11 Activities to Build Math Skills Using Art, Games, and Books

Homeschoolers have a wonderful opportunity to explore the world in a way that sitting at a desk can never do. A hands-on approach to mathematics helps a child not only learn the concept but to really understand it.

In our home, we have just started a new math skill: ordering. So to prepare for these lessons on ordering, I planned a few art projects, some games, and ordered some really good books.

Listed below, you will find the books, projects, and games that I used.

Full list of books:

I always like using stories to teach math concepts. There is something that triggers comprehension when you can experience it in a book. Maybe books word things better than I can. Maybe it is the pictures. Or maybe it is because stories always make an impact on children. Most likely, it is actually the connection children make with the characters.

The Best Bug Parade by Stuart J. Murphy

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen

How Big Is a Foot? by Rolf Myller

One Was Johnny by Maurice Sendak

Mighty Maddie by Stuart J. Murphy

Full list of games:

Game #1:

You will need toys of various sizes. We used stuffed animals. Children put them in order from tallest to shortest, and then shortest to tallest. Key words: short, shorter, shortest, tall, taller, tallest.

Game #2:

You will need building blocks (plastic connecting blocks or wooden stacking blocks will do). Build a series of towers where each tower is taller or shorter than the next one. Children like to build stairs, so this would work too. Key words: short, shorter, shortest, tall, taller, tallest.

Game #3:

You will need stairs to climb. With each step up, talk about how much higher you are, and at the top, you are the highest. With each step down, talk about how much lower you are, and at the bottom, you are the lowest. Key words: high, higher, highest, low, lower, lowest.

Game #4:

You will need various items from your pantry. I used a jar of peanut butter, a can of peanuts, a container of hot chocolate mix, an empty mug, and a coffee tin. I picked items that were both heavy and light and where the size had no bearing on the weight. I had the children order them by weight (estimating the weight by picking it up). Key words: heavy, heavier, heaviest, light, lighter, lightest.

Game #5:

You will need 6 Mason jars (or other glass jars that are all the same size), water, and a metal spoon. Set up tone bottles with various amounts of water and then listen to the pitch of each jar by tapping it with a metal spoon. Make note that the lower the pitch the higher the water level. Key words: high, higher, highest, low, lower, lowest.

Game #6:

Play with stacking cups, stacking rings, and Russian nesting dolls.

Full list of art projects:

Art Project #1:

You will need glue, string, and construction paper. I cut the string by inches (i.e. 1 inch, 2 inches, 3 inches, etc.) until I had 8 strings for each child. The children put them in order by length and then used a ruler to measure them. Then they wrote the number of inches by each string and then glued the string onto the paper. Key words: short, shorter, shortest, long, longer, longest.

Art Project #2:

You will need markers, construction paper, and varying sizes of round lids. Centering a lid on the middle of the page, trace it with a marker. Continue to do this for all lids so that the smallest circle is in the center of the largest circle. The child should be able to see the growing sizes of circles. Key words: small, smaller, smallest, big, bigger, biggest, large, larger, largest.

Art Project #3:

You will need varying sizes of shapes drawn on a paper, scissors, glue, and construction paper. Cut out the shapes and glue them in order by size on the construction paper. Key words: small, smaller, smallest, big, bigger, biggest, large, larger, largest.

Art Project #4:

You will need construction paper, scissors, glue, and cutouts of varying shapes. I recommend that the cutouts have a different number available for each shape (i.e. 1 circle, 2 squares, 3 hearts, etc.) Draw a butterfly on a piece of construction paper. Have the children cut out the butterfly and then glue shapes on their wings. When finished, compare the number of shapes on each butterfly. Key words: more, most, less, least.

Art Project #5:

You will need multiple toys of multiple types (i.e. 5 balls, 3 cars, 6 dolls, and 7 stuffed animals). Make a graph where you have a row for each type of toy and fill in a box for each number of that toy. Compare the lines, determining which row has the most and which row has the least. Key words: more, most, less, least.

Fun Halloween Game Ideas

Fall is in the air and Halloween not far behind, now is the time to start thinking about the great Halloween games for the kids who will be knocking on your doors. Of course if you are throwing a Halloween party you will want to find not only great games, but also spooky decorations, and icky treats as well. A good selection of fun Halloween game ideas and activities will keep the party running smoothly even after the younger goblins have given up the ghosts.

