Bring out the Math in Thanksgiving: Math Games

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.

Find a printout of the turkey pattern block puzzle here. If you don’t already have pattern blocks, you can cut out your own from this template or buy them here (they’re on sale right now!).

Read my previous post Math Games for Young Mathematicians: Pattern Block Puzzles to find specific strategies for bringing out the math.

Take Action

One thought on “Bring out the Math in Thanksgiving: Math Games

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s