Your first grader has been honing basic math skills for a few years—now it's time to put them to the test! Challenge your child's mental addition and subtraction of numbers one through ten with this fast-paced caterpillar math game. This adorable DIY game provides plenty of equations for math practice, as well as hours of fun to boot. As your child's skills progress, continue to challenge him by tacking on numbered circles to your growing caterpillar.
What You Need
- Different colors of paper
- 1 set of googly eyes
- Black pen, crayon or marker
- 2 dry beans
- Stopwatch or egg timer
What You Do
Help your budding artist draw or trace 11 circles on various light-colored pieces of paper, then ask him to cut them out.
Have him write the numbers one to ten on the segments with one number on each circle. Count with him as he goes along.
When he's all finished, ask him to put the circles in order with number one at the front and number ten at the end.
Next, have your child glue two googly eyes in the middle of one circle, then draw a smile underneath.
Draw and cut out two antennae for the caterpillar, as they might be a little too tricky for little hands to do. Glue them on a few millimeters above the eyes so they stick out from the head.
Starting with the head, have your kid glue the segments together in order, overlapping the edges of each one until they form a long caterpillar.
Get the fun started! Place the caterpillar on the floor or table so he faces away from you, then have your child step a few feet back.
Allow him to lightly toss two dry beans until each one lands on (or very near) two numbers. Make up a subtraction or addition problem, set the stop watch for anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds, then ask your child to solve the equation without using paper.
Keep an eye on your timer, and whenever he gets a certain number of problems correct, give him a small prize for a job well done.