Monday, September 12, 2011

A New Game Idea to Try

As a homeschooling mom I am always searching for something new to help Elizabeth.  Actually, before I decided to home school I was looking for ways to help Elizabeth learn to read and do better in school.  Games, books, different websites to help her gain more ground on the field of academics.

So last week as I was wondering how to help her learn to do addition and math without using her fingers to count, I came up with the idea to create a memory game for her.  The game is easy to create at home yourself. Here is all you need:
1. Two sets of index cards.  Lined cards are better than the plain ones because it makes it tougher for the children to cheat by looking through the cards to see what they want to see.
2. One ball point pen.
3. A working knowledge of your addition facts.

We've started with Addition from the 1 to the 4's.  You can include the zero's addition tables, but you are already going to need a good deal of space on your floor for the game, so it isn't recommended.   On the index cards you write out your addition facts (you need to write them out twice so you can create pairs for your child to hunt out and find).  You can even add on as your child's working knowledge of math improves.  Hint: Cut the cards in half, to help save space and to make the most out of your index cards.  I thought of this AFTER I had already created our game. 
Create multiple rows of addition/multiplication facts after shuffling the cards well.  Place cards face down and then you and your child can take turns trying to find matches.
When you turn over one card you need to be able to answer the math fact.  For example: 2 + 2 = 4.  The cards must match perfectly.  Don't mix and match the pairs, for example you do not pair up  3 + 4 = 7 and 4 + 3 = 7.  Those are not considered a match.
Play until you have found all of the pairs and whoever has the most pairs in the winner.

The game serves several purposes.  First, it helps your child learn their addition (and later you could make a game for multiplication facts if it works for your child very well) facts and learn how to do it without using their fingers.  Second, it improves their memory and yours since they need to remember where they saw the card matches.

You can also do this with the alphabet, shapes and colors.  It's pretty cheap to create on your own so you don't have to spend a fortune on flash cards.

I hope you enjoy and have a good week.
Love in Christ,


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