I know I am dating myself here, but back in the day, the really cool boys hung big, old fuzzy dice from their rear view mirror. You just knew that anyone who was cool enough to hang giant, pink or yellow fuzzy dice in their cars for everyone to see, must be someone really special. Fast forward 25 years, and now I think dice are cool because they provide endless opportunities for young children to explore mathematical concepts.
Below is a picture of a traditional “Shut the Door” game which asks children to roll the dice, count the pips (the dots on the dice) and then “shut” the numbered door shown on the dice. When all of the doors are shut, the game is over. There are ways to play this game individually or with others. I especially like this one because it is a noncompetitive game that asks children to work together in order to meet the desired goal (all of the doors shut).
This version is played by as many as 4 children at once. When children engage in this together, the play moves from being cooperative to competitive which is a natural progression as children get older.