A creative way to continue building number sense during the summer is to create a number-of-the day game. Summer time learning doesn't always have to be about completing workbooks pages, but can instead be about finding ways for our children to experience mathematics in diﬀerent ways. Whether you are food shopping, taking a road trip, or sitting on the beach, there are so many ways we can expose our children to numbers and using math in their everyday lives. Having a number-of-the-day is a fun and easy way for children of all ages to "see" math every day. Even my three year old plays and participates in our number of the day game!
Find a way to pick the number-of-the-day. You can follow the calendar days, have the kids take turns making up a number, or roll dice. My children pull one or two cards from a deck of cards to make our number. So if they pick a 2 and 7, the number can either be 27 or 72, or we sometimes add the two numbers so our number could be 9 (2+7). My nine-year-old usually multiplies them because she just learned multiplication. It doesn't matter how you pick the number, but making it fun and creative gets the kids more excited about it.
Throughout the day, every person in the family tries to ﬁnd or see that number. You can keep track of the number as a family or individually. We have a white board in our kitchen where my daughter and I keep tally marks to represent every time we see or hear our number. My son likes to record his in a journal. This can also be done verbally. The fun part is that everyone can participate in the game, even when mom and/or dad are at work or the kids are at camp. Then at dinner or the end of the day, we talk about where and how many times we saw our number.
We also use a number template for each child to record diﬀerent ways to make the number. I made an age-appropriate one at the beginning of the summer with each of my kids. I put the template in a sheet protector and they ﬁll it out during breakfast using a dry erase marker, so as not to waste paper and to make it more fun for them. Some ideas are: what's 10 (or 1) more (less) than the number, ﬁnd 3 ways to use addition (subtraction) to make the number, draw a model of the number, write it in word or expanded form, what is half the number, model it on a 10-frame, or write a multiplication or division equation using the number. Some outlines are free online that you can print out.
I have my preschooler trace the number, count out Cheerios, and glue them to the paper. She loves feeling so grown-up and being a part of what her brother and sister are doing!
So no matter how you decide to use your number of the day, remember to keep it fun!!