Thursday, August 16, 2012

Elementary Activities: Math Catch

By Tiffany Rudd
One beginning math skill they teach in Kindergarten is being able to quickly name what is one more or one less than any number 1-20. In the spring when we met with Cameron's teacher she told us that he needed some practice with this particular skill. 

I, of course, immediately started trying to think of games and activities I could create to help him practice this skill. Before I even had a chance I went out in the yard the next evening to find my husband playing a game of catch with Cameron. When one of them caught the ball they added a point. When they dropped it, a point was taken away. So, there was Cameron quickly announcing with each throw one more or one less than their previous score. Once they reached 20, the game was won and they started another round. 

With this simple, zero prep activity the two of them practiced an important math skill each evening for over a week. It was even a favorite for the two of them to play together this summer. Thank goodness for husbands to remind us that simpler is usually better. (Just don't tell him I said that! ;)

This simple activity can be adapted to practice a bunch of beginning math skills. Here are just a few I can think of...

    • Count by 2's, 5's, or 10's with each catch. 
    • Call out multiplication facts for you child to answer with each throw.
    • Call out a number with each throw. If the ball is caught, add that number to your score. If it is dropped, subtract that number.
    • Skip count by any number you choose. 
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