Fun Halloween Game Ideas 1: Halloween Feel Box

Using cardboard (can be from empty cereal boxes and such), divide the inside of a large box into 4 pieces (or however many desired).
Cut holes in the sides of the box – these should be big enough for a hand but not big enough to see inside.
Put something (ideas below) into each section of the box and have the children put their hands in the holes and try to guess what is in it just by feeling it.

Ideas for items to place inside box:
Damp, Course Sponge – Brains
Twisted Chenille Stems – Spider
Pretzel Stick – Petrified Rat Tails
Dried Apricots – Dried-up Tongues
Cooked, Cold Spaghetti Noodles – Worms
Cooked, Cold Spaghetti Noodles – Veins
Peeled Grapes – Eyeballs
Fake Fur
Tines of a Plastic Fork – Vampire Teeth
Soft Flour Tortilla – Skin (can add a little oil)
Feed Corn – Teeth
Corn Husk Silk – Hair
Peeled Tomatoes – Heart
5 Baby Carrots – Fingers

Fun Halloween Game Ideas 2: Mummy Maker

This fun Halloween game ideas is for 6 or more players
Divide the kids into smaller groups.
One kid in each group is the mummy and the others wrap the mummy with toilet paper as fast as possible.
You can have a winner for the best mummy or a race for the fastest mummy wrapped, or no winner at all.
To avoid problems with “I want to be the mummy!” you can divide the groups and have each member of the group draw an assignment out of a pumpkin for their “job”.
You need at least one mummy per group and you could assign one kid to wrap the legs, arms, etc.. or just let them go.
Make sure to set some ground rules.
You might want to tell them not to wrap the head or face and throwing the rolls of toilet paper around the room probably is not a good idea!

Fun Halloween Game Ideas 3: Walk on the Witch’s Hat Halloween Game

Big brown paper bag, or big picture of a witch’s hat
CD player, tape player, or radio

How to play:
If you have a large picture of a witch’s hat, tape it right on the floor before you play the game.
If you don’t already have a picture, you can make one easily.
Cut the bag so that you can open it out flat.
Draw a big witch’s hat and cut it out.
The players will line up and shut their eyes.
A leader is at the front to see that no one peeks. (Whoever peeks is out of the game.)
The leader will control when the music stops and starts. When the music starts, the players begin walking in a circle (as in musical chairs) around the hat.
When the music stops, the person who is standing on the hat is out of the game. The last player to circle the hat wins!

These fun Halloween game ideas are sure winners for any Halloween party.

Free Online Games For Microsoft Windows Owners

A lot of people prefer backgammon because it is very fun to play and a national favorite pastime game. The end goal of Backgammon is simply to move all components or stones on the board counterclockwise as a home region. From all home regions, the components have to be removed within the game board by actual dice roll. Initially the individual clearing off of all the stones is announced the champion. In Backgammon, you’ll connect online by having an opponent and meeting for a fun game together. There are many game rooms that people can play for free including Yahoo games.

Checkers is a deck game where two adversarial opponents face off until only one remains on the board. Checkers is a very classic board game loved by millions of people all over the world. The objective of checkers is to cleverly overcome an opponent by leaping over his chips and removing components or game pieces. You can furthermore win by positioning checkers that result in stopping the opponent from moving. The opponent essentially becomes blocked. Whenever playing Checkers online you will connect with opponents all over the world.

For the card lover internet hearts is a favored choice for players all over the world. Hearts is a card game with 4 players and every player is independently trying to win. The objective of Hearts will be to earn points throughout the game and hands. Whenever any player hits 100 points the game finishes leaving the player at that moment with the fewest points the champion or winner. While playing online you will connect over the Internet with competitors at different levels, some of which are novice, intermediate, and great players. All are out to win,but more importantly to have fun.

Another of the preferred games for the card enthusiast is Spades, a partnership card game with 2 parties of 2 players or partners working together as a team. The objective is to bid on a contract, then skillfully portray the cards inside the hand with coordination for every extra contract. The winner is determined whenever 525 points are reached or you force the opponents to draw on to a damaging hand to 200 points score. It is a fun game and it is also available and played by many for free on Yahoo online games. Players on this platform earn points and get ranked if they choose these profile settings or to play in ranked games. For windows users this game may already be installed and available for online game play. There are many great board games and card games available for online play.

To be able to get into games on Windows which were pre-installed with the operating system software users should click ‘Start plus then ‘Programs.’ Next, click on ‘Games’ and select the games which are available to play. If no games appear to be indexed or installed it is possible the games were not loaded or setup with the software. In this event you can load your Windows operating system disk and install them and, or you can try some of the free online computer games on Yahoo games.