By Contributing Writer, Kelly Wiggains
Summer time around our house is perfect for unscheduled, outdoor play. Until July. Once July hits in Texas, the days start to get miserable. On days with a scorching heat index or days with a string of crazy thunderstorms, I have to come up with some semi-structured learning time to keep my kids engaged and my sanity in check.
I have some simple and fun math games to play when getting outside is not in the cards.
5 Easy & Fun Math Games
1. Make 10
Remove all face cards from a standard card deck. Deal 5 cards and line them out face up. See how many ways you can get to ten (i.e. 4 + 5 + 1 = 10).
For extra practice, write out the different equations. You can keep score by keeping track of who gets the highest number per hand or keeping a running tally of equations. (a game from What Do We Do All Day)
2. Under the Bowl
This game is simple and easily adaptable for addition and subtraction. You need pom-pom balls or small cubes – anything small to fit under a plastic bowl.
Count the number of cubes. I started with 8.
Then, while one player hides his eyes, the other player places a number of the cubes under the bowl.
The first player has to figure out how many cubes are under the bowl based on the number left over (5 cubes left over. 8 – 5 = 3).
For extra practice, have each child write out the different equations.
3. Go Fish with Sums
Instead of “going fish” for pairs, play go fish by pairing up cards to reach a common sum. Remove the face cards for this game, or you can use them as wild cards to get the sums you need. (another game from What Do We Do All Day)
4. Fridge Magnets Math
My kids like practicing math with our fridge magnets. Make an easy template to switch out numbers. I use an old cookie sheet for this game, or we use our refrigerator.
5. Table Time
I pick a time during the day called “Table Time.” Everyone finds something to do at the table. I welcome crayons, play dough, and water colors, but our math learning tools are always a big hit, too.