December 4, 2011 - World Dice Day

Some say that dice are the oldest gaming implements in the world. But we're not necessarily talking about cubes with dots on them – we're talking about fruit stones, flat sticks, sea shells, nutshells, pebbles, and bones. People gathered these natural items, marked them (at least one side), shook them, and then rolled them or cast them down. (Maybe even blew on them, for luck!) Using knucklebones or sheep anklebones for dice was so common, people still sometimes call playing dice games “rolling the bones.”

Knucklebone Die
Dice games probably were played before the time of ancient Egypt, but that early history has been lost. We do know that the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks played dice games, and medieval Europeans as well. Dice games also existed in ancient China, and dominoes probably descended from dice there and then spread to the West. From the 1800s on, cubical dice have become very common, and more recently polyhedral dice became popular.

Play Dice Games!

Here and here are lots more dice games. 

Also on this date:

National Cookie Day 

The Muppets' Cookie Monster has declared December 4 “National Cookie Day,” so be sure to munch on cookies while playing dice games! Or hold a cookie swap day with your team, scout troop, or class. (Everyone makes a batch of their favorite cookies and then wraps up cookies in bundle of one to five cookies, depending on the size of the swap and the number of cookies available to share. At the swap, each participant gives every other participant one bundle of cookies – and gets back bundles from all the others. Enjoy having LOTS of different cookies to try!)

Celebrate Chester Greenwood, the inventor of earmuffs

Celebrate Thanksgiving, Marshall Islands style. 

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