Easy Number Game With Variations

Hello again! Sorry you haven’t heard from me in a few days but we needed to travel out of state for a funeral. Back home now and trying to catch up again.

So today let’s look at an easy number game that can be played different ways and only requires paper, some markers or crayons and some dice. The game also reinforces learning numbers and helps with small motor skills. Shhh! Don’t tell the kids that part! 😉 Grab 1 piece of paper for each player and 1 dice to share with all the players to begin with…and a black crayon or marker and 1 marker of another color for each player.

Basic version…

Have each player write the numbers 1 – 6 on their piece of paper. Or for the kids that are just learning their numbers, you can write the numbers for them. Leave a little space between the numbers.

Each player should roll the dice once and the player that gets the highest number will go first. To play, roll the dice once and cross off the corresponding number on your paper. Example, if you roll a 1, cross off the 1 on your paper. Pass the dice to the next player moving clockwise around the circle of players.

Continue with each player rolling the dice once and marking their paper. If you roll a number that you have already crossed off on your paper, you do nothing for that turn and play passes on to the next player.

The first person to cross off all their numbers is the winner!

Version #2…

Write the numbers 1 – 12 on each player’s piece of paper. Use 2 dice for this version of the game.

This version is played in a similar manner as the basic version, but each player rolls 2 dice. You can use the number from just 1 dice OR you can add the numbers from both dice together. In the following example, the player rolled a 2 and a 6. You could cross off the 2 OR the 6 OR the 8. You can only cross off 1 number each turn. In this picture, the 2 and the 8 have already been crossed off, so you would cross off the 6.

Again, the first player to cross off all their numbers is the winner. 🙂

Version #3…

Find something that is round in shape that you can trace around to make circles on each player’s paper. I used the bottom of a paper cup.

Draw 6 circles. (Or more, depending on how you want to play the game.)

Number the circles 1 – 6. Grab a few crayons for this version of the game.

As each player rolls the dice, they can color in the matching circle. (Sneaking in some small motor skills practice!)

You can also take the opportunity to talk about the colors the players choose to use. Some questions you might ask… What color did you choose for number 3? What is your favorite color? What else can you think of that is green? (Or whatever color they are using.)

First one with all their circles colored is the winner!

Version #4…

Draw 6 circles for this version of the game, but make the number inside each circle smaller. When the player rolls the dice, they draw/color that number of objects in the correct circle. For example, if you rolled a 6, you might draw 6 dots in the number 6 circle.

The winner is the first one to complete all their circles. I can see this game getting rather silly when players draw crazy things in their circles! 😉

I’m sure you can think of even more ways to play this game, but hopefully these ideas will get you started on your way to having fun with the number game! 🙂

Storms + Wind = No Electricity. Now What to do With the Kids??

We had some strong storms roll through our state on Monday evening this week and a LOT of people have been without electricity. (Including us…for about 44 hours.) Some are still out. That means no TV, no Xbox and soon all the electronics run out of battery. And the kids are home…and they are BORED! Now what??! Here are a few suggestions that might entertain the kids for a while so you don’t pull all your hair out during the first hour of no power. 😉

#1.) Coloring pictures. Yep, drag out the boxes of crayons and coloring books and color some pictures. Maybe you “need” some new pictures to hang on the refrigerator or maybe Grandma and Grandpa need some pictures in the mail. 🙂

#2.) Play some card or board games. The more people that play the more fun it will be.

#3.) Read some books. Let the kids pick out their favorite book and read it together. Or read a story to them that they haven’t quite mastered reading for themselves.

#4.) Do some simple crafts. Maybe not painting, if you don’t have water available for cleanup. 😉

#5.) Draw some crazy monsters. All you need is paper and markers or crayons. Some wiggly eyes can add to the fun.

#6.) Play with Lego!

#7.) Give your pets some extra love and attention. Maybe play tug-of-war with your dog or trail a piece of yarn for your cat to chase.

