Friday, June 6, 2014

Math Crafts and Games and Word Nerd Fun You Can DIY

Summer is nearly here!  Kids are ready to ditch the backpacks for some fun the sun, but what about that dreaded summer slip... that brain drain that happens after a few months off school?! Here at ChiIL Mama we're huge fans of summer reading incentives, and there are loads of fun ones out there through libraries and book stores. But how do you make math fun for the long, lazy days off school? 

Check back with ChiIL Mama early and often.  We'll be publishing a whole series of lit picks, word nerd games and math crafts and games you can DIY.  Some of our kids' best learning time happens when we're waiting for food at restaurants while on vacation, or organically while we're out around town having fun. This week we're featuring two that don't even need any supplies, except your brain, so they're great for families on the go.

These can be adapted to suit the ages and abilities of the players. If you have a range of ages, get creative on how to even the playing field.

Grow Your Brain Installment 1:
(We'll start with 2 oldies but goodies from my own childhood... back in the day.)

Math:  Buzz
Buzz can be adapted for any age and a range of math objectives. Players take turns counting and every time a number that fits your particular rules is reached, the player substitutes BUZZ.  The youngest players could start with buzzing all evens, odds, multiples of 3, numbers with a zero in them... etc. 

Older players may find it fun to BUZZ prime numbers or particular multiplication tables.  Pi's the limit.

English: Hinky Pinky
This is a rhyming game we adore. In the past, we've played this for HOURS at 6 Flags/Great America while we waited in line for rides.  Players trade off thinking of 2 rhyming words that are from 1 to 3 syllables long.

One player makes up a clue to the answer and gives the hint of length using the following to stand in for the syllables:

Hink Pink
Hinky Pinky
Hinkity Pinkity

This usually passes the time quickly and results in a LOT of laughter! We'll see you out there. If you have any family favs this week from your own childhood, feel free to include them in the comments section below.

Now go grow some brains!

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