DIY mouse shape dice game

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

By |2018-12-15T12:12:35+00:00December 1st, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Mary December 1, 2012 at 8:05 am - Reply

    Great, fun, and very creative way of learning Shapes. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Michelle December 1, 2012 at 8:25 am - Reply

    Love your website. Recently I started working with small groups of little ones aged 1-4 and I can’t wait to try the ideas from your post. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Cindy December 1, 2012 at 9:00 am - Reply

    Love this idea! Thank you for sharing. (:

  4. PragmaticMom December 1, 2012 at 10:09 am - Reply

    OMG, Adorable!

  5. [email protected] December 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Love, love, love did I mention I LOVE this game. This could be done with so many themes but the cat catching the mouse is wonderful. There are so many beneficial aspects of this game ie self control (the waiting to roll the mouse before you run away), squatting to get the die, learning the shapes, etc.

  6. JDaniel4's Mom December 3, 2012 at 7:32 am - Reply

    What a wonderful way to explore a book! I love your die! Please think about linking this post to Read.Explore.Learn.

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