What You Need:
- Old ice tray
- Sharpie markers
- Pompoms (about 1/2" in diameter)
- Paper and pencil
What You Do:
For preschoolers and kindergarteners:
- Use a sharpie to write the numbers 0 through 10 randomly in the bottom of each compartment of the ice tray. It's okay if some numbers show up more than once, as long as every compartment has a number at the bottom.
- Select two players and help each player count out 5 pompoms, this should be enough for five rounds.
- Have the first player toss one pompom into the tray. Remove the pompom and have her identify the number underneath; encourage her to memorize the number.
- Then the next player goes and does the same thing. Then have both players figure out which number is the higher number by counting to ten.
- The player with the higher number is the winner of the round! Play for five rounds, and whoever wins the most rounds is the winner of the game. There's no need to stop playing after round five if kids are having a fun time! Keep continue playing for as long as they want! This game helps with number recognition, which will be an important skill in kindergarten.
- Your child can also play this game by herself for practice counting and identifying numbers.
For first and second graders:
- Select at least two players and give each a pencil, a piece of paper, and 6 pompoms.
- The first player tosses two pompoms into the tray. Then, have her take the pompoms out of the compartments and identify each number.
- Have her write down the first number on the piece of paper in an equation format. For example, if the two numbers that her pompoms landed on are 2 and 6, she would write down 6 + 2 =_. Encourage her to add the numbers together and write down her answer.
- Have the next player go and do the same.
- Invite players to identify the higher number. Have the player with the larger number put a star or checkmark on her piece of paper.
- Do this for three rounds, and the person with the most stars or checkmarks is the winner! This game can also be played with subtraction and multiplication!