A Field Day for Math
Add some bounce and zing into your springtime math lessons with these fast-moving playground games.
- Grades: 1–2, 3–5
1 + 1, reach for the sun (reach up for the sun 2 times)
1 + 2, touch your shoe (touch shoe 3 times)
1 + 3, touch your knee (touch knee 4 times)
1 + 4, touch the floor (touch floor 5 times)
1 + 5, take a drive (make 6 turns of an imaginary wheel)
1 + 6, pick up sticks (pick up 7 imaginary sticks)
1 + 7, fly to the heavens (flap wings 8 times)
1 + 8, shut the gate (shut gate 9 times)
1 + 9, chop down a pine (axe chop 10 times)
1 + 10, do it all again! (clap 11 times)
Next, divide the class into pairs. Each pair sits crosslegged, facing each other. The pair follows the clapping sequence while adding the verses following the designated number table for that particular round.
Both players: Concentration, are you ready?
Concentration, let's go!
Beginning with the adding of…
Player #1: Threes.
Taking turns, and keeping a steady pace, the players give the next number in sequence on the lap clap.
Player #1: Three
Player #2: Six
Player #1: Nine
Player #2: Twelve
If a player give an incorrect number or hesitates, the other student gets a point and the game starts again. The players take turns choosing the number. Have kids switch partners and play again!
Practice math facts and your hoop shots with this basketball game. (No hoop? Use any ball and a wastepaper basket.) Players stand in a line about 10 feet from the basket. A referee (you or another player) holds a pile of addition/subtraction facts flashcards, and calls out the equations one at a time. For example, you call out “2 + 3!” The first player in line calculates the answer in her head, then bounces the ball 5 times as she walks toward the basket. When she stops, she calls out the answer and shoots. Then the next child takes a turn. For older kids, try using multiplication and division flashcards.