Math fitness 3

Today we would like to share with you some more 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.

Game 4: Squares

There are a few variations of this game.

Write numbers 1-9 in the squares (it is fun to form a magic square).

The players stand on a square of their choice. One player in each square. They take turns with the youngest going first. On their turn, a player must jump on 3 different squares (except the ones with players on, including their own) that form a math equation like for example 3+5=8, or 7-3=4. If they cannot form an equation because they cannot get the numbers to match or because a player is on their way to a number, they are out. The rest of the players continue.

The game doesn’t have to be competitive, you can continue without players coming out. For example, if you play this game with 3 or 2 players it can go on forever. It is good exercise and fact practice.

To make the game competitive and end up with the last man standing (winner) you need to adjust it based on the number of players.

If you are playing with 5 or 4 players, soon enough one will be out. If you are playing with 3 players after some time you need to block the middle square so no one can use it or stand on it. (put a paper on it or color it with chalk) The game will become more challenging and a player will be out soon.

Once two players are left you need to make the game even more challenging. The players will now step in two squares (one foot in each, and the squares need to be touching side or corner) so that the squares left will be less. It gets harder to get a math equation but still possible. If it takes a while for the next player to be out, block the middle square.

If you want to play with 2-4 players without modifications and you have more space try this.

Out of 16 squares leave 7 empty and write the numbers 1-9 on the rest 9. The players cannot step on the empty squares. (mix them up) The squares are further apart so it’s more challenging for the players to get to them.

You can create your own squares to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.

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 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!

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