I love teaching math! I like creating activities that are engaging and fun for kids so that they enjoy learning and are excited to explore new math concepts. After doing a building unit, I had a collection of wooden building blocks. The children loved using them so I created this math number game so that they could use them again.
The children I teach love math and they believe that they are good at math – and they are!
That doesn’t mean that they get every single question correct, but they have the mind frame that they are mathematicians and are willing to attempt new questions and approach them with confidence.
One of the benefits of teaching kindergarten is that our program is play-based so our math program is hands-on and fun! I created this math number game to try out with my students and it was a hit!
The materials for this math number game are pretty simple. There is a little bit of prep that needs to be done ahead of time, but it doesn’t take too long and you can use the game over and over.
- Wooden Building Blocks (Rectangular works best)
- Large Sheet of Paper
- Wooden People
If you don’t have the same materials that I used, you can still create the game. If you don’t have wooden building blocks, you can simply use construction paper cut into rectangles. You can also try cardstock only because it is a bit thicker.
If you don’t have the wooden people, you can use any counter that you have on hand. The wooden people are simply the markers on the game board for each player.
How to Create Your Math Number Game Board
Once you have all of your supplies, you are ready to begin! Start by counting out 50 wooden blocks.
I used 50 because the children that I teach were being introduced to higher numbers from 1-50. You can use as many blocks as you would like the children playing to count to, and practice.
I laid the blocks out on a large sheet of paper to create a path/game board. Once I was happy with how they were laid out, I then traced each block.
Once each of the blocks were traced, I then removed the blocks and placed a small sticker in the center of each drawn rectangle.
I marked a “Start” and “End” place on the board and then I printed the numbers 1-50 on each of the dots. Each rectangle got one number and I went in order.
I then added a few stickers and drawings to the board, just for fun! My board was now complete.
The last bit of prep that you need to do for the game is to print the numbers 1-50 on each of the blocks. Depending how many children will be playing the game, you will need a game board, blocks, wooden person and a die for each group.
How to Set Up the Math Number Game
There are two parts to this game. The first part is successfully putting the game board together and the other is playing the game and racing to the finish.
To start, give groups of 3-4 children the game board along with a bag of numbered blocks. They will evenly split the blocks between the group and begin working to create their game board.
Children need to look at the number on each block and work to match their block to the correct space on the board.
In my class, when children came across a number that they didn’t know, such as 43, they used different strategies to find their number on the board. For example, they looked for the row of numbers starting with 4, and then followed the pattern to find 43.
How to Play the Game
There are 2 ways that I tried this game with my students. One way, was to have them start at 1 and place the numbers in numerical order. Each child checked their pile of blocks and looked for the next number.
The other option is having children place each of their blocks onto the game board at their own speed, and they don’t have to set them down in order from 1-50, but they still have to be placed on the board on top of the correct number.
In the end, either way you play, the board will still be completed and ready to use to play.
Once children have completed their board, and I quickly checked it, I then gave the group game pieces and a die. Children then Raced Around the Block to get all the way to 50.
All players set their wooden person on Start. The first player rolls the die and moves how ever many blocks that they rolled. The have their wooden person stand on that block number.
Then the next player rolls and moves their wooden person. Continue rolling and moving the wooden people until one person makes it all the way around the board to the “End“.
The game is great for number recognition, matching, counting and even team work. It was a great hands-on math period!
If you want to try the game again, or with an older group of children there are lots of other activities you could try. For example, if you are focusing on specific multiples, such as 5, you could give children only those blocks that are a multiple to find and place on the board.
For younger children, you could create a board that only includes 20 blocks. This way children can practice the numbers that they are learning.
If you are working with older children, you could increase the number of blocks, and you could even challenge them to create the board on their own.
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More Hands-On Teaching Ideas
If you are looking for more fun math games and learning activities, below is a collection of my favourite and most popular blog posts. From building challenges and science experiments to escape rooms and another math number game, there’s lots of activities to keep kids learning and creating.