Today we would like to share with you some outdoors (or indoors) active games that will encourage children to practice some basic math skills while hopping, running, and aiming.
Most of us have played hopscotch as kids. How about using chalk to create some interesting active math games for children to play outside. The goal is to get some exercise while practicing some basic skills.
Here are some game ideas.
Game 1: The Black Hole
2 – 4 players
You can draw the design of the first photo or the second one. The second one requires less space.
Goal: Don’t go down the Black Hole!
In this game, the players take turns rolling two dice, (6,8, or 10 sides). They subtract their numbers and move that many steps. They need to hop/jump the number of steps. They start at 20 and move down. If you land on an alien tile (draw a little alien in tiles 8 and 5) you have to roll two dice again (the spot is occupied). If you land on a shooting star (draw a star in the tiles 3 and 11) you roll one dice and move back that many steps. (away from the black hole). If a player passes 1 he goes down the black hole and they are out. The last player standing is the winner. The players can mark their spot with a pebble when they are rolling the dice.
You can also play this game in the opposite way to practice addition or subtraction. The players are trapped in the black hole and they are trying to come out. If you land on an alien you roll again and move back that many steps. (away from the exit). If you land on a shooting star you roll one dice and move forward that many steps. (closer to the exit) The first one out wins. ( shorter game)
Adjust the game to your needs. Maybe the numbers can go up to 10. Roll one dice if you are playing with younger children, (counting down from 20).
Here’s an idea! Build your own dice to use in the games. Find the templates here https://mathcurious.com/2020/04/19/build-your-own-dice/
A giant dice is always fun to throw around, especially if you are playing outside. Build your own giant dice using cardboard and tape.
We covered ours with duck tape because we use them in many kinds of games. If you cover them with duck tape or packing tape, you can use whiteboard markers and change the options when you need to (write different numbers, words, names), and of course, they will last longer. Most importantly, you can just wipe them (disinfect them) and use them inside as well.
Game 2: Even and odd
For this one, you can decide the shape and the order of the numbers. You can write the numbers in order or mixed up for a challenge.
The players take turns. At their turn, a player rolls a dice. If the roll is an odd number, they throw their pebble in the first odd number, hop on all the odd numbers and back, pick their pebble and hop out. (next player takes a turn) If they step on a line or hop in an even number they lose and next turn they have to start over from the first odd or even number. The players mark down the numbers they covered (with chalk on the ground or on paper) The first player to cover all the numbers is the winner.
Just having these designs drawn on the ground encourages children to hop and jump and maybe design some active math games of their own. Maybe you can design your own with your child based on what they are learning lately.
If you have space inside the house, you can play these games indoors as well. “Draw” the shapes on the floor with painters tape, or use foam floor mats.
With the current situation, it is up to us parents to make sure that our children are playing in a safe place. We recommend that children play in places where only the family has access to or it’s on your property. (back yard, driveway) If you choose to play in a public area (park) make sure you keep a safe distance from others (one family at a time). You can also choose to play indoors.
We hope our games will help keep your brain and body active and strong. Our intention is to provide ideas that will encourage you to create your own games as well. Share your games with us and let us know if our games work for you.
More active game ideas coming very soon!