Here at Tempojunto, we keep saying that the children learn more easily through play. This statement has not left our head. There are several studies that reinforce the value of play for the learning process. This goes for all disciplines and for people of all ages. Today I will give an example of how I am helping my daughter to learn. It will be a math game for 6 year olds which makes the notion of addition and subtraction much easier to learn: the math come-eat.
Math activities for 6 year olds
My daughter Gabi became literate during the COVID-19 pandemic. I don’t need to say much to describe the whole challenge that this poses. If playing is already the best way to learn on a daily basis, with the pandemic and schools closed, this proved even more important. Using playfulness is an important way to compensate for the stress caused by such difficult times.
Because of this, throughout 2021 and 2021, Patcamargo and I have been looking for ways to make learning more interesting. Both for the benefit of our children, and to share with you. It was from this research and practice that videos were born as 10 tips to help your child to study at home and the post 10 activities to learn math while playing. We even have a free PDF with the 10 activities mentioned in the post.
Today’s activity came out of that research. Shall we learn how to do math eat-and-eat?
Math Come-Come Game
When I talk about come-eat, you may remember this activity here:
(if you missed your childhood, you can go to the post From my childhood straight to Carol: Come-Come!)
This time, the name of the game is inspired by the game Pac-Man, a classic from the 80’s that had a yellow ball that goes out to eat everyone! We are going to make a kind of analog version of this game.
You will need:
. paper (if you have yellow paper, it’s more fun and I’ll explain why)
. compass (or other circular object that helps you to draw a circle)
. markers (I used polka dot stickers because I already had them at home)
. a given
. masking tape
The first step is to use the compass to make two circles of yellow paper (if you have one), each about 5 cm in diameter. I took advantage and taught Gabi what a compass is and what it is for.
Cut out the circle, take a “slice of pizza” from the circle, make the eyes and you will have two Pac-Man dolls (understand why the yellow paper ???)
Already with the white paper, you will make a strip at least 2 cm high and 50 cm long. In it you will paste a sequence of polka dot stickers or you will draw the polka dots with the marker.
When everything is ready, you will use masking tape to fix the Pac-Man on the table so that the strip of paper is in the direction of the puppet’s mouth.
How to play
This is an activity to be done with two players and a die. Participants take turns rolling the dice. The number you take is the number of balls that Pac-Man should “swallow”. For example, Gabi took 5 and in the photo below you can see her pulling the strip so that her doll looks like she has eaten 5 balls.
The two participants alternate, each one pulling the strip to its side according to the amount of balls that came out on the dice. Whoever manages to pull the entire strip to his side wins the game! That is, we will spend several rounds adding and subtracting balls, from the numbers that come out of the dice. A person who had 10 balls on his side can suddenly be left with only 4 if the opponent rolls 6 on his die. And so on.
Here, with Gabi, the game was stuck on the table for several days, which allowed us to play a few times!
I hope you enjoyed our math play tip for 6 year olds. As I said at the beginning of this post, if this is a subject that interests you, be sure to download our PDF with 10 math play tips for kids 6 to 9 years old. It is free!