Why use a dice roller?
Previously, I wrote an article about dice alternatives in case you didn’t want dice roaming the house with little kids around or if there was difficulty actually using the dice (i.e. due to fine motor skills or arthritis). If you want to keep the dice instead of swapping them, a dice roller can also help with a lot of the same concerns and address a few more:
- You are playing with young children and dice could be a choking hazard
- You are in a house with young children and lost dice could be a choking hazard
- Dice are difficult to pick up to due fine motor skills or arthritis
- You want to add different sensory experiences for your kids
- You want to travel with your dice but don’t want to lose them
- Your players need some help tracking which dice to use and a label/designated container can help
- Dice rollers are fun and can be themed toward your game!
I have a few suggestions below, and I hope you have fun playing and crafting!
Dice cup – jumbo sized!
To make this dice roller, you will need:
- Cylindrical container (I used an oatmeal container)
- Construction paper
- Stuff to decorate with (crayons, stickers, glitter, etc)
For this one, kiddo has some jumbo dice that we like to use because they’re easier to find if they end up off the table, but there were still some concerns with throwing instead of rolling them. Because of that, I wanted to try a dice roller for larger dice, but I needed a bigger container than some of the others we had.
To make my jumbo sized dice roller, I got an oatmeal container that was big enough to fit one of the giant dice, and we wrapped it in cut out construction paper that we taped to the container. After that, I let kiddo decorate it with animal stickers to match a game we were playing at the time (btw… check out Overgrown).
Once the container was made, we treated it like a game to put the die inside the container, shake it up (but be careful to not let it fly out because then you can’t use the roll!), and then flip the container over fast enough that the dice doesn’t fall out first. We then try to guess what number it is before lifting the can up for the big reveal!
With this one, it was a lot of fun to make with kiddo, and it gave us something we could use with our big dice set. It isn’t sealed like some of the others, so there’s still some accidental dice flinging (though way less than before), however, it does let you change which die you use with it without having to take the top off or have a whole bunch of different containers.
Labeled mini dice jars
For this craft, you will need:
- Empty spice containers
- Writing utensil
- Glue or tape
Some of the games we played required a lot of different dice for different actions, and kiddo was having a hard time tracking it, so having a jar for each action helped us show what each die was for. In addition, for a game like Inspirisles that uses 3d6, it was really easy for kiddo to just shake the jar instead of counting the dice each time, and then we had a separate jar for any bonus dice.
I soaked a couple of empty spice containers in hot water until the labels came off and then cut paper to create labels for the jars. The adhesive from the labels was actually still on the jars, so I was able to just stick them on the existing glue, but you can also add more if needed.
For the labels in this example, I used them to show what die or dice is in each jar, however, you can also use these to show maybe a picture of a potion or a sword to represent that this jar is for a health potion or an attack roll without needing words or numbers.
Another aspect about the lidded jars that is really nice is that the tops are easily removable, so you can change the dice each time if you want to and don’t have to tear open the lid to get them out when you’re done playing.
Ideas for any container
For this one, you will need:
- A container!
- Plastic wrap
- Decorations (stickers, duct tape, etc)
You can also do this using pretty much any container, even if it doesn’t have a lid or the lid isn’t clear enough to see through. This version can work with larger dice or a ton of dice, depending on the container size, and it helps you keep them contained (unlike in the first one).
I used an empty cornstarch container, but you can also use a jar, a tupperware container, a small cardboard box, etc. I then put in the dice I wanted to use, covered the top with plastic wrap, and taped it down along the sides to seal it up.
For this version, you can’t easily swap the dice, and you’ll need to cut it open to get the dice out, but you CAN use it with almost any container, even if it doesn’t come with a lid. It too maybe 2 minutes to set this up, and, over the course of about an hour long game, probably saved us at least 15 minutes of chasing dice around the table.
There’s lot of other options for using dice rollers too! Some examples that don’t need any crafting at all could be:
- Clear, lidded tupperware containers or jars
- Dice poppers (like from the game Trouble)
- Clear reusable sandwich bags
- Pill box inserts
- Divided craft boxes with a different die in each section
Also, for ready-made TTRPG specific gear, there are lots of dice towers and some cool healing potions that follow a lot of the same trend as above that are both very useful and are professional enough to make great birthday or holiday gifts.
And I want to know your ideas too! Do you have any dice roller go-tos? Any new ideas based on the article above? Or have you tried any of these crafts yourself? Let me know below so we can help out fellow caregivers and generate some fun ideas together!