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Ways to use Dice in Training

A long long time ago, Trainers Warehouse used to sell humongous  nine-inch dice as a training tool.  The product lost popularity, probably because they were a little too big, but the notes we created back then on ways to use dice in training still offer some good ideas.  When I saw a recent question posted on LinkedIN about “Activities using dice,” I decided to dig through the archives and find those old notes.  I’ll continue to add new ideas as they’re shared. Some of the the ideas shared below would require customizable dice.

1) Game Board Advancer

Toss die to generate the number of spaces to advance on a game board. For this use, you might number the writeable card sections from 1 to 4 and then include one or two spaces that say “Back one space” or “Advance 2 spaces.”

2) Game Points Awarder

Toss die to determine how many points the next question will be worth. Using this method, you can either have players advance this number of spaces on a game board, or simply tally the number of points each team accumulates. For added fun, label one section “Double the points of your next toss.”

3) Question Selector

When playing a question-and-answer game, toss die to select which category of questions to ask each group. The die toss determines the topic from which the question will be asked. If the team responds correctly, points are added to their tally. If they respond incorrectly, points will be deducted.

To add additional excitement, add either a “Bonus” question category – valued at double point value – or “Lose a turn.”

Another variation is to add “Pass” cards. Simply hand out 2 “Pass” cards to each team. If a team decides to use one of these cards, they do not have to respond to the question and risk losing points. Instead, they can choose a competing team to pass along the question. The receiving team will have points awarded or deducted, depending on the quality of their response.

4) Prize Winner Selector

Assign each player a number or use a numbered roster that has been copied to a transparency and can be projected on your training wall. For this application, you would create as many “write-able cards” as you have players. If you have multiple prizes, divide your group into teams and select one team to receive the grab bag of prizes.

5) Contestant Selector

Toss die to select a player or a team to answer a question or complete a task. Simply assign numbers to each participating member or team.

6) Time Selector

Toss die to select the amount of time teams have to complete a task or the amount of minutes of the next class break.

7) Letter Selector

Toss die to select a letter from the alphabet. Allow the tossing team to pick a discussion topic that begins with this letter. (Option: Use a second tosser to determine how many minutes will be spent on this topic.) The group that “got” the letter will either lead a discussion on that topic or present their thoughts on that topic.

8) Discussion Starter

Create a toss die with six of your own topics for discussion. Toss die to select which topic will be discussed. Alternatively, prepare a set of 10 to 12 questions for each topic. Then, divide the group into teams and let each team toss the die to determine which question category they must answer. If they respond correctly they get to advance 1 space on the board or receive a designated number of chips or points. If they respond incorrectly, this completes their turn.

Consider “upping the ante” by designating a number of points for each question, depending on its difficulty.

9) Scenario Creator

This application requires 2 Dice.
For die 1, prepare a range of ‘subjects’ such as: customer, manager, client, etc.
For die 2, prepare a range of ‘issues’ such as: invoice, performance appraisal, delivery date, progress report, co-worker, etc.
Then have a team toss each die to select and report on their random scenario.

© Trainers Warehouse. Written by Susan Doctoroff Landay, 1998.


Prasad Narayan Susarla offered these additional suggestions.

I use dice in communication and selling skills training effectively.

1) Give a dice to the participants and ask them to roll the dice to draw a 6. Let them record the number of attempts they needed to roll a 6. Continue this activity for a couple of minutes to average out the number of attempts needed. (I run this for 5 minutes).

2) Ask them what would it take to improve their chances of rolling a 6 in lesser attempts. List out their thoughts on a flip chart. Now hand them another dice and repeat the exercise and let them find if their chances of rolling a 6 has improved. After 3 minutes record their findings.

3) Ask them once again what would it take to further improve their chances of rolling a 6 in lesser attempts.This time the obvious answer would be another dice. Hand over another dice and let them find how drastically their chances of rolling a 6 has improved.

Debrief for Communication Skills: Each dice represents a word. Increasing your vocabulary gives one the power and choice of using the right/appropriate word (rolling a 6) to communicate effectively.

Debrief for Selling Skills : The more number of customer calls one makes (each dice representing a customer call) the better are ones chances of closing a sale (rolling a 6).


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