Roll and Create


Activity Description

Children will create a monster by rolling a die to determine the number of body parts.


30-40 min.

Key Outcome(s)

Recognize 1-6 dots without counting them (subitization). 

Materials and Preparation

Prep Time

15-20 min. 


  • We provide: Modelling die’ (optional); ‘Monster body choices’; ‘Monster head choices’: circles, squares, triangles, ovals; ‘Body parts cards’: legs, eyes, arms, ears, mouth, nose. Click HERE to download.

  • You find: Large die (if not using provided ‘modelling die’); Regular-sized dice; Glue; Paper; Colouring tools (e.g., crayons, pencil crayons, or markers)


  1. Print, cut out, and assemble the ‘modelling die’ (if not using your own large die).
  2. Print and cut out the ‘monster body choices’ and ‘monster head choices’ (enough of a selection for each child to have one monster body and one monster head).
  3. Print the ‘body parts cards’ (one copy, in colour if possible).
  4. Locate paper on which to make monsters (one piece for you and one for each child), dice (one regular-sized for each child), glue, and colouring tools.
  5. Be sure to save your monster and the children’s monsters for Just Like Me (Learning Activity I-2).

The Activity

What will we learn?

 “Today we’re each going to make a very special monster by rolling a die to help us decide what our monsters will look like. We will also practice knowing how many dots are on a die without counting!”

What do we know?   

  1. Show children the ‘modelling die’. “What is this called? Where have you seen one before?”
  2. “What do you do with it?” (Roll it. Count the number of dots. Move the same number of spaces.)
  3. “I’m going to roll the die to decide how many times to clap our hands. Help me count how many dots there are.” Count as a class as you point to each dot.
  4. “There are _____ dots. How many times do you think we should clap?” Clap the same number of times as there are dots.
  5. Repeat as necessary to ensure children grasp the idea that dots equal claps. Change the actions each time if you wish (e.g., tap thighs, stomp feet).

Watch me first!

  1. “We’re going to make our own monsters! Watch carefully as I make mine. First, I’ll choose my monster’s body. It can be short or tall; slim or wide.” Glue the monster body onto a piece of paper.
  2. “Next I’ll choose a shape for its head. It can be round, square, triangle, or oval-shaped.”
  3. “What other body parts does my monster need?” (e.g., legs, eyes, arms, ears, mouth, nose)
  4. Show the ‘body parts cards’. “I will choose a card to find out what body part to add to my monster.”
  5. “Now I’ll roll the die to find out how many eyes my monster needs. How many dots are there? Four! That means I need to draw four eyes on my monster.” Model drawing four eyes.
  6. Model choosing another card, rolling the die to see the number rolled, and drawing the chosen body part. Repeat with a third card if needed.

Let's try it!

  1. “Now it’s your turn to make your own monster! First, decide which body you want your monster to have.” Tell the children to glue their choice onto their piece of paper.
  2. “Now choose a monster head and glue it above your monster’s body.”
  3. Gather all six ‘body parts cards’. “Let’s draw a card to see what to add first.”
  4. “Now, each of you will roll your own die to see how many of that body part to add to your monster.” Children will now draw the correct number of the chosen body part onto their monster.
  5. When the children are finished with the first body part, continue by choosing another ‘body parts card’ and ask them to roll and draw the correct number. Repeat until they have rolled and drawn for all six cards.

What did we learn?

  • “Let’s talk about our monsters! How many _____ (legs, eyes, arms, ears, mouths, noses) does your monster have?”
  • “How did you know how many _____ (legs, eyes, arms, ears, mouths, noses) to draw?”
  • “If I roll a _____ (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), how can you know how many dots are on the die?
  • “Why is it helpful to know how many dots are on a die without having to count them?”


To make this activity MORE challenging:

  • To practice subitizing and adding, use two dice for some body parts (i.e., monsters could have up to 12 of a body part).
  • Ask children to roll and draw additional body parts (e.g., toes, fingers, teeth, hairs, antennae, horns).
  • To practice cutting skills, ask the children to cut out their chosen head and body from the provided ‘monster body choices’ and ‘monster head choices’

To make this activity LESS challenging:

  • Use the provided ‘picture reference chart’ for children needing a visual reminder of what they have completed.
  • Children can use the provided ‘number reference chart’ to match their roll with the correct number. Provide further support by cutting around each box to make cards (i.e., ‘number of dots’ and ‘number’ sections) and then ask them to match the number cards to dot cards and then sequence them in order.
  • For basic subitizing, use a provided ‘1-2 die’ or ‘1-3 die’.
  • If drawing is challenging, ask them to draw basic shapes, dots, or lines (e.g., dots for eyes, a line for mouth).