Build A Bug – A Fun New Dice Game

This game is a modified version of a game called “Beetle.”

The original game is a lot of fun, and people seem to really enjoy it, however it requires two staff to play, and is a very fast paced, competitive game. This is great for some residents in long term care, but can be stressful for others.

I created this modified version that is more inclusive for players who are not able to move quickly, and it can be played with one staff, rather that two.

Supplies Needed:

1 x Dice

1 x Large dry erase board and dry erase marker or large paper and marker

How To Play:

Residents gather around the table.

On the dry erase board, the staff member will draw a grid of large squares, equal to the number of players.

Squares should be large enough for a players name in the top part of the square, and to draw a bug in the center that will be large enough for the player to see it from where they are seated.

Add one player name per square, and leave the rest of the square blank.

In order for a person to be the winner of this game, they must be the first one to complete a ‘Bug’.

Players will take turns rolling the dice, one at a time. (Only one roll per player, per turn)

Each player can only start their bug once they’ve rolled a six.

Until this happens, all other numbers rolled by the player are unusable.

As the dice makes its way around the table, one roll at a time, some players will be making progress, and adding limbs to their bug, while others will simply take another shot at a six, and then pass the dice to the next player.

Players may end up with completely different outcomes.

A player may roll a six immediately, at which point the staff will draw a circle in the centre of the players square, on the board. This represents the body of their bug.

On the other hand, there may be a player at the end of the round who didn’t roll a six on any of their turns, therefore they were unable to begin their bug at all, and were left with a blank square at the end of the round.

The players who have rolled a six, giving them the body of their bug, are then hoping to roll one of each of the numbers 1-5, in any order, on their upcoming turns. This allows them to add the corresponding body parts to their bug, in hopes of winning the round.


2-upper right leg

3-lower right leg

4-lower left leg

5-upper left leg

If a player rolls a number for which they already have the corresponding body part drawn, their turn is not usable, and the play moves on to the next player.

*If you are playing with a very small group, and find that the rounds are ending too quickly, you can increase the number of bugs that the players must have completed in order to win the round. See chart below…

When playing that multiple bugs must be completed in order to win, you do not need to complete your first beetle before beginning your second. As long as you roll an additional six, your next bug can also be in play.

The great thing about this game, in terms of its use in long term care/memory care, is that any range of players can participate.

The game is purely based off of luck, therefor residents who are lower functioning are at no disadvantage when playing alongside residents who are higher functioning.

This game is fun, easy, and due to the ‘bugs’ being a clear visual representation of how each person is doing compared to the others, it manages to keep the players engaged in the activity for longer periods of time.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Kay Grumblis says:

    I love you site. I have a lot in memory care. This site will help me a lot.


    1. Thank you for the kind words!


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