### Introduction

Equations are an essential part of mathematics. They help us solve problems and find unknown values. But sometimes, equations can seem intimidating or confusing, especially for young learners. That's why it's important to introduce the concept of equations in a fun and engaging way. One way to do this is by using dice.

### Practising building simple equations

To start building equations using dice, we can begin with simple addition and subtraction. Roll two dice and write down the numbers you get. Then, create an equation using those numbers. For example, if you roll a 3 and a 5, you can write the equation 3 + 5 = 8. Encourage children to explore different combinations and make as many equations as possible.Next, we can move on to multiplication and division. Roll two dice again and write down the numbers. This time, create equations using multiplication or division. For instance, if you roll a 2 and a 4, you can write the equation 2 x 4 = 8 or 8 ÷ 2 = 4. This activity helps children understand the relationship between multiplication and division and strengthens their mental mathematics skills.

### Using equations to develop mental strategies

Equations are not just a set of numbers and symbols. They can be powerful tools to develop mental mathematics strategies. By practicing equations regularly, children can enhance their problem-solving abilities and become more confident in their mathematical skills.

For example, we can create equations that involve greater than and less than. Roll two dice and write down the numbers. Then, ask children to compare the numbers and write equations using the greater than or less than symbols. For example, if you roll a 2 and a 6, you can write the equation 2 < 6 or 6 > 2. This activity helps children understand the concept of inequality and strengthens their ability to compare numbers.

Additionally, we can use dice to practice solving equations with missing numbers. Roll two dice and write down the numbers, but leave one of the spaces blank. Then, ask children to figure out the missing number by solving the equation. For instance, if you roll a 4 and a ?, and the equation is 4 + ? = 8, children can deduce that the missing number is 4. This activity encourages critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Using Operations and Equation Dice the variable can also become the operation itself. Throw two dice and one Tarquin Operations and Equation Die. Say you are using a 1-6 and 7-12 die and the numbers are 3 and 9, and the Operations Die shows =. The challenge is to add a number which makes an equation using 3 and 9 - this could be 9 - 3 = 6, or 3 x 9 = 27 or 9/3 = 3 etc.

### Conclusion

Incorporating dice into our equation-building activities can make the learning process more enjoyable and interactive. It helps children develop a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, greater than, and less than. By practicing equations regularly, children can strengthen their mental strategies and become more confident in their mathematical abilities. So, let's roll the dice and have fun while learning equations! For some options see here