### Dice - The Ultimate Educational, Portable Entertainment For Kids!

How do you keep the kids amused for the long summer holidays? What do you do when the inevitable rainy day blues strike and everyone gets fractious and argumentative? And how do you cope when you are forced to play the waiting game … in doctors' surgeries, airports, or even long car journeys?

Get the dice out! Dice games are the ultimate in quick and easy entertainment, with the added advantages of being cheap, portable and educational too! You can start playing dice with children as young as 2 ½, as long as you are sure that they are past the stage of putting things into their mouths. And you will find that all ages up to grandparents are happy to join in.

I offer below three particularly quick and easy games, all of which can be played with children from about the age of 4 up. All you need are pencil and paper and dice - a maximum of 7, which you can probably find in existing game boxes around the house.

Beat That!
You will need between two to seven dice, depending on the age of the players. Roll the dice and put them in order to make the highest number possible. If you roll a 4 and a 6, for example, your best answer would be 64. Using three dice, a roll of 3, 5 and 2 should give you 532, and so on. Write down your answer, pass the dice, and challenge the next player to "Beat That!" Play in rounds and assign a winner to each round. For a change, try making the smallest number possible! This is a great game for reinforcing the concept of place value.

Run for it!
You will need six dice for this game. Roll the dice and look for runs (sequences) starting with 1 (so 1, 1-2, 1-2-3 and so on). Each die that is part of a run scores five points. There can be more than one run in each roll. For example, say you rolled the following combination: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5 and 5. You would score 5 points for the first 1. You would then score 15 points for the sequence of 1, 2 and 3, for a total of 20 points for that roll. The first player to reach 100 points is the winner.

Going to Boston
Use three dice. Roll all three and keep the highest. Roll the remaining dice and again set aside the highest. Roll the last die, and add up your total. Write down your score. Play a number of rounds and then either total your points to find the winner, or simply count how many rounds were won by each player.