I’m on a mission to sneak in as much math fun as possible lately–trying desperately to have Maddy practice her basic facts, which she absolutely, totally, and completely despises doing. But which she absolutely, totally, and completely needs to do.
So when we were hit with a surprise ‘ice day’ yesterday, I thought we’d play a game that required very little set-up, minimal clean-up, a little movement, and a teeny bit of math practice. And it included one of our favorite rainbowed, recycled items: lids.
We played a few rounds of Indoor Lid Toss before I decided to brave the slushy streets and take the kids to Owen’s buddy’s birthday party, but Maddy, Owen, and Cora liked it and some sneaky math practice was had. Woot!
- Indoor Lid Toss: The premise of this baby is totally simple: toss lids into containers marked with a number value. When a player’s turn is over–and he tosses five lids–we added up his score. Voila.
Setting up our lids and preparing our super-simple game
I grabbed a big tray and placed a red three-part server and several empty plastic containers (from our colors in a jar game). I put numbers 1, 2, and 3 on the front server because it was closest and easiest to toss into; I put ’10’ on the teeniest plastic container, and 6, 8, and 5 on the others–just because I wanted Maddy to practice addition of different numbers and combos.
Then we found our big jug o’ lids, not our labeled Alphabet Letter Lids or Word Building but rather the blank ones we use for color games and counting and building. or Maddy, Owen, and Cora each found five small lids, and they put a tiny blue sticker in the inside with ‘their’ letter on it–that way we wouldn’t confuse the lids. (Plus, it was just a little extra writing practice for Owen and Cora.
I put tape on the floor where they needed to stand, I grabbed a big piece of paper so we could keep score, and I put Brady in the kitchen.
And then the game began!
Owen might have been confused about where to stand. Heel to tape, or toes to tape?
We put Cora’s tape closest to the ‘board’, and Maddy and Owen stood a bit further back. The kids threw their lids, and then when they were finished, we added their scores, two numbers at a time. We used wait time–no rushing or calling out answers!–and I encouraged the kids to use their on-hand calculators to count if they needed to, rather than calling out a guess. Before the next person tossed, we added.
For Cora, my focus wasn’t so much adding; it was more basic number recognition. Could she identify the number on the container? If not, I’d help her along: Is it a 7 or a 5?
With a whole lot of jumping, a lot of hooting, and a bunch of cheering, we played until their little arms were tired and it was time to get dressed. We didn’t focus on a ‘all-time winner’–rather, we added scores as we went and whooped it up when someone landed a ’10’.
And for the last two ‘money rounds’, everyone stood at the closest tape mark and dropped in their lids–I was up for the higher amount of adding practice anyway.
And that was that–about 20 minutes of easy, focused (super-sneaky, if I do say so myself!) math fun, not to mention the little bit of exercise from some balance and gross motor skill work.
Happy, happy ice day!