Saturday, November 15, 2014

You Oughta Know About: Making Origami Dice

A tool that I use again and again in my classroom is dice.  They make math time into game time.  They provide a fun and engaging experience for students.  I have a massive dice collection consisting of dice of all shapes and sizes with a huge range of numbers on them.  I also always keep a box of blank dice on hand so that I can a customized dice in a matter of minutes.  Despite my massive dice collection, I also make origami dice to use with students.  Sometimes I make these myself for specific uses such as large or small group work.  Other times, I made these dice with kids.  Making these dice or doing other origami in the classroom can be a great way to review geometry concepts such as the names of shapes, ideas about symmetry and words like similar and congruent.  The best part about doing origami dice is that not only does it let kids have a rich mathematical experience during the dice making process, but it gives them a tool that can then be used in a math game or for some other specific purpose.  I have tried these dice out in a variety of different grades and I have noticed that grade 3 is really the first time that you can get nearly all kids to be successful with this project with a limited amount of hands on help.  I have had about 50% success rate doing these cubes with first and second graders.  Some kids will be able to do them successfully but many others will need a lot of help.  I recommend that you keep this project to grades 3 and up unless you are doing it with a small group of younger students.  

One of my favorite homemade cubes.  This is a 6 inch cube and is great for whole group games.  I made it from a large piece of oak tag and "laminated" it with packing tape.  It has been going strong for 2 years and still looks great!
Ready to make your own?

All you need is 6 pieces of paper cut into squares.  The heavier your paper, the more durable your cubes will be but the harder they will be to fold.  If it is your first time making one, start with some lightweight paper like origami paper or copy paper.  Even ones made from copy paper hold up quite well.  You can use almost any size square.  

Here is the sequence you need to fold these up!

No repeat with the other 5 pieces of paper.

Put your cube together

I am linking up for the You Oughta Know blog hop over at Buzzing with Mrs. McClain.  Check out all the great ideas below!


  1. Great idea and your steps look easy to follow. I have bookmarked this so that I can walk myself through it later! Thank you! Teaching Science With Lynda

  2. Genius! I love this idea. The cut and fold dice never work very well. Gotta get busy making these.
    Crockett's Classroom . . . Forever in Third Grade

  3. Wow! I'm so impressed! I'll have to try these for centers! Thanks for sharing!

    Mrs. Beattie's Classroom

  4. Such a great idea with so many ways to use them in the classroom! Thanks for sharing this idea :-)

    Buzzing With Mrs. McClain

  5. HOly COW I love this for projects. I always allow my students for a "retake" to make a board game to cover the topic....and as the blogger above stated the cut and fold dice NEVER stay together. These look oh so much more sturdy!

    Thanks for the great idea! Pinned~
    Lessons With Coffee 

  6. Awesome photos, Tara! Thanks for sharing this great idea!

  7. What a cute blog! I am SO glad to have discovered it through this blog hop =) I love your Math Dice Origami. I will have to try it. It is so versatile too for any other subject areas. LOVE IT!

    A LoveLi Class