First Grade Math Games to Teach Basic Skills

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Photo Courtesy - Cheryl

When your first grader is just starting to learn math, he needs as much practice as he can get. Here are two easy games that teach counting, sorting, number recognition and other basic math skills. Easy to put together and fun to play - what more could you want out of a first grade math game?

You will need
• 10 plastic jars or small containers that are safe to play with
• Craft foam in different colors or sandpaper.
• Glue or tape
• Scissors
• A large quantity of small objects such as die, beads, marbles, buttons, tiny toy cars, etc. Try and use as many kinds of objects as you can.

Preparation
• Cut out the numbers 1-10 from the craft foam or sandpaper and glue them onto the tops of the jars.
• Fill the jars with small objects corresponding to the number on top. If you’re adapting this first grade math game for a younger child, make sure the objects in each jar are the same color. For older kids, you could try and put a variety of colors or types of objects in each jar.

First Grade Math Game # 1 – Learning Numbers
Note – If your child has mastered the numbers 1-10, use bigger ones instead.
Take a jar and ask your child to trace his fingers on the number on top, the way he would write it. Have him say the number out loud and spell it. Next, ask him to tip the contents out and count them back into the jar, calling out each number as it goes in. Tip the contents out again and help him arrange them in different patterns on a table. Show him that regardless of how the objects are arranged, their number remains the same when you put them back into the jar.

First Grade math Game # 2 – Sorting and Classifying
Tip out the contents of 3 jars and have your child sort and classify them into groups; encourage him to use categories like color, shape, type, etc. Once he’s done, ask him to count them back into their respective jars. If your child is advanced for his age or loves a challenge, tip out the contents of all 10 jars together on the table. Now, challenge him to sort them out correctly, if he can.

These first grade math games can be tweaked to suit the learning needs of different ages. We would love to know how you used them!

Throw a Math–Themed Party with Fun Kids’ Math Games

Are you thinking of throwing a one-of-a-kind party for your child? Princesses and superheroes are overdone, and movie characters have had their share of the limelight as well. Craft parties have been around for a while and color-themed parties aren’t unheard of either. Well, if you really want a truly unique idea, we have just the thing – throw a math-themed party for your kid. No kidding!

Image Source - 00dann
Image Source - 00dann

Getting the cake and décor right isn’t difficult. A lot of numbers, equations and mathematical symbols are all you need to get your house spruced up for a math-themed party. Calculators, rulers and dice all go well with the theme. What you really need to pay attention to is the party games! What kind of math games can you play to get everyone in the party involved and having fun? Here are three great kids’ math games to get your math-themed party going!

Balloon Catch

This fun kids’ math game is ideal for a party with preschoolers. Here’s what you will need:
• Colorful balloons
• Funnel for each child
• Black marker

What to do:
1. Blow up the balloons and tie them off.
2. Write different one and two-digit numbers on the balloon using the marker.
3. Write the same numbers on the funnels using the marker.
4. Hand out the funnels to the kids.
5. Throw the balloons into the air and ask the kids to catch them using the funnels only.
6. Kids must try to catch the balloon with the same number as the one on the funnel.
7. If they get the wrong balloon, they can throw it back into the air using the funnel.
8. The game ends when all the kids have the right balloons.

You can make this math game more challenging by making many extra balloons with numbers that are not on the funnels. For older kids, you can have equations instead of numbers.

Guess the Number
This classic math game for kids never gets old. Guests can get by guessing, but the winner will need good estimation skills. Here’s what you will need:
• Glass jar with a lid
• Large and colorful candies of the same size and shape
• Square pieces of paper
• Writing instrument

What to do:

1. Fill the jar with candy, counting the number as you put them in.
2. Seal the jar to ensure that nobody opens it unnoticed.
3. Gather all your guests at the beginning of the party and let them know that the person who guesses the number of candies in the jar gets to take it home.
4. Towards the end of the party, gather all the guests once more and hand out the square pieces of paper.
5. Have the guests write down their name and their guess on the piece of paper.
6. Collect the paper and see whose guess is closest to the answer.
7. Announce the answer and the winner of the game!
8. The glass jar will look great as a centrepiece for your party. You can make it more festive by tying balloons to the jar or decorating it any other way.

The Math Dance
People don’t usually dance while solving math problems, but at your math-themed party they will. Here’s what you need for this fun kids’ math game:
• Exercise mats for each kid
• Spray paint
• Music player with fun songs

What to do:
1. Spray the numbers from 0 – 9 on each mat.
2. Crank up the volume on your music player.
3. Call out simple math equations with two-digit answers.
4. Have the kids use their left leg to indicate the number in the tens place and their right leg to indicate the number in the ones place.
5. Slowly increase the speed of the questions, and have your guests dance until they’re dizzy.

You can give the exercise mats to your guests as return gifts.

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brionnasimpson

Author:brionnasimpson
I am an assistant teacher and my aim is to curate unique learning tips and techniques customized towards kids.

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