Welcome to our final blog entry for this month. Throughout the month, we have talked about the importance of helping our youngsters not only know their numbers, but also understand what they represent. This ability to understand what numbers represent lays the foundation for future mathematical thinking. Therefore, it is important that our children have several chances to engage in meaningful math activities that uncovers the meaning behind numbers.
So far, we have introduced two games: dot bingo and the dot card matching game. Our final game for this month is called “Fill That Parking Lot.” This game enables our youngsters to think of numbers one through nine in terms of their relationship to the number ten and to build a strong foundation for addition and subtraction.
For this game you will need:
- The dot cards that you created for the dot card matching game (only use cards with the numbers one through three)
- Small toy cars or you can use the template for car counters
- A printer to download and print the Parking Game and Car Counter templates
Once you have downloaded the template, print as many copies as you need, one for each player.
The object of the game is to fill your parking lot (hence the name)! Each player will take a turn flipping over a dot card, determine how many cars they need to park in their parking lot based on the number of dots on the card, and then use your counters or cars to fill the parking lot, whoever fills the parking lot first, wins! For example, if you have the number three, take three cars or counters and fill up there spots in the parking lot. Continue taking turns and filling up the parking lots until you have a winner!
It is important to have your children fill up the parking lot in a meaningful way for this activity to be effective. Have them fill up one row at a time or have them choose spots that are touching one another or next to one another. This will help your children see the relationships between numbers one through ten.
Some questions you can ask your child while playing are:
- How many more cars do you need to fill your parking lot?
- I have six cars in my parking lot, how many more cars do I need to get to 10?
- What is happening to our parking lots, do we have more cars or less cars?
I would love to hear your comments on these games! Looking forward to hearing from you.