Trying to find another way to make practicing math facts fun? Here's a simple activity that gives your child the chance to break a "secret code" (in pasta form) using only a few clues. Can she solve these math mysteries?
This game is a fun and easy way to practice addition and reinforce basic math concepts.
What You Need:
- Large bowl
- Variety of different pasta shapes (uncooked)
- Laminated piece of tag board or cardstock inside of a sheet protector
- Erasable marker
- Small scoop
- Paper napkins
- Some blank paper and a pencil
What You Do:
- Fill the bowl with a variety of uncooked pasta shapes.
- Attach a sample of each shape to the laminated piece of tag board. With the erasable marker, label the tag board “Pasta Values”.
- Create a pasta code, assigning one numeric value to each different shape. For instance, if you have three different pasta shapes, the first shape can have a value of 2; the second, a value of 4; and the third, a value of 6.
- Once the game is set up, it's time to play. With the scoop, have your child scoop some of the pasta into a napkin.
- Have her use the "Pasta Value" code to find out the total value of the pasta she has on her napkin. If she is not able to mentally calculate it, give her a piece of paper and a pencil for her to write the problem out.
- After a few rounds, change the value of the pasta to give her more puzzles to solve! As your child progresses, make the game harder by telling her the total value and only one of the pasta values to see if she can figure out what the other values are.
Barbara Sweet has a Master's degree in Education and has taught Spanish in grades K-12, as well as a variety of undergraduate college courses. She is also the mother of a nine-year-old son.