Playing games together is a great way to build relationships during the holidays. Enjoy family time and develop early math skills by playing a math game! Check out the following games that target essential math skills in a fun, Thanksgiving-themed way.
This is the first of two in this week’s Thanksgiving Special. On Wednesday, I’ll discuss how you can use math talk to make Thanksgiving preparations even more exciting!
Thanksgiving-themed Number Path Game
Number path games are great for building foundational number concepts and developing a mental number line.
The game itself is simple: Players take turns rolling the die/using the spinner to determine how many spaces to move their token. The first player to the end of the board wins!
Here are the materials you’ll need:
- Board template: Print out this snazzy Thanksgiving template I made (pictured above) or create your own template on a piece of paper. If you’re creating your own, the key is for the numbers to be equally spaced apart. To build in some physical movement, you can create a life-size board using kitchen tiles or the sidewalk!
- Die or spinner with #1-3: Create your own out of paper or a blank cube, or use an online simulator.
- Tokens: These are the pieces each player moves across the board. These can be anything: coins, game pieces from another game, a Lego character – let your child choose!
- Crayons or markers: To decorate and color the board.
Once you’ve made the board and the spinner/die, you’re ready to play! Read my previous post Math Games for Young Mathematicians: Number Path Games to find specific strategies you can use to bring out the math while playing.
Turkey Shape Puzzles: Tangrams and Pattern Blocks
Shape puzzles are great for building foundational shape skills and spatial awareness.
Tangrams are puzzles that arrange a set of 7 shapes into an outlined image.
You can use the beginner tangram turkey puzzle (taken from STEM Spark) with the internal shape outlines or the classic version without the shape outlines. If you don’t have tangrams, you can cut out your own from this template or buy some here.
Pattern block puzzles are similar to tangrams because they use shapes to fill in a puzzle outline. Unlike tangrams, you can use multiple copies of the same shape. For example, the turkey pattern puzzle below uses multiple hexagons.
Read my previous post Math Games for Young Mathematicians: Pattern Block Puzzles to find specific strategies for bringing out the math.
- Choose one of the above math games to try out this Thanksgiving! Use the links to ensure that you have all of the materials you need, and check out my previous posts for specific strategies to use while playing: Math Games for Young Mathematicians: Pattern Block Puzzles and Math Games for Young Mathematicians: Number Path Games.
- I’d love to know how your Thanksgiving math games go! Share pictures or stories with me through email, Facebook, or Instagram.
- Questions on how to play any of the games? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.