Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Math Games

Both Pepper and Banana Boy have finished their math books for the year and since BB could use some maturity before he tackles Singapore 1 and Pepper could use a little work on her addition and subtraction facts before she tackles Singapore 2, the three of us are just playing math games right now.

Daisy is being terrific about keeping Sunshine busy while we play our game.  So far we've been able to play a different game every day (we'll run out soon and have to start over, I suppose).

This week we've played:

Sum Swamp-- a very fun game for addition and subtraction with numbers 1-6....if you don't mind the Endless Swamp Loop.  If infinite loops make you crazy (as they should any decent math geek), you can play that you just have to go around once.  The little rubber swamp creatures are my favorite part of the game.

Dino Math Tracks-- Even more fun than Sum Swamp!  This game teaches place value in a way that even 5 yos can understand (if you have a smart 5 yo).  Again, my favorite part is the little rubber dinos (actually, one set is mammoths).  The girls' favorite part is to finish first and get put their dinos in the choicest spot in the center.  According to Pepper, this has "yummy grass, luscious flowers and the sweetest water."  Yeah, those are her actual words.

War --  Come on, you've played this!  BB and I played the traditional war with the higher card taking the win.  Pepper and I played with two cards down at once and we had to add the two numbers together, highest total won.  And yes, I played them both at once!  We had 3 decks of cards mixed together and I just gave myself the biggest stack.  BB and I laid down a card each and determined the winner, then Pepper and I played.  Then back to BB.  (I won both games!)

Knock Out and Jelly Beans  -- These are cool games.  We have the double-sided board with these two games on it.  Comes with colored marbles and dice.  Jelly Beans is your basic shut-box game--try to cover all the numbers 1-12.  BB and I played this side.  Then Pepper and I played Knock Out which is a knock-out fun game!  She creamed me!  Tip for making it easier--when we had filled all the numbers through 12, we allowed us each 3 rolls per turn to try and accumulate higher-number dice (like in Yahtzee).  That helped the game take 20 minutes as opposed to 3 hours (and we gave up without ever getting an 18...3 sixes).  I also played 3 games of Knock Out with BB using only one die and the numbers 1-6.  I was surprised that this was mighty fun, too!

Future plans:  We have Number Chase, Monopoly, a bazillion logic/thinking skills games, Mancala, a card game I made up for making pairs to equal 10, the borrowing/carrying game with my Base 10 blocks and a few new things I ordered today:  Number Hunt, and another from Learning Resources: Addition and Subtraction Game Board Book  (I actually bought mine from Hands and Hearts, but their website was down when I was typing this, so I couldn't get a link).

A couple of other things that look fun, but which I don't have:  Lauri Numer-O-Saurus, cool for hopping onto the number, and another fromLauri, the Busy Bug Collector game. 

I'm also hoping to find some pre-made math bingo games online that I can just print out.  I've never been a huge fan of bingo, but it will provide a little variety.

In history news, this week we're reading about the Puritans and the Salem witch trials and reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond--great book!  It's just a tad above these two, although they are interested to hear the story.

Don't know if I mentioned that last week we read about pirates.  Interesting stuff, those pirates!

One last note, Daisy is going to be doing a mini-preschool with Sunshine 3 days/week this summer.  She's very excited (as am I--don't know how else I'd fit it in!)  It's going to be VERY simple and hopefully right up Mr. Four-Second-Attention-Span's alley.  She can play that with him while we are playing math games.  I'll post our plans when we get some.

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