When math is combined with. . .
. . . natural materials. . .
. . . and scrabble. . .
. . . good things. . .
. . . happen.
Math Scrabble Set
- Scrap wood
- Cloth bags
- Hammer and Nails
- Hand Saw
Go on a hike or head to the backyard and find a few sticks that are about 3/4" - 1" in diameter as well as a couple that are roughly 1.5" in diameter.
Using a handsaw cut the 1/5" diameter pieces to roughly 8" in length. Make sure to clamp the branches to a stable surface and keep both hands away from the saw teeth (adult supervision or assistance is required for this part).
Once you have your longer pieces, take the smaller diameter sticks and cut pieces that are about 3/4" thick. Cut as many as you like of these, but the more the better. These are your "Scrabble" pieces.
When all of the pieces are cut, paint the numbers 0-9 on them, making as many sets as you like. Then do the same for addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication symbols. I added an indicator dot on my 6s and 9s and also under my addition and multiplication symbols.
To make the player stations, take the 8" pieces and cut flat scrap wood to the same length. A thin piece works best here. Hammer the flat piece to the branch so that a ledge sticks out (adult supervision for these parts too). Make as many stations as you would like to have players.
Collect stones, buttons, or beads to help with counting. Place them in cloth bags. Take the game pieces and separate them into two bags, one for numbers and one for symbols. Then put all the components in a larger bag (which can double as the game board).
To Play the Game
Give each player a station, 6 number, 2 symbols, a bag of counting stones and paper and a pencil.
To start the game, ask the first player to come up with a math problem using the game pieces they have. Then invite all the players to try their hand at coming up with the answer (kids could also work in teams). Whoever comes up with the right number gets to keep the game pieces and make up the next equation.
When the first round is over give each player more pieces so that they have 6 number and 2 symbols again. Play until there are no more pieces in the bag. Whichever team has the most pieces at the end wins!
*Last time in Crafts and Activities: Stamp Identity