DIY mouse shape dice game

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Expanding on your favorite children’s books with a game is a great way to reinforce learning concepts!

We spent last week enjoying the mouse books of Ellen Stoll Walsh beginning with the book titled “Mouse Shapes.” and our DIY mouse shape dice game …

About the Book

“Mouse Shapes” is a simple read-aloud book about three mice who discover if they put different shapes together, they can create houses and other interesting things including the big cat that would like to find them… The mice even discover that they can make mice out of shapes as a good way to trick the cat that is searching for them…

Preparing the Game

After reading our mouse shape book, we played a game using a DIY mouse shape dice I made.  I bought several square Styrofoam blocks from the craft section of Walmart and decided to see if I could turn at least one of the blocks into a dice. I painted a shape on each side of the dice by hand with acrylic paint… After painting a square, circle, triangle, rectangle and oval on five sides of the dice, I still needed one more shape for the last side of the dice.  I decided to add an octagon but I couldn’t get the lines straight or even so my octagon magically turned into a mouse…

How the Game Works

Now that I had my dice, all I needed to do was make up a game.  We started out by each child taking a turn to toss the dice in the middle of the circle and call out the name of the shape that landed on top… In the back of my mind, even after starting the game, I was still trying to decide what would happen if the mouse landed on top so when the mouse finally did land on top, I decided that I would be the cat and try to catch the mouse “the child that tossed the dice.”…

Children Love the Suspense

Oh boy, once that mouse landed up and I shot up to chase a mouse – the children loved this game!  Of course, everyone hoped their turn to roll the dice would land on the mouse so after everyone had a turn – I rolled the dice only this time I kept rolling it until the mouse came up and told the children that they all better hide because I was going to get them all. When that mouse came up, they all screamed and ran away – yes it was just a bit chaotic for about 5 minutes but it was super fun and no injuries to report…

Children can Reinvent the Game

I left the dice out for the rest of the week and the children played the mouse shape game every day on their own.  I watched as they rolled and rolled that dice waiting for the mouse to land on top and the children modified the game a bit where each child took a turn rolling the dice while all the other children who played had to be a cat. Sometimes we had a group of four or five playing together and other times we had partners playing together…

Why we Love the Mouse Shape Game

The rolling of the dice, the mouse, the shapes all served as a way to reinforce the concepts introduced throughout the book “Mouse Shapes.”  The children were having to keep an eye on each shape of the dice as they hoped that soon the mouse would land on top and in a round-about way, they were recalling the characters and action of the story as well… Oh, and although the dice did get banged up a little, but it didn’t fall apart! As an alternative to running away, the children could simply choose and actions like jumping, shaking, marching, etc. when the mouse lands on top. And one more thing, I don’t recommend Styrofoam dice for toddlers – my grandson decided to take a small bite out of my Styrofoam dice as soon as I let him hold it 🙂 Available on Amazon
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Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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