Idea 236: ‘Minion Maths’ Dice Game

This is an idea I trialled with my current Year 2 class and which I’ll be introducing early next year so I can have my class play this game often for mental maths practice. As with any new activity, I’d model this with one pupil on the smartboard first before letting the children go off and play for themselves.


There is a factory producing minions! BUT the factory isn’t perfect yet and some of them are coming out purple! You and your partner both want to gather as many ‘good’ minions as you can.

Equipment: Two dice needed per pair.

Instructions: Players take it in turns to roll two dice at the same time. They subtract the smaller number from the larger number. The difference is how many good minions the first player gets.

minion maths

So the first player has just added 2 minions to their total. Now it is the other person’s turn to collect minions:

minion maths 2

Player 2 has just scored an impressive 5 minions!

The game carries on like this going backwards and forwards until a pre-determined amount of time is up (2 minutes). The person with the highest total wins the game.

THE CLEVER BIT: If at any time both players roll the same number (for example they roll a three and another three), they have to shout ‘MINION!’. The first person to shout ‘MINION!’ gets to add the sum of the dice to their score! This keeps both players focused on the dice being rolled even when it isn’t their turn! This double represents when the Minion factory was working perfectly (for a brief moment!).

minion maths 3

TIP: This is a rule I have in lots of my games. When it is someone’s turn, THEY have to say the answer. If their partner does the maths for them and shouts out the answer first then the current player not only keeps their points BUT gets a free turn. This is a really good rule to stop anyone trying to dominate the game.

EXTENSION: Play with ten-sided dice!

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