Math With Dice

Preschool math with dice -- free printable math games for addition and probability
Pin this 🙂

Colorful dice

I picked up a few big foam dice (i guess that would technically be “die”) recently, thinking we could probably use them somehow to do math with dice at home. The novelty of the size and color certainly helped make math a bit more enticing :).

{By the way, if you’ve been following my blog and read my last post about cultivating a love for reading and writing, don’t worry – I have several more posts coming in that series! I just happened to write this one this week and wanted to publish it now instead of waiting until my other series was finished ;).} 

Counting and writing numbers

I showed N how to roll (lol, more like throw, bounce, and drop!) the dice, then count the number of dots. We did a little bit of practice writing the numbers that matched each face of the dice. He prefers to always try to write numbers and letters on his own first, based on what he knows they look like … but as soon as he gets frustrated, he asks me for help ;). At that point, I’ll usually draw dots for the numbers/letters he wants help with, or bring out our food mats (see image below) with the alphabet or hundred chart so he can try to copy the one he wants.

Preschool math with dice -- free printable math games for addition and probability
Where did the 7 come from??

Simple Addition

It seemed like a great opportunity to practice addition (ha, aren’t they all?!) so I grabbed a piece of paper. He rolled the dice, drew the dots, wrote the numbers, then counted up the total number of dots to finish the equation. We made it through about 3 rounds of this before attention spans ran out 0_0.

Counting On

Later we worked on learning a new math trick: “counting on.” (If there’s a better name for this, please let me know!)

I taught him how he didn’t need to count from 1 every time he was adding. He could start with the biggest number, then count out the rest of the numbers. This was a little bit too abstract at first, so I tried to make it a bit more concrete.

I asked him which number was smaller (This is a good skill to practice too!) and he would hold up that many fingers. Then he would shout (because louder is always better when you’re four) the first number and touch his fingers one at a time to his nose while he counted up to find the total.

For example: To solve 5 + 4, he would figure out which number was smaller. (Usually if I ask him whether he would rather have 4 cookies or 5 he automatically understands how the numbers compare!) He would say “4” and hold up 4 fingers. Then he would shout “5!” then touch each of his four fingers to his nose as he continued counting “6, 7, 8, 9.”

FREE printable

I turned this activity into a bit more complete mini-unit on doing math with dice. I added in a section on probability, since it seemed like such a natural extension.

Preschool math with dice -- free printable math games for addition and probability
Working on the real worksheet

Here’s N doing the addition game using the fancier worksheet. 🙂 At first he wanted nothing to do with this, but as soon as I rolled the dice and started drawing dots he told me to stop because he wanted to do it. Yes, sir!

Here’s a preview of the complete mini-unit that I’ve made for you.

Preschool math with dice -- free printable math games for addition and probability

Preschool math with dice -- free printable math games for addition and probability

Preschool math with dice -- free printable math games for addition and probability

If you’d like to get your own copy of this free printable and receive access to other free printables (available only to email subscribers), you can get them by subscribing to my email list using the form below. As a subscriber, you will receive an email from me about 2-4 times a month, with access to more learning materials that I’ve created (related to math, reading and writing, science, arts and crafts, and history, for Pre-K through 2nd grade as well as high school Algebra and Geometry) and stories of our own adventures with child-led learning.

Get your free copy of Math with Dice

You can subscribe here to my newsletter and get access to this free printable as well as access my (growing!) library of free learning resources. I’d love to hear how these work out for you! Enjoy doing math with your kids today! 🙂



I respect your privacy and will never send you spam.
You may need to check your other email folders if you don’t see my welcome email with the link and free download. Make sure to add sandra@realworldlearners.com to your safe addresses list so you don’t miss out on future newsletters or free offers!
(If you are using gmail, you should be able to simply click the star by the email address and it will be added to your primary email folder.)


Learning Resources for Teachers, Tutors, and Parents

If you’d like to visit my store to see my library of learning resources focused on math for Pre-K through Geometry, you can check it out here:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Sandra-Balisky


Below are some Amazon affiliate links for products (or very similar products) that I mentioned in this post. If you click on the links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission — at no additional cost to you — which helps me cover the cost of maintaining this website. 

1 comment on “Math with Dice — Addition and Probability”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *