Learning how to count is such an important math skill. We use numbers in some way or form every day. Putting our well rehearsed numbers into context will help deepen our children’s understanding of their value.
To do this, Miss 4 and I created our very own little game.
How to Play
To play the game, you need a pond, six frogs, tongs (added fine motor practise) and a dice.
The aim of the game is to roll the dice and then match the number on the dice with frogs in the pond.
What learning opportunities does this game promote?
Not only does this activity promote counting, but also adding and subtracting! Our little frogs offer a visual representation of the numbers while using the tongs helps to build up those all important fine motor skills.
I was a bit sneaky by encouraging Miss 4 to cross her midline throughout this activity too. Imagine an invisible line running from your nose to your belly button. It is a skill that needs to be practise to cross your left side across this line to the right side and visa versa.
How to engage your child in play
Engaging your child in play that they are interested in is the best way to encourage learning through play. If they aren’t interested in the task, they are not going to get much from it.
Miss 4 quickly learnt how to read the dice by simply looking at the pattern on the top face. She took a lot of pride in positioning the frogs and her new found math skills!
Swap the frogs for
- Farm animals
- Ocean friends
Putting the value of numbers into context
This is a fun way to build your child’s comprehension of numbers and maths. The little figurines are a valuable visual guide showing the value of the numbers that they are counting.
Your child will be able to see that 6 frogs are a greater number than 2. When taking some away, they will be able to understand that 4 has a lesser value than 6.
Questions to ask to further build comprehension
Throughout the activity you can ask open ended questions to further your child’s understanding of the game along with loads of other topics! You can discuss colours, directions, challenges they are facing, emotions, strategies, predications, things to do differently next time and so much more.
Here are some comprehension questions that will encourage your child to think and broaden their perspective of the game:
- How do you think we are going to play this game?
- What else could we use instead of tongs to pick up the frog?
- How does it feel to match the frogs with the number on the dice?
- What is something you could do differently if you cant pick the frog up by his foot?
- What else could we use instead of frogs to play this game?
- Which two other numbers that can be added together to make 5?
A summary of the skills used in this game
While it looks rather simple, there are many life skills that can be taught and practised during this game. These are skills that your child can continue to practise during their childhood and well into their adult years.
- Fine motor skills
- Crossing the midline
- Turn taking
- Sequencing events
- Cognitive thinking
- Problem solving skills
- Logical thinking