More Summer Games to Train Your Brain: Math

Try these games with your kids and help them practice their math skills while having fun this summer!

Patterning
Preschool to Grade 2

Young kids love working with materials like beads or stickers. Have your child come up with a pattern using different coloured beads or beads with different shapes. Repeat the pattern by stringing the beads onto a shoelace (or a leather string) with a knot tied at one end.  When you are finished, the pattern becomes a bracelet or a necklace. Or you could explore this process with stickers; just be sure to have several copies of each sticker you wish to use.

What’s your number?
Kindergarten and up

“What’s Your Number?” is a guessing game that encourages logical thinking and uses the strategy of elimination. Choose a number and write it down. If your child is younger than 6 or 7, think of a number that can be figured out in a few guesses. For older students, make it more challenging. Have your child ask you questions about the number. Here are some good questions to try:

Is the number less than 100?
Is it more than 25?
Is it an even or an odd number?
Is it divisible by 5?
Is it a two digit number? (etc.)

After you answer each question, have your child guess what the number is. If your child is having difficulty thinking of questions, give them a hint by stating a question and then answering it yourself. Modeling clear, logical reasoning will help your child understand how to ask effective questions. Alternatively, switch roles: have your child choose the number and you ask the questions.  That way you can provide insight into how to adapt the next question based on what has already been learned. It really helps to write down the questions, the answers, and the guesses for each round to help your child keep track of which numbers can be eliminated and which numbers are possible answers.

Board Games and Hopscotch
Any age

Many commercial board games create a great environment for learning to count. Games like Sorry, Trouble and Snakes and Ladders are excellent examples. In general, any game that requires the use of dice and/or  counting spaces will help to reinforce the correct number sequence. Monopoly is super for learning to count with whole-dollar denominations. Another excellent game for younger kids is Hopscotch. Not only will it get kids up and moving, when kids create the Hopscotch spaces they are practicing number recognition, printing numbers, combining shapes and numbers, and repeating the basic number sequence.

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