I wanted to share an activity we did in math a little while ago.
I call it the Smartie game (although you can use other candies, or non-edible counters, if you prefer).
We played it to practice addition to 12, but it could easily be adapted to addition to 20 if you have 10-dice.
The beauty of this game though, is that there’s NO prep or photocopying. Well, okay, you have to buy the candies if that’s what you’re using … but nothing else.
AND, it gives you a quick insight into the kids’ ability to sequentially and evenly space numbers on a number line.
Give the kids a piece of 8 1/2 by 11 paper cut lengthwise. They turn it sideways (as shown below) and draw a straight line with a ruler.
Print the number 2 on the left end of the line and the number 12 on the right. Eyeball the centre of the line and print the 7.
Here’s the tricky part (but ever so revealing): Print the remaining numbers between the 2 and 7 and the 7 and 12. I modelled this on the board for the kids, but many of them still found it challenging.
But don’t feel like you need to have them fix it up … it’s not that important to the actual game.
Kids break into pairs and every child is given 11 of their own Smarties. Players take turns rolling two dice, adding the numbers, then placing a Smartie on the corresponding sum. If it already has a Smartie then they miss a turn.
The winner, of course, is the first person to cover all 11 numbers on their game board. And YES! They eat them when they’re finished.
I should mention, I always stress to the kids that they “count on” when they’re playing this. They know it’s most efficient (if they don’t already know the answer) to say the name of the largest number and then count on from there.
I think this simple and fun game is GREAT practice and very worthwhile!
I hope this was helpful! We’re going to play it again on Thursday with our 10 dice.