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Roll ‘em to Learn Math

Dice are an easy way to practice math while having fun. Plus they are easy to pack and cheap. Little ones can get the big foam dice and just roll and try to match the two numbers on the dice. As they do this you can attempt counting the numbers if they have the attention. Do not worry it will come. Some die also come with the written numeral on them which is also good for the little ones to start identifying numbers.

A few activities:
Roll ‘em:
1. Each person rolls a die and the one with the larger number wins the round.
(to extend this you can use tally marks to keep score on a paper or board.)
2. Each person rolls two-three dice and adds them. The person with the largest number wins the round. This can also be done with multiplication and subtraction.

Race Car:
Using poster board, draw a road and mark lines like a gameboard. Each player rolls a die and moves the amount of spaces, first to reach the end wins. We use hot wheels as the markers. The many versions of this are what your child is “into” at the time. For example, trains tracks, steps to a castle, Earth to moon-draw (the beginning) earth and draw stars to the moon (the end).

This again is a homemade game that can use any collection of things. You use two dice to add or subtract (Can do multiplication but will need to have a large collection.) For example, we use sea shells. The player rolls the dice and adds the numbers and collects that amount. Each player continues, the player with the largest collection is the winner.

Dry Erase Boards for Children

Children love to write and erase. You can take advantage of this fun activity and make it a learning experience without them knowing! The littlest one can experience scribbling on a large scale and enjoy the magic of erasing. Start to make lines and circles and have them follow. If they are ready, have them make a line from top to bottom to start the pre-writing skill. (Most letters are formed top to bottom!)

Three to five year olds will enjoy choosing an animal (character) to be part of the story and you draw while you tell a story. Or, to incorporate math, make story problems. For example, my four year old chose cats playing baseball. We drew cats holding bats and baseballs to represent the number of hits they made. So, as I told the story we had to add the baseballs and find out which team won the game. The beauty of a four year old is your story can be completely silly and they do not care! Or, you could draw ducks swimming and have some fly away for subtraction. You can extend the activity by actually writing the equation or “number sentence” on the board. Not to force the child into learning this, but to expose them to math language and symbols.

There are many ways to use the dry erase board as an educational tool at home or in the classroom and we are always looking for more fun ways to learn!

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