Happy Holidays to you and your family! I have been thinking about this time of year and how we tend to stay indoors more often due to the fact that in my area, it is very cold outside! We have fewer hours of daylight, and therefore we are hanging out with one another inside.
Then I got to thinking about games you could play with your kids that would keep everyone happy and extend learning. So, I made up some games that you might enjoy!
Let’s start with the youngest game players first. You can play the game Race to the Gingerbread House. The goal is to be the first to move down the path and reach your destination, the Gingerbread house! How do you play it? You start by printing out the Gingerbread paths that I have created, and cut out your Gingerbread Person. The kids can color them and make them more personalized before starting the game. Then you get a die. The youngest in the group gets to go first. The child will roll the die and then count the dots on the die. Then they will look at the rules sheet to determine what they do on their Gingerbread path. This game is a great way for the little ones to practice their numbers 1-6 and to learn how to move forward and backward.
The next game I created is called Add ‘Em Up or Not Bingo. This is a great game for those kiddos who are proficient with their math facts. If they aren’t there yet, provide them with a 100’s chart and a Multiplication chart for support. The goal is to get a Bingo before their buddy does. The beauty of this game is that the kids get to pick the numbers they are using. They can place any numbers on their bingo card that range from 1-100. They will use a regular deck of cards. I have the totals for each of the cards listed on the rules sheet.
Each participant may draw 1,2, or 3 cards during their turn. The goal is to fill their Bingo sheet. They may use any combination of addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division to solve for the numbers they have on their card. They are to talk out their solutions and the group must agree upon their answer before they place their token on the gameboard. Provide lots of support to players who need it. This is meant to build confidence and it is meant to be fun for the entire family.
Play continues until someone gets a Bingo. You can always reshuffle the cards as you need to if you run out. Be as creative as you want with your Bingo tokens. For fun, you can use candy or almonds and then you can have a snack at the same time! I have provided an empty Bingo template and a set of directions for this game. I hope it is as fun as it looks!
I have mentioned this before in my blogs and podcasts, but baking is such fun. I really encourage you to do this! I have a great pan cookie recipe that is super simple, everyone loves it, and it has been passed down for generations from my grandmother. Give it a try! Taking time to bake with our children not only builds relationships, it builds bonds and trust. You will also be teaching your child life lessons that are so important!
Molasses Cookies by Florence Adams (my Paternal Grandmother)
Lastly, consider having your kids pitch in and help out a neighbor. This is a very busy time of the year and I think we can quickly lose sight of the fact they we have elderly neighbors that might need some help around their homes! Who knows, maybe they will thank your child with a few dollars as a thank you. But, if they don’t, just consider this a job well done. Kids need to learn to give back to others. We spend a lot of time supporting our kids, but I feel it is important for them to contribute to society. So, consider having them volunteer in your community. Who knows, maybe it will lead to a real job for them and they can learn the value of hard work and money earned!
I would also suggest really considering saving some of the monetary gifts your child receives this Christmas. When they spend their money quickly, they don’t always understand the importance of saving for a rainy day. Encourage them to keep 25% of what they get in gifts, and then take them to the bank and open an account. They can learn to keep track of that money and you are supporting their financial literacy.
I hope these ideas have inspired you to take some time to gather together and make great memories!
I want to thank the families that I work with on a weekly basis. I enjoy seeing your children and am delighted to get to work with them. If any of you are seeking someone to support your child in elementary math skills, let me know. I am happy to help out!
Be sure to check out my website and the resources I have available for free. You can also consider going to my Etsy shop and my Teachers Pay Teachers account to see if there are support materials you would like to purchase to support your child.