Use foam puzzle mats for educational games
Every household seems to possess these foam puzzle mats.
They are great as a floor mat no doubt, but did you know that there are many educational games you can use them for?
Numerical puzzle foam
With the numbers you can make a giant rolling dice and use it for games outdoors.
First let’s have a quick look at how to make the dice.
Turn each number of the dice upside down and tape over the cut out pieces to secure them. You don’t want them falling out each time someone rolls the dice.
Rather self-explanatory; make a cube of the pieces. Depending on the game you want to play, you can also add blank sheets to the cube.
- For the little ones, simply roll the cube and name the number
- Play any outdoor game that needs a conventional 1 to 6 dice.
- Maths game – *For this is best if you have a whiteboard, so you can write down the problems that need solving. (addition, subtraction, multiplication… whatever your child needs to practice)
The player throws two cubes one after another. If they fall next to each other the problem has to be solved. Decide in advance what has to be done with the rolled numbers, multiply, add or subtract. If the second cube falls on top of the first one, the player has no problem to solve. Let’s give them a break from time to time.
Alphabet puzzle foam
When making cubes with letters, you don’t have to secure the back with cello tape. I quite like it when letters can be poked to fall inside the cube and they can also fall out when rolled. It can be a game of pushing the letters in, then taking them out through the hole of a bigger letter. It is a bit hard to put them back flat on, nevertheless it can still serve as a matching game and children can drop the letters inside the box through the appropriate hole.
- Name the letter
Roll the dice and say the letter. Couldn’t be more simple.
- Word game
Roll the dice and say a word beginning with the letter you rolled.
For older children, you could define that you want them to name an animal, a mountain, an artist, a writer, a river (or any water: sea, ocean, lake…) whatever you think it’s appropriate for their age, beginning with the letter they rolled.
For example, someone who rolls a ‘K’could say: Kangaroo, King Cobra, Kilimanjaro, Thomas Kipling…
Obviously this is a scoring game and it is played with all the dices you can make with the letters. Use blank sheets where needed.
If someone rolls blank, has to choose a player, then roll again for them.
It is possible to roll again if the player had already rolled the same letter 3 times.
- Consonant or Vowel?
Also a very simple game of just simply identifying whether the rolled letter is a consonant of a vowel.
- Say a Verb
Only verbs play in this game. For each verb beginning with the letter they roll, the players score a point. If they say an adverbs or a noun, they get 1 point removed.
The possibilities for games are only limited by your imagination. Feel free to share the games you come up with.