I was busy cooking dinner and my 4 year old asked if she could play a new math game. A new math game?! I am about to cook dinner and this kid goes through math games like water. She loves it! Now that I have started her on the abacus and simple number games her confidence has increased, which is great. Yet, I am not in the budget to run out and buy a new math game.
Here is what I did have:
1 Jar of Green Jewels sitting on my table from another project
1 Black Marker
1 Piece of Construction Paper
So, here’s what I did:
I made a line down the center of the paper, and then horizontal lines across. I added randomly placed numbers, and make large dots to represent their numerical value. I dumped the jewels out beside the paper and said, “Here’s Math Jewel Game!” She was thrilled! The jewels look so cool. They are actually transparent and so when she lines them up on the proper dots, she can see the dot through the jewel which made it much more fun for this visual learner.
1:1 Correspondence : an essential kindergarten skill where a counting child knows that for every item they count, it only gets counted one time, and every item needs be counted. When teaching how to count objects, or dots, I say, “every count gets 1 touch to 1 number.” She grasped that phrase the easiest out of several I have used.
Visual spacial skills : required for early math and early reading
Hand-eye coordination : gaining confidence with manipulating objects in a purposeful way.
Fine Motor coordination : lining up the jewels on each dot requires attention to fine motor detail. This same skill is what helps an emerging writer hold the pencil and write their name.
Mathematical values : to know that 1 jewel is less than 8 jewels concretely shows the child the value of a number. This is essential for the foundation of math concepts and will be built upon.
Math is FUN! This is the MOST important lesson my kids learn from me doing games like this at home. If I can simply fan the flame of her love for learning, and she develops a passion for math, then the lesson is meaningful and has lasting purpose.
WOW! For $1, or free if you have jewels sitting in your cupboard, that is a long list of skills that this fun math game will help develop.
Whatever you do to encourage the children in your life with math today – HAVE FUN!
What math games have you created for free or very low cost? Share them with me! ~ Joy
Also read, Invention Box