A Little Bit of Work and a Whole Lot of Fun; Making Up Our Own Math Games!

We zipped right through all our work today! 

 I was amazed at how hard and how quickly all the kids got right to work.  I think it had something to do with all the fun games we played! 

Evan and I worked with subtraction playing the Target Game that I found in my Games for Math book by Perry Kaye.  These games are always great, quick ideas that the boys seem to enjoy and they don't require many supplies for time to pull them together.  

I took a few extra minutes to make a rockin' cool game board using my Circuit in the hopes that I would then keep it and be motivated to use it more often.  Apparently it was so pretty it inspired Alec to make up his own division game so he'd get to use the board too!  

I re-arranged the numbers a bit since our middle circle was so big and I knew if I made that the 10 our game would end too fast each time.  We actually landed on zero quite frequently so I was glad I had made that choice. 

Using the giant board, two pennies, and a cup for each of us with 10 mini blocks inside we began playing.   The object of the game is to subtract the amount of blocks from our paper cup that our pennies landed on and be the first one to get rid of all our blocks.

  • I kept a running commentary; "I had ten blocks and I landed on a 4 so I have 6 left, etc." 
  •  I asked him how many blocks he started with each time, how many he was taking away and how many he had left.  
We played a good 4 or five rounds and I have to say Evan got really good at landing on the target he was aiming at; he won every game!

 I had planned for the older boys to play the Outsiders game that I found in my Games for Learning by Peggy Kaye book. Though Alec chose to ignore my game and work on making up his own game so I played with Ian instead.

We took scrap paper and decided how many x's  (or o's or hearts or any simple shape) we wanted to draw.  I told him we had to choose a number between 10 and 30 just to keep it hard enough but not ridiculously time consuming.  For the first round I chose 21 and Ian chose 30.

We then shook our fist at one another saying one, two, three shoot and then we'd stick out a finger or two or five and add them up.  Ian shot out a two and I shot out three fingers so we had to group our marks on our paper into groups of five.  The one with the lest amount of remainders (or outsiders as the game is called) wins. 

Since Ian had 30 and that made 6 equal groups when dividing by 5 I lost that round.  He had no remainders and I had one.  We played several more rounds and we ended our lesson by Ian going back and writing the number equation for every set we made.  I modeled it for him by writing them on my paper and then he quickly went about working on his paper. He ended up finding a mistake in one of his groupings too and fixed it. 


 Alec was then ready to play his game he made up.  He took the paper cups and put away all the blocks.  He then counted out 30 beads for both him and myself.

We'd toss the pennies onto the chart and whatever number it landed on we would divide our 30 beads into groups and see who had the least amount of remaining beads.  By the end of the game Alec wasn't even bothering to make groups with his beads at all.

When his pennies landed on the 4 he told me that 7x4 was 28 which was close to 30 so he would have 7 groups with two left over.  I loved that he made up his own game and that he was obviously learning!  It's always amazing to me how quickly he picks up on these concepts.

After school was done the boys continued working on math and logic skills using jigsaw puzzles and playing with the pattern blocks.

Puzzle fun
 Ian build three- d objects with the pattern blocks today and Evan made a mommy and baby turtle.

Building three dimensional buildings with pattern blocks
 In pretending that the baby was drinking milk from his mother we got into a whole discussion about turtles. In talking about turtles, Alec informed us that they are actually reptiles and so they must not drink milk from their mothers.  We talked about mammals that do lay eggs like the platypus and I was super impressed when Alec remembered that they are called monotremes (as I was looking up the answer to help Evan).

Evan's turtle

Evan's mom and baby turtle

More three dimensional buildings 
I just love when our days are filled with hands- on fun and games; it's like we're not even working!


  1. This is such a smart idea! I wok definitely be saving this for when my daughter is old enough. I would've never come up with an target game like that on my own. Thanks for linking up to #fridayfrivolity! Xx

  2. These games look fab. I love the way your son has gone on to make up his own games. I've added the book to my wish list! Thanks so much for sharing with us and linking up to #FabFridayPost

    1. I love that he is so creative to come up with his own twist on games! It's a great book with a lot of simple suggestions that don't take much prep work.

  3. This is genius! We also have those 3D buildings too. our kids loves making things out of them. Thank you for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost x

  4. I love the idea of playing a bunch of math games! Totally right up our alley! I'm so happy you're a part of our little bloggy community! #FridayFrivolity


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