November 27, 2012

Santa Math Game & Printable

When I taught first grade we had a math program that used a lot of fun games to help the students learn math concepts.  One of those games was called On/Off.  It's such a simple concept, but it helps kids learn number combinations while having fun.
Here's what you'll need. 

A board of some kind.  I made mine with a cute vintage Santa from The Graphics Fairy.  I printed out the Santa, then cut off the excess white on the sides and mounted it on red scrapbook paper.  My board turned out to be about    6 1/2" X 8".   You don't want your board too much bigger than this size, or the game won't work out as well.  A standard paper size (8 1/2" X 11") would work as well, but I wouldn't go any bigger.  

Some type of counters to drop.  I used mint M&Ms (my favorite!), but you could use anything.  Candy is fun because the kids can eat them when they're done.  I've also used marshmallows and BINGO chips.  You just need something small you can drop and won't roll around too much.  
You'll also need a recording sheet.  I've made a fun one here you're welcome to use or you can use any piece of paper.  You'll notice I have a 5, 10, 15, and 20 at the top of the recording sheets.  That number indicates the number of counters you'll need.  I also made a blank sheet so you can use any number of counters you'd like. 

Here's how you play.  
Take the number of counters you've chosen, hold them in you hands, and drop them directly over the board.  

Some of the counters should land on the board and some should land off.  After the counters have landed, record your numbers on the record sheet.  If you are using 10 counters and 3 counters land on and 7 counters land off, then put a 3 on side of the table that says "ON" and 7 on the side of the table that says "OFF".  Keep playing until the entire table is filled in.

It's fun to see all the number combinations that have been recorded on the board at the end of the game. Point out that all the combinations are ways to make 10 (or which ever number you choose to use).  Your kids will have their addition facts down in no time.  It's also fun to point out flip/flops.  Ten can be made with 3 and 7, but also 7 and 3.

This game is easily adapted for different age groups.  Use smaller numbers for younger kids and bigger numbers for older kids.  I made the blank record sheet for this reason.  Adapt the game to whatever skill level you need.

I hope this all made sense.  Now I need to make some boards for every month.  This is an easy game to play with each season/holiday.  I need to find a cute snowman for January and use some min snowballs (marshmallows) for counters.

I'm linking to these parties.
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  1. Very cool, it looks like an old fashion marble game, we have online christmas math games if you are interested, at Hooda Math Games

  2. Hi , I just want to share a link talking about math games for kids. Take a look. Thank you.


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