Game night is a family tradition in our home. I've always tried to have a theme or focus to help our children practice different skills. Many of the family favorites are Pictionary, charades, or Trivial Pursuit, all of which incorporate a healthy level of competition. However, one night I realized that we never really played any math games besides the typical card games that incorporate simple counting and sequencing skills. I always have a stack of games in my classroom and encourage my students to play them all the time, but I wasn't necessarily focusing on this at home with my own children.
Every year when I taught 5th grade, we would have a math game day challenge where the students worked for weeks on creating their own math games. They would pick a skill or concept to focus on which they had learned throughout the year. From scratch, they created the rules, game board, game pieces, etc. And then they would present their games in the auditorium where we would invite all of the students and their families to participate in the games and give feedback to the students. The students were so empowered and were extremely creative!
I decided to try this at home with my own children, and they loved it!!! They spent a week creating their games and then presented them on family game night. We all took turns playing the games and even had a comment form to fill out so each child could receive feedback, both positive and negative. They could then go back and make any changes they felt necessary. We had so much fun doing this, we invited family friends to join in with us the following week and we've now started a new tradition! Consider spicing up your family game night with a focus on math!!!
And, for those whose kids aren't up for creating their own games just yet, here are some great math games to add to your collection:
- Sequence (the dice version is great)
- Zingo (number bingo)
- Can't Stop (old game but fun)
- Phase Ten
- 20 Express
- Game 24
- Math Dice Jr.
What's your favorite math game to play with your kids? Share your picks on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page.