Math games can be played any time anywhere. Here are some ideas for each day of the week. These games do not require any advance prep either. Give them a try this week and feel free to change them to make more interesting for your kids.
November 14 – Claude Monet’s Birthday
Monet would often paint the same subject at different times of the day as the light changed. Let’s create a color gradient collage today. All you need is a bunch of paint chips from your home improvement store. Suggest arranging different shades of the same color from lightest to darkest. Now try it with other colors. In case you don’t have time to run to a home improvement store, you can modify this game. Replace paint chips with liquid food coloring and give your child a dropper and several clear containers filled with water (glasses, clear jars or white ice-cube trays all work great).
November 15 – Children’s Book Day
There are quite a few wonderful children’s story books that go beyond basic counting and shapes. We are going to be reading Spaghetti and Meatballs for All by Marilyn Burns and Anno’s Magic Seeds by Mitsumasa Anno. If you or your child prefer to make up your own stories that include math, nothing beats another great book by Mitsumasa Anno, called Anno’s Counting Book.
November 16 – Talking Turkey Day
For this game you’ll need a marker, a piece of paper and a bag of bird seed. If you don’t have bird seed, a mix of 2 or more different pasta shapes or dried beans will do. First, trace your or your child’s hand on a piece of paper – that’s your turkey. Now, decide on a pattern, but don’t tell your child what it is. Let him guess which seed (or pasta shape) the turkey would like to eat next. Start with something simple, such as ABAB pattern. Then move to more complicated ones. Then let your child decide on a pattern and you’ll try to guess it.
November 17 – Bread Baking Day
Ah, kitchen is a perfect place for math! Let your children do all the measuring. Then let them experiment with estimating (i.e. how many tea spoons make a table spoon). The result is going to be some delicious math. And if you don’t have time to bake bread from scratch, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with picking up a muffins or cupcakes mix at the store.
November 18 – Mickey Mouse’s Birthday
Let’s watch a Disney cartoon today. How about this one – Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land (all three parts are available on YouTube). You can even try some of the math activities Donald tries during his adventure, starting with playing tic-tac-toe.
If you would rather stick with the Mickey Mouse’s theme, then how about revisiting November 14th idea of gradients, only using Disney Paint Chips.
Let’s start getting ready for the Pie Day!
November 20 – Pie Day
Nope, not the “pi day” which happens on March 14th (you know, 3.14). Instead, today is all about baking and enjoying pies! So why not do some more kitchen math. You can also cut a few pie shapes out of construction paper, let your child decorate them, then ask to share it with her toys (hello, fractions!).