I don’t know about you, but we have seen an inordinate amount of rain around here! And while it has been great for the trees and the flowers, it has not been quite as great for these stir crazy kids! Not to worry, though, because I came up with a math game that kept them busy AND wore them out, all while practicing important math facts!
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I simply turned the classic game of Twister into a get-up-and-move math game to help my little ones (who are starting Kindergarten and First grade this year) practice basic addition facts and work on their mental math skills! It took no time at all to set up, and they seriously had SO.MUCH.FUN!
First, I used post it notes to write an answer value on each of the colors. I wanted to start with some easier addition facts since my son is just starting, so I used the numbers 4, 5, 6 and 7 to represent addition answers.
Each color was the same number, so for example, since red represented the answer 4, I stuck a #4 post it on each red circle. (Side note: they had a ton of fun just sticking all the post its on the mat! Ha! It’s the little things, right?)
Then, just to help me remember which color stood for each answer, I stuck a little post it on the spinner as well to label each of the colors (and in my very old version, the colors don’t go in the same order on the spinner that they do on the mat, so this proved to be very useful for me as I called out problems!)
Then we were ready to play!
Each of them stood at a corner of the mat, and I would spin the spinner and use whichever hand or foot it designated, i.e. right hand, left foot, etc. Then, instead of calling out the color, I would say an addition problem that corresponded to the appropriate answer.
For example, if I spun “Right hand yellow,” I would say something like, “Right hand, 4 + 2,” because yellow represents an answer of 6. Easy, right!?
Play continues until they are sufficiently exhausted, or someone falls over!
A word of caution: be sure you are sitting away from the mat or holding the spinner out of sight, because once or twice my son saw the color I spun and didn’t have to actually figure out the addition problem. 😉
Our “Math Twister Game” was hugely successful, even though they needed a little help at times remembering their right from their left, and my son needed some help with the addition. But that’s what practice is for, right?
And while we used it to practice addition, this could easily be adapted to practice any number of math facts, including subtraction, multiplication, division or operations with integers!
Want another fun way to help your kids practice mental math? Check out this post!
And most of all, have FUN!