As you could probably tell, we're on a bit of a math bent this week with our geometry cookie bars, and the Ruler and Compass book giveaway, so it seemed fitting to end the week with a math game.
A riff off of a Candy Land style board game, this simple set is. . .
. . . a quick project to make. . .
. . . so you can start. . .
. . . playing with math today.
Math Land DIY Board Game
- Scrap fabric (roughly 14" x 24")
- Fabric paint (one color)
- Sewing machine (optional)
- 4-8 wooden discs from a craft store or slices of a 3/4"-1" branch
- 4 or more colors of paint for the wooden game pieces
- Card stock
- Notebook and pencil
- Cloth bag (optional)
- Counting beads (optional)
Cut or rip your fabric to the size you would like (mine is approximately 14" x 24"). If you would like to keep the edges from fraying, run a simple zigzag stitch around the outside edge. Once you have your fabric game board, sketch a snaking path from the bottom of the fabric to the top that is about 1 1/4" wide lightly with a pencil. Mark out the spaces on the path and paint every other one a solid color. Paint arrows from lower spaces to upper spaces and from upper spaces to lower spaces to add variation to the game (these will move players up or down the path when they land on them). Allow to dry. To completely set the color, let dry over night and iron to seal it.
Paint different shapes in different colors on the tops of your wooden game pieces and set aside to dry.
Cut or rip card stock into game cards that are roughly 2 1/2" x 1 3/4". Write the word "numbers" on half of them and "symbols" on the other half. On the "numbers" cards write one number on each card starting at zero and ending at nine. Repeat these numbers until you have a full deck. How many cards that deck consists of is up to you but the bigger the deck the more shuffled it will be.
On the "symbol" cards write one symbol on each card ( a plus sign, minus, divide, multiply etc.). You can adjust the complexity of the game by the symbols that you include. Repeat this process until you have a full deck.
Place all the items in a cloth bag for storage to keep everything together when you're not playing the game.
How to Play
- Ask each participant to select a game piece.
- Draw straws or pick names out of a bag to see who goes first.
- During their turn, the player will pick two number cards and one symbol card. They can then decide witch number goes first and insert the symbol in the middle. The answer to the simple math problem is the number of spaces they can move forward. If you have an abacus or counting beads you can use those to help kiddos new to math.
- If the number is larger than 9 the player will move forward using the first digit of answer to the math problem. If you'd like to gear this game to younger players you can limit the numbers in the deck to 0-4.
- If a player lands on a space with an arrow they automatically go up or down the board in the direction of the arrow.
- Continue playing until the first player makes it to the end of the path.
With the Kids:
*Last time in Crafts and Activities: Time Machines and Teleportation