Wednesday, December 30, 2009

# A Lot of Games = A Lot of Math

I love this post-Christmas week. The preparation is over, the gift-unwrapping mania is gone, and we can relax and enjoy the quiet family times. It means that we are spending some time each day playing board games. Last Christmas I rashly bought Smarty Chutes and Ladders only to realize pretty quickly that she is nowhere ready to play that game. We put it away then, and now it’s back on the circuit together with Hi-Ho Cherry-O, homemade Hug-the-Kitty game and MiniLUK. Smarty loves playing games, and she follows the rules easily. I also like it that she is a good sport about losing. She cheers for the winner and always says in the end, It was a good game! Let’s play some more!

We didn’t get any new board games for Christmas except this Body Quest game that was part of the Smart Kids Body IQ package that Smarty received from my parents for Christmas. She cannot read the text, of course, but the game is pretty simple (and quick) to play. We played it a number of times already. One thing that I really like about some of the “travel the board” games is that they introduce and reinforce math concepts. I was just recently brainstorming the ways to teach Smarty to recognize two digit numbers when it finally dawned on me that Chutes and Ladders is the best 100 chart there is. Every time we play a game with numbers I ask her to identify a square she is on. She still needs reminders that we read numbers the same way we read words – from left to right, but she is getting better, and she learns naturally and easily in the context of the game. I am contemplating getting a real Bingo game as the next step in reinforcing two-digit numbers, but I am also appealing again to my blogging friends, especially to the ones with slightly older kids – which board games you play at home and like? I’d like to expand our collection this year, since we all enjoy this special unplugged time together.
And even though it’s not exactly a science post, I am linking it to Science Sunday at Adventures in Mommydom, since I don’t think that any real science is possible without being solid in math.

I just put up my "Toys" post with a new game that Diego received for Christmas and we just love. I am sure that Anna would like it too and you could play it with German or Russian.

We are big fans of Hi Ho Cherrios too!

Debbie said...

That is great that Anna loves to play board games. Selena enjoys Candy Land sometimes. She likes more critical thinking activities though. She would rather look at a chart with all the numbers and count off from there, or play solitare with cards.

The Boggle Jr we bought for her was a flop, so far, she won't have anything to do with it. I am thinking of just trying Yahtzee.

Kim said...

We were just talking about the fact that it's time to increase our games collection! I wish Crumpet was a good sport like Anna is. Instead, he starts every game by saying "This time, no one is going to win, right?" meaning, "Only Crumpet can win if we ever want to play this game again!"

Kim said...

What about Dominoes? We play a version with pictures that Crumpet loves, but you could get the real Dominoes with dots to reinforce her math and counting skills...

Infant Bibliophile said...

I was thinking about getting Hi Ho Cherry-O too. My son is younger than Anna, but he LOVES games. We just played Uno 4 times in a row (and he beat me every time!). He can read pretty much all of the two digit numbers and he learned it from playing with a large multi sided dice. He'd roll it and my husband would shout out, "22!" For some reason, he thought this was very funny so they did it often, and one day we realized he knew all of the numbers. He likes Diego 123, which is a Diego-themed bingo game (he has no idea who Diego is, but likes the animals). We reviewed it here: http://infantbibliophile.blogspot.com/2009/09/away-from-bookshelf-games.html
We have chutes and ladders, candy land, and cooties too, but he likes our adult games more. My husband and I met while playing board games, and used to host games nights - we're huge game players. So it is in my son's blood.

The girl who painted trees said...

We've never played Hi Ho Cheerio, Bear would get bored playing to 100 on Snakes and Ladders. She likes Boggle Jr. right now and a game called LCR (Left Center Right). We have the dominoes for working on numbers. I think a multisided dice would be very useful in learning the two digit numbers, but what about rolling two die (you could cover the dots with stickers and write the digits) and lining them up side by side to read the "new" double digit number. You could even write them down for her. If you have a calendar, you could have her keep track of which day it is and she'll get some double digit work that way too (ex. today is December 30th).

Our Little Family said...

We are JUST now really getting into games over here. Love this post and am bookmarking it. Great, as always.

Left an award for you over on my blog (and quoted you, too! Clever lady you are!). Happy New Year! :)

-Jill

Ticia said...

We've never had any luck with Chutes and Ladders, but we've had lots of fun with the Eric Carle games.
And, I'm with you that math is neccessary for science, I've occasionally thought of calling it Science and Math Sunday.

Mom and Kiddo said...

Kiddo LOVES numbers. He loves games, too so dominoes and bingo are favorites. But also he likes go fish which is good for matching numbers and the concept of pairs.

I haven't been commenting so much lately, but I'm still reading!

Susana said...

We have dominoes too, but the kids usually use them for building--not exactly what they are intended for:-).

We love playing any of the Cranium games, Boggle Jr., Candy Land, any type of building toys such as the ones I posted about from Christmas. Hi-Ho Cherry O has been a favorite for years.

Joe also loves any type of the I Spy games in the books and we have a CD rom game for this as well. He loves computer games. I don't know how you feel about Anna doing PC games as of yet, but if you ever want some the names of some we enjoy, let me know.