Cindy L. Meester's Blog- Speech Therapy with a Twist

Rolling, Rolling in the speech room (psst a giveaway post)

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on January 15, 2014
Tags: , , , , ,

I recently won a game called Tenzi from Millions of Fingerprints Blog.  It has become a huge hit in my speech sessions.


The set I received came in a long tube with four different colored dice in sets of 10. As stated on the tube it is a easy fast paced game in which everyone rolls until someone gets all their dice on the same number.  One of my students told me this was the “funnest day” ever in speech!

This is how I introduced it to my students with a speech therapy twist.

Vocabulary: die, dice, dots, square, cube, roll, shake, high/low, count, match,  same, different, matches, rules, more, most, less, least, slow, fast paced, demo/practice, set aside, strategy, eyeballing, invent, create (inventor/creator), original

Logical thinking: I showed the dice and then removed them from their vision. I asked them how many dice they thought the game had. I gave them the clue that the game was called “TENzi.”  It was interesting to see how the different brains processed this information.

Team players/Social skills: They each chose a set of dice. If they wanted the same color then they had to come up with a plan on how to decide who got that color. Some chose rock, paper, scissors; some asked me to put one die behind my back and they picked a hand; some willingly let the other player have that color, etc.

Playing the game: My rule for any dice game is when rolling it has to remain on the table or you lose your turn. With this many dice I gave each player a plastic container or the cover of the container to use for rolling their dice (worked great).

  • We played a demo or practice game first which helped everyone become familiar with the rules. We talked about if this was a slow game or fast paced game.
  • We talked about strategies: setting aside the dice (outside of the container) we were matching, picking, eyeballing the dice quickly when first choosing what number had the most showing; should you hold the dice high or low when rolling/shaking.
  • I told them that the game inventors/creators encouraged us to invent new ways to play. So we did. Disclaimer: The game comes with other ideas on how to play but I never looked at them so we may have created similar “new” ways to play.

Our inventions for new ways to play Tenzi (the groups also had to come up with a name that fit the game)

1. Castle:  Each player uses 10 dice- the object is to build a castle (pyramid) with 4 dice on the bottom, then 3, then 2 and then 1 on top. Each player rolls and tries to get 4 fours on the bottom then moves on to 3 threes, 2 twos and 1 on the top. The first one to finish their castle is the queen or king. You could make a smaller castle by using only 6 dice (threes on the bottom, then twos and one on top)


2. Silent Tenzi: Play in pairs and each player has 3 dice. The object is to get numbers 1-6. One team member rolls their dice and tries to get 1-2-3 (in order) when they have that the partner rolls their dice and tries to get 4-5-6 (in order). This is all done without talking. You could also play this as a single player against others.

3. Tower: Each player has 6 dice- the object is to stack each die on top of each other. The bottom die would be 6 and then 5 etc. until the top reaches 1. Or play it with 1 at the bottom and stack up to 6. You can add a challenge by stating if the tower falls before it is finished those dice must be rolled over.

photo 4

4. Dice-O:  Play in partners- each person has equal number of dice (you could play this with 2-10 dice)- Each team member rolls one die at a time and when they both have rolled the same number they set them aside and continue until all their dice match.

5. Pig:  Each player has 6 dice- you are trying to create a pig face.  You need to roll ones for eyes, 4 for the nose, 6 for the mouth and threes for the ears. The first person who finishes their pig face makes a pig noise.  You could call this another animal but pig is what my students wanted.

photo 2

6.  I Got It:  Each person has one die- One player calls out a number. Everyone rolls at the same time and the first person to roll the called out number yells “I got it!”

7. School:  Each person has 6 dice.  Each number represents a grade- 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th. Everyone rolls at the same time. You need to roll a 1 before you can move on to the next “grade.” Once a player rolls a 6 (for  6th grade) they yell “I graduated.”

8. Match Dash or Double Trouble: Each player has all 10 dice. Everyone rolls once and whoever has two matching dice is the winner OR  you could play until all a player gets 5 matches.

photo 3

9. It’s Not Adding Up:   Each person needs 1 die. All players roll at the same time in the same location or container. Whoever adds up the total shown on the dice is the winner. You can also play this for subtraction but we only used two dice.

