Get 12 different grid games for preschool and kindergarten!
Today I’m sharing a versatile set of freebies that teach a surprising number of math concepts to kids in preschool and kindergarten.
Have you seen grid games?
I admit I’ve seen them on some popular early learning websites and wondered what the point was. Frankly, they looked boring. Could my kids really learn all that much from rolling a die and putting counters on a grid?
And they like it!
Recently I spent several weeks researching ways to make math meaningful in preschool and kindergarten. I spent a lot of time with this book. In it, the author strongly recommends grid games as a learning tool for the number and operations math standard.
To play, simply print a game board and provide a die and small counters. You can choose a different sized grid depending on your child’s ability level. In the downloads below, each grid comes with 9 spaces, 10 spaces, 15 spaces, and 20 spaces.
You can keep this as a very open ended activity. What will your child or students do with the materials?
- Some might roll the die and take a corresponding number of counters to place on the grid.
- Some might roll the die, point to a dot, take a counter, and keep doing so until they have the right number of counters.
- Still others may place counters on the grid without rolling the die at all.
- Others may simply play with the manipulatives.
Whether you leave this open-ended or guide students to use the game a particular way, remember to support their learning with a lot of math talk. It’s SUPER important, especially when you’re teaching young learners.
Here are some examples of math talk.
“How many pennies did you put on the grid? How many more do you think you need to add? Let’s count and see if you’re right.”
“I asked you how many piggybanks there were, and you knew there were 9 right away. How did you know that so quickly? Can you show me how you knew that?
“This grid has 10 spaces. If you put 3 rocks on the grid, how many more rocks do you need to fill it?”
“This grid has 20 spaces! I wonder how many times you’ll roll the die before it’s full. How many times do you think you’ll have to roll it? How could we keep track?”
If you have a very young child using the grid (my daughter is 2 years 9 months), show her how to put one counter on each space and see what she does.
“Can you put each bear in a cave?” or “Can you put one bear in each home?”
While I was working with my Four, my Two enjoyed putting a penny in the slot on each piggy bank. Of course she had to work with her sippy cup at her side. 😉
When supported with math talk, kids can learn a lot with grid games!
- quantification (knowing “how many”)
- one-to-one correspondence
- beginning multiplication
When designing the games, I thought about all the small manipulatives that my children enjoy. Then I created a set of grid games for each one.
Check out all the grid games included in the download!