Friday, September 4, 2020


What's a math box?

If I were in charge of the world I would create a math box for each of your children so they could explore with hands-on materials. Although I'm not in charge of the world, I still think this is a super idea that some of your families might prepare for their children.

You can use any container, such as a pencil box, diaper wipe box, etc.

You can put any math manipulatives in the box such as:

Math cards (1-10 or 10-20)
Math fans (
Deck of cards
Inexpensive calculators
Counting items with a small cup
Set of tangrams
Dot cards
Small Calendars

Dealer's Choice!
O.K.  So it's wishful thinking that every family would make a math box, but I bet that almost every family has a deck of cards around their home.  Here are some activities that you can share with your parents to help their child practice math skills in fun and meaningful ways.

*Note!  These games can be adapted to different age levels and skills.


Ask children to sort cards by color, suit, number, etc.

Order Please
Remove the face cards and then have the children put the cards in numerical order.

Can children make a pattern with their cards? 

Use two suites of cards for this game. Shuffle cards and place them face down in rows on the floor or a table. Children rotate turning over two cards. If their cards match they may keep them and take another turn. If their cards don’t match they turn them back over and the next player has a turn. The game continues until all pairs have been matched.

Top It
(This game was formerly known as “war,” but “top it” sounds more politically correct.) Remove face cards and shuffle. Split the deck and place face down. Players remove one card at a time and turn it over. The player with the highest number takes both cards. If they turn over the same amount they place 3 cards face down and turn over the 3rd card. The highest number takes all the cards. The game continues as long as time permits.

Add It Up
This is similar to top it. Children turn over one card at a time. The first player to correctly add up both numbers gets both cards.

House of Cards
Can children build a house using cards? This takes some engineering skills!
Check out this video that shows how to build a house with cards:

Dealer’s Choice
Go Fish and Crazy Eights are other traditional card games families can play.