Iconic numbers are often misunderstood in our classes. For many of us iconic numbers are so obvious, so… well… iconic, that we don’t pay much conscious attention to them. We all know that a motorcycle has 2 wheels. Which might explain extra attention paid to 3-wheel trikes whenever they pass us by (not too often).
So why even care about iconic numbers. The short answer is they help children develop their number sense.
Why Iconic Numbers Games
Working with a group of numbers as a whole is a prerequisite for building our number system, which is based on groups of ten. Grouping smaller numbers and using iconic numbers for easy recognition provides a scaffold for working with tens, and of course for multiplication.
Also, it’s rather fun to try and find all times tables facts in more-or-less iconic form. You might become strangely addicted to this game. Just try to find an iconic 3*5. One of the excellent suggestions we received for it was “fingers and toes of a pirate”!
Math We Make in This Game
Iconic numbers, multiplication
How to Play With Iconic Multiplication Tables
Look for iconic groups with the same quantity in each group. For example, the four seasons each has three months for an iconic 3*4.
Infants – Put up examples on walls or create your own book with dots or stickers highlighting what you count. Photograph the baby holding iconic objects for more fun!
Toddlers – If the examples toddlers find aren’t quite iconic, accept them anyway. You can sort the collection into more and less iconic pictures later. The point is to find multiplication, not to argue whether cartoon hands always have four fingers.
Kids – Older kids can create more artistic multiplication tables in the same visual style. They can go on timed or competitive photo scavenger hunts, with challenges to find as many iconic multiplication examples at a museum or a park as they can.
Adults – It’s actually pretty hard to find examples past five. Some people find the activity strangely addictive. Maybe you can finally find a 3*5 for the Natural Math collection!
Other Ways to Play with Multiplication Tables