Monday, October 3, 2011

Extinction - Dinosaur Addition

On Games For Learning or Games 4 Learning this morning Jennifer asked about the rules for Extinction. Thanks for asking. It made me get our game out. All of the children were begging to play after I started a game with Charles. 

Using two green file folders, taped together on the reverse side, I placed 100 3/4" white stickers to create a path. There are also yellow start and finish spaces. The large dinosaur pictures were cut from a book. (NOTE: Yes, I do cut books when making games. In fact, sometimes I buy books just because they have great pictures for cutting and add them to my cutting box.) I have made and given away several of these gameboards to family and friends. For some reason this one escaped being covered with clear Contact paper. But I will take care of that.

The spaces that have little stickers on them are used when we use a variation of the rules.

The game requires three dice. They can be the traditional dice with dots. However, I like blank dice as it lets me choose what numbers I will put on the cubes. I found some cute tiny fuzzy dinosaur stickers at a teacher store some years ago and placed one on each die.

Any playing pieces can be used, but these little dinosaurs are more fun for the game.

To Play:

Each player's turn requires three shakes of the dice. For the first shake, the player uses three dice. He saves the largest number and sets this die aside. Then he shakes the two remaining dice, again saving the highest numbered die and setting it aside. The last die is shook and kept. The total of the three dice is the players score for this turn. He moves his game piece this number of spaces along the path. He may take another turn now or pass the dice to the next player.

HOWEVER, there are some additional conditions. Any time a player shakes the dice and all the dice shaken (3, 2, or 1) are dinosaurs (or ONES)....this is called EXTINCTION. 

The penalty for an extinction can vary depending on the age of the children playing, or simply which rule the players agree upon:

1. The player's turn simply ends.

2. The player's turn ends AND he moves back to the next dinosaur space.

3. The player's turn ends AND he moves back to the spaces where this TURN began. If this rule is being used, it is important to have a marker (a penny works well) or indicate the beginning space for the turn.

4. The player's turn ends AND he moves back to the beginning of the game board. (This rule can make for a long game. However, it was the way my grandsons usually chose to play....maybe because it WAS a long game.)


  1. Mary, Your game ideas are such an inspiration! Do you speak at homeschool conventions? Sure wish you could come to the Iowa one and share all your marvelous ideas!! You are one creative woman--thanks for blessing so many others with your talents :o)

  2. I'm pretty good at taking another's idea and changing it a little to come up with something new. Here's a suggestion for playing for multiplication. (My son's working on that right now.) Use two die and the numbers rolled have to be multiplied for how many places they move.
    Thanks for the great idea since my son's nuts about dinosaurs and needs to work on his multiplication!