Rollers Choice

Another activity that can be adapted to many different settings or numbers of people – plus, it can be played in the car if someone rolls for the driver.


You need a die (a regular die with the numbers or numerals 1-6, a die from a special game, or a die you make yourself).

Basic Example

The roller rolls the die. The number on the die is how many of a task must be completed. The roller names a language-based challenge for the that task. The players complete the task following the rule of the challenge and the die passes to the next roller.

Before beginning play, details such as whether or not there will be a score, or if the challenge is for all players or only specific players, can be determined by those participating. Similar details may need to be addressed as play progresses. It depends on who is playing and his/her own level of flexible thinking.

The rules are really word analysis aspects, but that phrase is not as commonly understood as developing the challenge for the other players. Some examples:

Roller rolls a 3.

  • (Phonological awareness) 3 words that rhyme with _____ (roller chooses the word)
  • (Auditory sequencing; syllabication; vocabulary) a word with 3 syllables
  • (spelling) 3 words that start with __ (roller chooses the letter)
  • (concept analysis; relates to number of syllables; leads to discussion of whether or not a vowel team counts as one or two vowels) a word with 3 vowels
  • (synonyms; vocabulary) 3 words that mean the same thing as hot 
  • (morphology; vocabulary) 3 words that start with the prefix ____ (roller chooses prefix – or suffix, root, etc…)
Other Examples  
The Double Roll. Roller rolls twice. 1st roll = 6. 2nd roll = 2.
  • (Auditory sequencing; syllabication; vocabulary)  6 words with 2 syllables
  • (spelling) 3 words that start with B (2nd letter of alphabet)
  • (concept analysis; relates to number of syllables; leads to discussion of whether or not a vowel team counts as one or two vowels)  6 word with 2 vowels
A Little Bit Extra

My daughters (ages 9 & 10) prefer a Talk and Toss die. It is a 12-sided magnetic and wet-erase die that comes with magnets including the numerals 1-12, dots representing the numbers 1-12 and magnets for Wild, Roll Again and Reverse. They can also change what magnets are on the die so it seems more fresh if they’ve been in the car a while.


Each girl has different rules she likes to apply when those special spaces are rolled. My older daughter sees Reverse as reversing the roll to the previous person or repeating the last task. My younger daughter uses the number rolled and makes the task finding saying that number of words backwards (in reverse!). She also felt pretty smart when she introduced palindromes to the game – words that are the same in reverse, like m-o-m or d-a-d.

We do not keep score, but we do change it up all the time. They now challenge their friends and have asked to keep the die in the car for trips to school, across town or up to the cabin. I’m pretty sure they even taught their grandparents during their special week after school got out. The whole family is helping the girls work on their language skills this summer and the girls are extending that to their friends.

Toughest challenge so far: 2 words with 8 vowels.

Can you meet it?

Brain Powers Activated

  • Phonological Awareness
  • Vocabulary
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem Solving
  • Sequencing
  • Flexible Thinking

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