Jump to It!: A Counting Game

3.1 based on 565 ratings
Updated on Jun 27, 2013

Your child can reel off his numbers. But does he have a real handle on what those numbers mean? This jumping game gets math off the page and into the real world-- and it works on both number sense and estimation, key skills for kindergarten readiness.

To play, each child picks a challenge card out of the box. Then they estimate how many jumps it will take to get there. The final step? It's time to jump to it... literally! As your child attempts to make it to his destination in the estimated number of jumps, he'll gain practice predicting distance, estimating, and connecting number words to amounts.

What You Need:

  • 20-30 index cards
  • markers, or old magazines and catalogs
  • tape
  • a small box

What You Do:

  1. This game requires some initial set-up. Before playing for the first time, you'll need to create a set of Challenge Cards. If you're a decent artist, you can draw your own pictures. If not, grab a stack of old catalogs or magazines and cut out pictures of some household objects and items. It's completely up to you what to include, but here are a few suggestions: a door, a window, a table, a book, a desk, a bed, a couch, a closet, a circle, a square, a rectangle, a triangle, a chair, a computer, an oven...
  2. If you are drawing your own pictures, draw a picture of one item on each of the index cards. If you are using pictures from catalogs and magazines, tape one picture onto each index card. When you're finished, put all the cards, picture side down, into the box.
  3. Invite your child to play. Explain the rules: each player takes a turn, starting with the youngest player. When it's his turn, the player picks one card from the box and flips it over to look at the picture. He says the name of the object aloud and estimates how many jumps it will take to get to it. For example, "It's a door. I can jump to it in 10 jumps" or "It's a circle. I can jump to that circle shaped table in 15 jumps". If he does it in the amount of jumps he predicted, he gets to keep the card. If not, it goes into the discard pile. Then it's the next player's turn.
  4. Whoever had the most cards at the end wins the game!

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