10. Make a Tail: Each player uses all 10 dice. The object is to create a snake-like creature. Roll a six for the head, eight ones for the body and a 3 for the tail. You cannot make a tail (3) until you have finished the rest of the snake. The first one who puts a tail on their snake hisses.

photo 1

So now it’s you turn to add your own twist!

Check out the free app Tenzi app for iPad (it is also available for Android)

Oh yes and now for the GIVEAWAY!!! 

Just sign up through the Rafflecopter link below for a chance to win your own Tenzi game!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


23 Responses to 'Rolling, Rolling in the speech room (psst a giveaway post)'

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  1. Laura said,

    This sounds like a great, multifunctional game. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Leah said,

    Thanks for sharing this! It does sound like fun. With so many different ways to play, I could use this with almost all of my speech/language kids.

  3. Melissa P. said,

    I would totally use this with my 3rd grade language group to work on game playing vocabulary, or my 4th grade social language group to work on team playing and sportsmanship!

  4. I would use this a reinforcement game for artic and language drill, as well as to address basic concepts in a fun, “natural”, and “authentic” activity.

  5. Julie Graham said,

    Thanks for the heads-up on a great game & all the activities. My students love when I get out the dice. This will be awesome.

  6. Tracey F said,

    Sounds like a fun game that could be used to target vocabulary within the game itself or as a reinforcer for any therapy type!

  7. Kelly M said,

    This looks like a classic speech game in the making. I see the potential to use this game with all of my students. I appreciate the ideas you provided and anticipate my students helping to invent other new ways to use the Tenzi dice. Like you, I also have my students loose their turn if they can’t keep the dice on the table! 🙂

  8. Sandy said,

    This is a game that I could use with almost any age-group. I’d love to add it to my stash of games!

  9. Marcia Nash said,


    I tried to post a comment for the giveaway but couldn’t get a curser to show up anywhere so I could type. Here is how I would use the Tenzi game. One of my goals this year is to move students through artic therapy quickly with more drill. I have been on the lookout for games that would let the students earn the all the pieces before we play the game. This would do it. Each player would have to say their word 5 times before they get one die so I get 50 responses out of them before we play one game. They would then have to earn all the dice again.

    Thanks for all of your great ideas, Marcia Nash

    Sent from my iPad


  10. Amy B said,

    I would use this game to teach quantitative concepts such as ‘most, least, all’. It looks like fun!

  11. Jen Kiekhoefer said,

    This game is wonderful! I have played it before with my family over Christmas as my nieces got it for Christmas. I never thought about it’s use in speech therapy, but I think it would be a fun way to reward students while working on artic skills or could be used to work on basic math concepts like you provided (such as more/less, numbers, etc.)

  12. kristi said,

    Sounds like fun!

  13. Carly Fowler said,

    Wow! This sounds like you could work on a lot of different goals! I would love to have it just to keep my middle school and high school students motivated. We could work on a target skill then plan and they work and so on since it is a fast paced game.

  14. Stephanie said,

    such a great reinforcement activity for kids

  15. Andrea said,

    I’d use it as a reinforcer during therapy. It seems like a very fun game!

  16. Alison said,

    With a variety of kids in therapy!

  17. Pat Mervine said,

    I have the same rule about keeping dice on the table. We roll them in a frisbee–works really well!

  18. Amy said,

    what great ideas

  19. dibsondebs said,

    What great thinking and how fun for social skills. Of course this game lends itself for teaching commenting as well…..”awesome roll”, “almost got it”, “keep on rollin”….also good for sportsmanship. What a fun game. Can increase use of requesting, esp for kids using SGDs. They can ID colors, count and make comments using SGDs all the whilst interacting with their peers.

  20. Brittany said,

    I love that this game focuses on so many different areas. I also travel between sites, so this would be not only a fun game but an easy one to clean up and travel with!

  21. Becky Kopera said,

    This game looks great! I love games with multiple uses! Always like to keep things fresh!

  22. Jessica schulman said,

    It would be great for social skills, and as a reinforcer during therapy.

  23. Susan T said,

    This looks really neat; I would love to try it out! Please enter me in contest. Thanks!

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