Art Activities · Small Manipulatives

Art Dice

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This is one of my favorite open ended art activities! An open ended art activity is an activity that doesn’t have a specific product in mind, it is all about the process. I got this amazing idea from the Tinkerlab book.  My sweet husband got me  Tinkerlab : A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors for a mothers day gift and me and my littles have gotten a lot of enjoyment from its pages.  Check it out here on Amazon. I highly recommend it!

First you will need to make some dice! I made mine out of simple wooden blocks. I have seen others cut out a dice template and make theirs out of paper. You’ll have three dice, one with colors, one with patterns, and one with shapes.


These fun little dice can be used in many different ways. The book has ideas on how to use these dice with your child. My preschoolers and I were working on shapes so we made up our own little activity.

I cut out all the different shapes that my shape dice showed. Then I added markers and colored pencils in the different colors that the color dice showed. I placed the dice, shapes and colors all on the table. I prompted the children to roll each  dice to determine what shape and color they would use and then what pattern to create.


It was a big hit! Some children were excited to roll each dice and then make that specific creation. Some children would put the dice face up on the shape or color they wanted. I loved that! I tried not to control their process! This activity stayed interesting to the group for quite some time too! They loved completing each new shape and hanging it on the board.


I think my child would have been excited to glue all of her shapes onto a big piece of colored paper. Something about collaging them made the process even more important!

This activity has so many possibilities. My preschoolers enjoyed starting the process with me. Once they were engaged I was able to step away and watch them work. For an older child you could have them cut out their own shapes, or have them draw the shapes on paper and then decorate them.  You can also use only one or two of the dice to change up the activity.

How would or have you used these dice? We’d love some more ideas!

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