One of the most common games kids play in kindergarten is the game of “Numbers.” It’s easy to understand and the young children are already familiar with many of the patterns involved. But did you know that even older children can engage in this game? Here are a few ideas for activities to use in kindergarten for children who are well past the age where they can be playing traditional board games such as Monopoly or Scrabble. Rather than focusing on a specific game, such as Go, you can use these ideas to stimulate group thinking skills, develop critical thinking and enhance mathematics skills.
A great game for developing counting skills is known as Cross Counting. In this game children to count from one to nine, add up the numbers and then ask the other players to predict what number they think the total is. For younger children, use standard paper or card boards and have each player place a number from one to nine onto the board. Make sure there are safety measures around the board to prevent anyone from accidentally touching the board wrong.
Addition and subtraction are two other great games for developing number skills. Have the children divide the numbers in two piles by their numerical value. Once the group is divided by the value of the number, the player with the closest answer wins. For younger children, use a standard deck of cards and make addition and subtraction games by using real numbers, rather than their computer numbers.
Math skills can be applied in much the same way as you might apply real math to real life situations. There are a variety of games that teach basic addition and subtraction. Two good games to start with are the Fibonacci calculator game and the calculator game. Both of these games require some prior knowledge of addition and subtraction to do, but once they are mastered, the games can be used as homework at night or for impromptu assignments during the day. They are also excellent games to play with friends who may not be able to keep track of their own numbers.
If math is not your child’s strong point, there are still a number of number games for kindergarteners that will provide a fun way to develop his or her counting skills. Two good options are the game of heads or tails and the crossword puzzle. Again, either can be played with a standard deck of cards, or you can make your own out of regular playing cards. (Be sure to use different cards for each game, so that someone does not have the same number as another player.)
The game of heads or tails is simply where you place numbers on the board and the object is to see which numbers come up before the others. You can make it harder or easier depending upon how good your memory is. In this game, you want to make sure that the person making the guesses is thinking of the right numbers. For younger children, using regular playing cards makes the game easier because you can easily ask them if they guessed a number or not. For older children and those who are very good at math, using the regular decks is more challenging.
Another great game for those who wish to teach counting can be found in the popular crossword puzzle. This game uses only a standard deck of playing cards. The object of the game is to group similar words together and whittle down the word by matching up pairs of cards. As with the game of heads or tails, it is important that you make sure the person is thinking of the right numbers. To help make the cross word puzzles more challenging, you can change the tiles regularly.
Once the basics are covered, you can then move on to more advanced kindergarten number games. One of these is the game called “Hangman”. In this game, there are two people in a room and they are given a series of letters and a set number of minutes to complete the word before the other one gets to guess the correct word. Whoever gets the most correctly answered words wins.