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It’s been a while since I have posted a math game, but I have something fun to tell you about today. You know I always like a fun new way to practice math. We have been having fun with some popsicle stick math games. These math games are done with jumbo popsicle sticks and you can use the set for a whole bunch of different games once you have them made!
How to Make Popsicle Stick Math Games:
You need a set of jumbo popsicle sticks. Depending on the games (and the amount of kids) you will need 50-100 of them. I did four sets numbered from 0-10. I did each set with a different color of sharpie marker just to make it easier to see the different sets and to add variety. I wrote the number word in the middle and the numeral on both ends. This helps kids learn to recognize both! You can also do more sticks going up to higher numbers for older kids.
Now that your number sticks are all made, here are a few ways you can use them to practice math facts.
1. For the younger ones, use them for number recognition and have them line the sticks up in order. You could number them all the way to 100 for this!
2. Draw 2 (or 3) sticks and add, subtract, multiply, divide them. Make it into a game by seeing who has a higher sum after a certain number of turns.
3. Play a game of War with them, just like you would a card game. Deal all the sticks out and take turns laying down your sticks. Whoever has the higher number keeps the sticks. The one who collects them all wins. You can also do addition, subtraction or multiplication war by laying down 2 sticks at a time.
4. Play a game of Twenty-One. Give each kid a pile of sticks turned face down. They draw until the sum of all of the sticks reaches 21. If they go over they are out with no points, if they are just under or at 21, that number is their score.
5. Pick It: Each player picks 5 sticks from the pile ( turned face down). They go around the circle and pick either from the pile or from another player and discard one stick each turn. After everyone gets 5 turns, you add up the total in your hands and the player with the highest number wins.
6. Play Go Fish with the math sticks. You could gather pairs or groups of four for it.
There are really an endless number of ways you can use these to make math more interesting. Have fun creating your own math stick games!
This idea was sparked by a really cool math games book I found at the library recently called Mega-Fun Math Games and Puzzles by Michael Schiro.
This part of the iHN Massive Guide to Homeschooling Math.