Part 2: Math Games for Christmas (and other wonderful holidays!)

After posting my last blog, I went to a few area shops and did some searching for some fun and educational games that would continue the learning and the fun! I stopped in at our nearest Bomgaars to get a few things for our farm and walked down the toy isle. They always do a great job of having a ton of fun games and activities for families. I would have to say, if you are looking for some really great farm and ranch toys, or construction toys, go to a Bomgaars store. They have a ton of fun things that your kiddos would love to play with. While I didn’t specifically pick one toy out, I would have to say they have a lot of things you may not find in your Walmart or Target stores. So, I will just encourage you to head to that store or online venue and take a peak and see what they have.

I had to go to Menards for some work jeans for my hubby and I walked through the isles there and was also astounded by the sheer amount of toys that were found there as well. Again, if you are looking for fun games for the littles, you are bound to find something there as well! I found a few items I really liked and wanted to share them with you. I was looking for a math game that I could use with my kiddos to warm their brains up when I visit with them and found a fun one called Dot to Dot. It consists of 8 cubes with colored dots on them. There is a box that they fit in. The goal is to replace all of the cubes so that dots match on every side. There are only four ways to solve the puzzle. So, I plan to give this one a try with my kiddos this week. I am sure we will be bound to giggle as we try this one out! It is for ages 8 and up, so don’t grab this one for the littles. They will be too confused. This game is made by, so you can go there and check it out.

I also purchased a Cribbage board while I was at Menards. I personally have never played Cribbage, however, I have always thought it would be an interesting game to try. This was another inexpensive game to pick up. It came with a deck of standard playing cards, and the board and pegs. Here is the list of directions for the game. This looks like a great game to get an older child of 10+ as it has many rules and the child will need to be able to manipulate cards and pegs at the same time.

Now I want to get to a fun store that I stopped in called Learning Express Toys. It was loaded with all kinds of fun toys that kids would love to have. They have things for kids from 2+ up to tweens. I loved the selection and I could have spent some serious cash in this store, but I had to hold back. I calmly told myself that I had done my Christmas shopping for my granddaughter already, but I know where I will be going for her birthday and other events.

I did pick up a pack of flashcards about telling time for my tutoring kiddos and it appears to more of a game, but that isn’t what I am really excited about. I wanted to let you know that if you are seeking a Rubiks cube, then you need to head to your local Learning Express! Wow, what a collection! The have the Rubik’s Twist, Rubik’s Tower, Rubik’s Cube, Rubik’s Blocks, Rubik’s mini, Rubik’s Speed, and then some sort of a Rubik’s Race. If you need a Rubik’s of any sort, check out their selection!

Another item I found at Learning Express what their Hot Dots Collection. I used to have a few sets of these in my classroom and finally got rid of them when the cards we all bent up and the dot button pen no longer worked, but I can tell you, the kids loved these. When I came around the corner and saw their collection of math and letter recognition as well as beginning words, I knew I had to share this with others. What a fantastic gift this would be! Great practice of skills they need to move forward with their foundational math and language skills.

I continued meandering around the store and I spotted some programmable robots. They had one in blue and one in white. They have 50 programmable actions and 20 facial expressions as well as the ability to walk. I know my son would have been thrilled to get one of these!

I loved the fact that Learning Express had science kits as well. I spotted some chemistry sets as well as rock kits.

If you are a big Melissa and Doug fan, you cannot go wrong with their collection of food sets, money sets, and they even have buildable sets for kitchens and food carts. What fun!

And, to keep kids off of digital devices, they had a huge selection of dress-up outfits from police officers to cowgirls. I could have spent a LONG time in there!

Now, if you are still looking for some perfect gifts to give, but you don’t have time to run to the store and purchase those things, I have taken some time to find some more great ideas on Amazon. Don’t forget, I have am an Amazon Affiliate, if you purchase from Amazon, I may earn from qualifying purchases.

I LOVE to play Dice Games with my tutoring kiddos. Here is one that I think I need to purchase. It helps kiddos with mental math. It is called Math Dice Jr. I love that it has different dice and then kiddos have to combine totals mentally in their heads. I love that it has a reusable mat that players use their game pieces forward to get to the end of the mat. Super fun, won’t take a long time to play, very engaging, and it comes in differing age abilities. So, follow this link to see the other Math Dice games that are available.

I found a game called “Check the Oven” that is a game using cards with foods that you make in the oven and they have numerals on them. The object is to collect 12 of each set. This is a great way to practice early addition skills, but the bonus of this game is that there are 4 additional games that can be played with these cards. I love the diversity of this game and the fact that it can be played by 3-6 players. It is geared for ages 7 and up.

Adsumudi Math Game is another game that I need to add to my game collection! If you look closely at the title, it consists of each of the operations in math. This is a a fast paced game that has easy to monstrously hard mode. Since it has different levels of play, players will use different card amounts to create totals using the operations in math to create their totals. Players collect cards as they play the game. It looks fast paced and fun!

ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run Brain Game and STEM Toy for Boys and Girls Age 8 and Up is an interactive game where kids have up to 60 challenges that they can try to complete. They build three dimensional mazes with marbles and see if they can solve the situation provided. What a great way to de-digitize and get the thinking going!

ThinkFun Shape by Shape Creative Pattern Logic Game For Age 8 to Adult is a great activity to help build visual perception and logical reasoning. This link will show you the 3 games that it links to. The first one is pattern blocks, the second one is a 3-dimensional block building game, and the last one is a 3-dimensional car activity. I have games similar to this that I take to some of my tutoring appointments and I feel like they do a great job of helping kids problem solve and work on the skills of visual perception. If you are looking something that most kids probably don’t work on enough, these look like fun!

I hope these ideas will get you thinking about gifts you can give that aren’t your typical activities. I think we get so consumed by digital games because they are easy, but I think we need to re-think that approach. If we want kids that have flexible thinking, can problem solve, and can learn to play with others, give some of these a shot.

For more information about Tutoring with Sheryl go to

Published by Tutoring with Sheryl

I have 32 years of experience teaching in public schools in Nebraska. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincon. I hold a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Doane University. I have 2 Google for Education Certifications. I have been tutoring online for 1 year. I have worked with countless students of all ages to support their education. I also support teachers with planning and management in their classrooms.

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