How many of you have libraries in your centers that allow families to check out books? Often, centers (sometimes classroom teachers) offer both children’s books and adult books focused on child rearing and education, to families for borrowing.
Wouldn’t it be great to create a lending library filled with math games as well? You could begin with a small collection of simple board games like “Chutes and Ladders” and “Candyland” and expand the collection as needed. It might be nice to attach a clipboard to the box so families could jot down notes about their game experience, or so they can suggest modifications or extensions to game play. I would also create small bags of extra “pieces” such as dice, chips, spinners and markers just in case these go missing. You might want to include decks of cards with directions for playing “Memory” or “War.” A few sets of “Uno” might also be fun.
As you introduce these games to the children, you can make them available in the lending library. That way, the children can go home and teach their families about the game, the rules, and how to play. Some families may not know these games, or know that they are good choices for young children. They may think that games such as these require reading or more sophisticated skills than they do. Presenting them as available options may open them up to family game play and another fun way to support their child(ren)’s development.
Now that the summer is here, so are the garage sales. Make sure to check out the garage sales in your neighborhoods as they are often filled with old board games, dice, decks of cards, dominoes, adding machines and other fun math materials. The entire list above can probably be put together for twenty dollars, especially if you get lucky at those garage sales or your local Dollar Store.