This adding and subtracting game came about during a round of Jr. Monopoly I played with my 5 year old. At the end of the game, he began flicking the toll booths with the die we used to play the game. It reminded me of the GoGo's my boy so often play with.
**GoGo's are small plastic figurines that are in a variety of colors and characters. Each figurine is about 1 inch tall. I could explain how to play with them, but that is not the focus of this post... .**
How to Play GoGo Math:
Gather about 20 GoGo's, lego men, littlest pet shop figurines, etc. We used Monopoly toll booths, but I know the GoGo's would get alot more excitement at my house. Oh, you will need one die as well.
**You can purchase dice with a variety of different numerals on them from your local teacher store. If your child is a bit more advanced, you may want to choose a die with higher numerals.**
Once you have all you materials gathered line up the figurines in a row on a hard surface. A table top or hardwood floor work really well. Leave a small bit of space between each figurine. Look at the photo for approximate spacing.
Next, your child will flick the die toward the figurines trying to knock over as many as possible. Count the number of figurines that toppled over. Add or subtract that number from the number rolled on the die.
The novice mathematician will more than likely have to touch each GoGo that toppled over and count out loud. Then, he/she will touch the dots on the die to continue the count. It will be very similar for subtraction... touching the objects and physically removing the ones that are to be subtracted.
The intermediate kiddo might need to roll two dice toward the figurines and add the numbers rolled and then add or subtract the number of figurines that toppled over.
The more advanced kids could roll a single die and multiple the two numbers... the one on the die and the number of figurines that toppled over.
The variations are really endless.
I guess that is it. Have fun with this natural learning variation of a popular kids game.
After I wrote this post, I played the game with my youngest. He didn't want to use a die. He flicked one of the GoGo's (as per the real game) at the line up. Then, he added the number of figurines that fell to the number that were still standing. This is a great example of practicing decomposing numbers.
You could subtract without a die as well. Once you have flicked some of the GoGo's over remove them from the line up. State the process orally... 20 GoGo's minus the 4 GoGo's that fell equals 16 GoGo's. This will be a great introduction to word problems as well as still decomposing the number 20.
Man, if kids aren't sometimes wiser than their years!