# Penguins! A game for the whole family

Happy Monday, all!

In a time when we find ourselves spending more time together, learning and thinking and playing together at home, I wanted to share a game that is appropriate for players of all ages.  The game “Penguins!” is strategic and fun for the whole family!

To play you’ll need 2 regular 6-sided dice and some counters.  They can be beans coloured on one side with a marker, or even some Cheerios and some Shreddies cereal. It’s a good idea to have a piece of paper and a pencil handy for calculations.

Here’s how to play (full instructions are included on the “Penguins!” game board):

Roll the dice. Look at the numbers.

Find the sum and write it down. (add the numbers)

Find the difference and write it down. (subtract one number from the other)

Find the product and write it down. (multiply the numbers)

Now decide which one of these answers (the sum, the difference or the product) you will use. You can only pick one!  Cover that number in your colour. Let your partner have a turn.  If your sum AND your difference AND your product are taken, you can cover a penguin instead! Three in a line in your colour wins the game.

Have fun!

Carole

# Simple Dice Games for Math Practice

Hello friends

Today marks the beginning of a new kind of school — the stay-at-home kind. More than ever we are going to need to be flexible and patient and kind to our kids, their parents and our teacher colleagues.  We are in uncharted waters… but not without good will!

I wanted to offer up a couple of simple dice games for you to play at home, to build number sense and computational fluency while having fun…

For more games like these, check out my resources entitled: Mastering the Facts Addition (2nd Edition) , Mastering the Facts Subtraction and Mastering the Facts Multiplication (2nd Edition) available from my online store.

Stay safe.  Be kind.

Carole

Reach for the Top  You can play this game alone, with a partner or against a partner. Print a copy of the Reach for the Top grid available here.

How to play: Roll two 6-sided dice. Find the sum. Write the equation in the box over the sum (or colour it in). The game is over when one of the sums reaches the top! (See the sample game below.)

Order of Operations Bowling: You can play this game alone, with a partner or against a partner. You need one 6-sided die and the optional Bowling Pin recording sheet attached. The object of the game is to “knock down” all the bowling pins from 1 to 10.

How to play: Roll the die 3 times. Record the 3 numbers. Use these three numbers — in any order — to create an equation with an answer of 1. You must use all three numbers. Once you’ve found an equation (or 2 or 3!) with an answer of 1, cross off the bowling pin with the number 1 on it. Now move on to the number 2, then 3, then 4… until you have created equations with all the answers from 1 to 10. Each time you find an equation, you can knock down the pin with that number on it.

If you can knock down all 10 bowling pins with one set of numbers, you get a “strike”.  If not, roll the dice 3 more times to get a new set of numbers and continue.  Two sets of numbers earns you a “spare”. How many different operations can you use?

In the sample round below, Player A rolled a 1, a 5 and a 6.  She used all 3 numbers to create equations (a whole bunch of them!) with an answer of 1. She chooses one of the equations and knocks down the 1 pin.  She then moves on to create equations with an answer of 2.

# Sidewalk Chalk Meets Math Game!

For those of you who are looking for ways to play together and build mathematical thinking and skills at the same time, consider this simple hopscotch game. You’ll need sidewalk chalk and a small stone. Children can play alone or in partners.

Go outside. Draw a large square on the pavement. Divide the square into at least 9 smaller squares, as shown below. This is called a matrix.

In each of the smaller squares record a number from 1 to 9. You can put them in any order. Now take a small stone and toss it onto the matrix. This is your starting square. From here, you must jump to the number that adds to give you 10.

In the game below, a child has thrown a stone onto the number 8.  She stands on the number 8 then and has to jump to get to the number 2 — the missing part to get to 10.

If there’s another child nearby, they should record the equation that matches the jump. (8 + 2 = 10)

Player 2 (if there is one) takes his turn, throwing a stone and jumping from that number to the missing part to make ten.  Player A records the equation.

The first player to hop on all the combinations is the winner. (And yes, landing on a 5 gets you a double jump!)

If you’re stuck inside, make the matrix on a sheet of paper and toss coins — or even Cheerios! — instead of jumping from number to number. Toss the first coin, say the number you’ve landed on, then say what the missing part is to get to the desired sum.

Of course you can change the numbers to suit the age and stage of the players…

Consider a double-digit version (Get to 100!) or even a decimal version (Get to 5.0!).  The sky’s the limit. I’ve included line masters for each of these games — and a blank grid, too — for you to use as inspiration.

Have fun… stay safe…

Carole