Did you know that each year on December 4th in the United States people observe National Dice Day?  Many games use dice as a way to add random challenges by generating numbers from a toss of the dice. The value of the toss is determined by the uppermost face of the die after it has come to rest.  
          Dice are used as gambling devices for games like Craps and are also used in non-gambling tabletop games. Dice are often used in board games to decide the distance a playing piece will move on the board.  Backgammon and Monopoly are two such board games that use dice.
          A traditional die is a cube, with each of its six faces showing a different number of dots (pips) from 1 to 6. When thrown or rolled, the die comes to rest showing on its upper surface a random integer from one to six, each value being equally likely. A variety of similar devices are also described as dice; such specialized dice may have polyhedral or irregular shapes and may have faces marked with symbols instead of numbers. They may be used to produce results other than one through six.  
          It is unclear where dice originated from, but they date back thousands of years! The oldest known dice were excavated in south-eastern Iran as part of a 5,000-year-old Backgammon set!
         Dice were initially made from the talus (ankle bone) of hoofed animals.  Dice are also made of ivory, wood, and plastics, and they come in many shapes and colors!  RAFT carries a wide variety of different dice; including those with numbers, dots, fractions, words, pictures, symbols, and more!  Some dice are even nested within each other to allow the player to add results from each dice when the combined dice lands!
           Looking for ways to celebrate National Dice Day?  Then be sure to check out RAFT idea sheets at www.RAFT.net!  

Here are a few to get you started:
·     Put & Take
·     Fraction Race
·     Divide & Conquer

By: Jeanne Lazzarini, RAFT Math Educator/R&D Specialist