork and the players working together.
Each player has ten dice, and they can all be the same color.
The target is to end up with 4 towers of dice. Each tower will be 5 dice high. The towers go in order, from 1 facing up on the first dice, to 5 facing up on the top one.
Have some kind of timer, and you want to keep your time for completing the game.
The idea is that the two players start the timer, and roll their ten dice at the same time. They look for any 1s and put those at the bottom of the four towers.
You need four 1s, so if you haven’t rolled that many, then remove the 1s that you have rolled, and roll both sets of dice again.
Then stack the 2s on, then the 3s, and so on.
Stop the clock when you have four complete towers.
6. 50 Up
This is a game where players try to reach 50 points first.
You can play with two players upwards. Each player needs at least 6 dice each, but you can play with 10 dice each.
All players roll their 6 or 10 dice to start with. The idea is to get a run of consecutive numbers. So, you might get 3, 4, 5, or 1, 2, 3, 4.
Any kind of run of numbers between 1 to 6 is fine.
However long your run is, that is the number of points you score. So a run of four numbers (such as 3, 4, 5, 6) scores 4 points.
Tally up the scores after that round, and then all roll again. The winner is the first person to reach 50.
7. Knock Out!
This is a bit like Russian Roulette, only with dice!
Have just one dice each. You can have two players as a minimum, and no real maximum.
One player rolls at a time. Have a number between 1 and 6 that will be the ‘knock-out’ number. Agree on this before the game, by one player being designated to roll one dice. Whatever they roll, that will be the ‘knock-out number’. (e.g. a ‘7’)
Then, one at a time, each player rolls their dice. If they don’t get the knock-out number they are OK! Then the next person goes.
However, if they roll the knock-out number, then they are out.
The last person standing in this game is the champion.
Games For A Dice And DIY Board
8. Number Line Race
You need some kind of long line with sections on for this game, some kinds of counters, and a dice.
This is a game for 2-4 players.
For example, you could have a long plank of wood, with sections drawn onto it, and some colored stones for counters. The line needs to be split into at least ten sections (but could be more). Here’s this game that I made out of a plank:
Or you could just have a DIY board drawn on paper, and use something like differently-colored lego pieces for counters.
Start with the counters at one end of the line. One player rolls the dice first. They go forward that number of jumps (e.g. 3).
Then the next player goes.
When all players have been once, everyone has another go. And then another. The winner is the person to get to the end of the line first.
9. Number Line Shark
This game is similar to the number line game above, with one difference! All the players in the game are now sharks!
If you land on the same square as another player during the game, then you ‘eat’ the player that you land on.
That player has to go back to the beginning of the line for their next turn.
10. Dice Racetrack
This is a game of probability.
You need a board set up that is a grid of 6 by 4. It will look a bit like this:
I have created this board by painting a piece of MDF, but you could easily just draw this grid on a piece of large paper, or draw it with chalk on the floor.
Label, the bottom row of the grid from 1 to 6.
Have one dice, lots of counters, and one object for each of the 2-6 players that can realistically play the game.
Each player guesses which number they think will ‘win’. They place a counter (that is unique to them) on the floor next to the number that they think will be the champion.
Then start the game. The idea is that the players take it in turns to roll a dice. The person that rolled the dice will take a counter, and place it in the first box in the column above the number they rolled. So, in the example above, if you roll a 1, then you put one spotty stone in the column above the number 1.
Then they hand the dice to the next person, and they roll.
The idea is that you keep placing a counter in the column above each number that is rolled. You just put one counter per box. For example, if 1 came up again, then you’d place the counter in the box above the first counter.
The winner is the first number to be rolled 3 times! When that happens, the game is over. If anyone has predicted this number, then they are the champion!
11. Snake Game
Another very simple dice game, is to create your own board for a race-style game. Here is a board I created for learning words (though the words bit is optional):
You can create a long snake, or a rocket, or a long ladder (or whatever else you can think of). All you need then is some counters and a dice.
Start at one end, and take turns to roll and count up the snake. The winner is the first person to get to the head.
12. Snakes And Ladders
Pretty much any classic dice game with a board can be replicated with just a bit of artistic effort.
Snakes and Ladders is definitely one of these. It’s just a bit of a Sunday-afternoon project to create the board.
Here’s another classic game. You just need two dice, some counters, and a few hours to create your own board.
You could draw it with a permanent marker, and laminate it to keep the board fresh for years to come.
DIY Wooden Dice Games
These games are particularly for younger kids, probably between the ages of 3 to 7.
All you need for these are some wooden building block cubes that you are not going to be using anymore.
You turn these into DIY dice by drawing on them with a permanent marker.
I have four different dice that I have created for this purpose. They are:
- A numeral dice (1-6)
- A dice with different quantities of spots on (1-6)
- A dice with actions on (such as jumping, hopping, roaring, star jumps)
- A character voice dice (with characters on such as a mouse, tiger, alien, princess, and a robot).
There are several different games you can play with just these four dice, with my favorite being the following:
14. Character Voice Dice
This is one of my favorite rote counting games. Simply roll the character dice, and see what you get (for example, a ghost).
Then you all try counting in that voice. So, with your best ghost voice, go ‘1, 2, 3, 4 etc’. It’s as simple as that!
15. Character Voice and Number Dice
In this game, you roll a character voice dice and a number dice.
You count in the voice that you roll, but you start from the number that you roll.
So, for example, you might count like a tiger, but starting from ‘4’. So it would sound like ‘4, 5, 6, 7, 8…’ This involves the skill of counting on from a given number, and makes the game much trickier.
16. Number Actions
In this game, you need a number dice, and the actions dice.
Roll both, and see what you get. For example, you might get ‘4’ and ‘star jumps’. You’ve guessed it – it’s time to do four star jumps.
Roll again. You might get ‘3’ and ‘hops.’ Do three hops!
The hardest action of my action dice is ‘roars’. This is because you can’t roar while count with your mouth at the same time.
So when you do three roars, for example, you have to count the roars on your fingers (or in your head).
17. Dance Counting
For this, you just need a number dice.
Put some kind of pumping disco tune on. Roll the dice, for example, getting a ‘4’.
Get on your feet, and you are all going to do a simple dance routine with four repetitions of each move. For example, it might be ‘reach high 4 times, reach low 4 times, reach to the side 4 times, reach to the other side 4 times’.
Then roll the dice, and try the same sequence of moves, but using the different number (for example, 2).