Have you ever noticed how some kids count the space they are already on as the first space when they move? While playing board games recently I noticed Tinker was having a little difficulty moving forward along the game board. It’s very common, and with a little practice they quickly learn to take advantage of that extra jump forward. I designed this easy Race to Gold counting game to help Tinker practice counting forward and backward using the game board. Later this will come in handy for her as she learns to use a number line in kindergarten and beyond.
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- Gold pieces-We used gold stacks. You could also use gold coins from Dollar Tree, “gold” pennies, or whatever you have handy.
- 10-15 foam shamrocks labeled with +1, +2, +3, -1, -2, -3 (Hint: Include more + than – or the game can go on and on and on!!)
- Game Piece-We used a little leprechaun hat and pretended the leprechaun was hiding underneath. You could also use Lego people, Little People or similar small figures.
- Rainbow Pieces-We used circles from our Spielgaben set. You could also use foam or paper circles.
How to Play the Counting Game
Set up the game area as shown above.
Have your child flip over a shamrock and identify whether they need to move forward or backward (+ or -) and how many spaces. Then have your child help the little leprechaun hop along the rainbow as he tried to get to the gold.
As you move along you’ll see that your child grows more comfortable moving forward and backward. And as they do they are also modeling beginning addition and subtraction. But shhh! They think they’re just having fun!
The game ends when the leprechaun gets the gold!
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