Or maybe play Qwirkle with your cat! Lol 😉

#8.) Play the “connect the dots” game…only need paper and pencils or pens. Make 100 dots on the paper. Each person draws one line and then it’s the next person’s turn. If you complete the 4th side of a box, that becomes your box and you write your initial in the box. Complete the most boxes and you win.

#9.) Play with Dominoes. You can play the actual game of Dominoes or just have fun building with them and/or knocking them down again.

#11.) Make your own board game. Let the kids design their own board game, even if the rules are a bit wonky and constantly changing. 😉 They will feel 10 feet tall when you play their game with them.

#12.) Matching game. Find several pairs of items and mix them up for your kids to match up the pairs.

So the next time your electricity goes out, don’t despair! You can definitely find things to keep the kids occupied with no electricity needed! If you are currently without power, I feel your pain! Hang in there!

Pom Poms and Straws Make a Great Game

Do you ever wish you had something NEW the kids could do without going out and spending a ton of money? What if there was a game that takes some really simple supplies that you likely have on hand already? This game can be played with just some simple pom poms, drinking straws and either some painters tape or strips of paper and scotch tape. And a table or floor to play on. 😉

The basic idea of this game is to use a straw to blow the pom poms to a certain place. This game can easily be adapted for young kids to adults. I suggest each person has their own straw and 4 differently colored pom poms but the number of pom poms can vary. Let’s start out with the simplest way to play and then move on to harder ways.

To set up the game, begin by placing a strip of painters tape across the table, close to one end but allowing 6″ or so of the table open on the very end. I suggest painter’s tape because it should come back up easily and not hurt the table. If you don’t have painters tape, you can use a strip of paper and tape it down with scotch tape.

Next place another strip further down the table…maybe 12″-15″ away.

Now you are ready to play the easiest version of the game. Player #1 takes his/her pom poms and puts them on the end of the table by the first piece of tape.

Using their straw, player #1 blows through the straw while aiming the straw at a pom pom.

See how the pom pom has moved past the first line?

Keep blowing each pom pom until all 4 pom poms have crossed the line further down the table. NO HANDS ALLOWED!! 😉

If you want, two players can go at the same time.

You can decide on what rules of the game you want to use. For instance, can the players help each others pom poms across the line or must each player do their own? If the pom pom is blown off the table, does it go back to the starting point or can it be placed back on the table close to where it fell off? The ages of the players can determine how hard you want this game to be.

Now, let’s make it a little bit harder. Put a piece of painter’s tape down the center of the 2 strips already on the table. When each person takes their turn, they must keep all of their pom poms on their side of the tape. Add a third piece of tape even farther down the table for the finish line.

Now I added a piece of tape on the outside edges on both ends. (This is a side view.) At this level the players also cannot blow their pom poms outside the side edge or that pom pom must be placed back at the beginning. Players can race against each other or each player can be timed and the player with the fastest time is the winner. You can make this level be that all 4 pom poms must be together in the first “box” before they are blown on across the table past the finish line.

Ok, it’s getting harder now! Place more tape on the table so that each side has 4 small boxes. I drew a line down the center for a reminder to stay on your side. (Another side view)

This level can be that each player must have 1 pom pom in each of their 4 squares at the same time before they can move on toward the finish line. (Side view)

Or you can choose which squares the pom poms must be in to be able to move on. Like in this picture, 2 pom poms in the 2 squares that were picked.

Here is another version where one player plays at a time and you time each player. One pom pom must be inside each square in the first row.

Then each pom pom must be blown into a separate square on the second row.

Next, all 4 pom poms must be in the space in front of the finish line before…

…all pom poms are blown past the finish line. An extra rule would be that pom poms cannot be left sitting ON the tape…they must be inside the appropriate area. Again, decide what happens if a pom pom is blown off the table…start over or put it back where it fell off? 😉

Here’s another angle to decide before you play…where do the balls start from? Do they all have to be together in a line?

Or can they be placed more strategically across the starting area?

One more idea for you…give each player 4 pom poms of 3 colors. And make them follow the last game I described but 1 pom pom of each color must be blown into each square before moving on to the next step!

I’m sure you can come up with even more ways to play this game! Start out easy and gradually increase the difficulty. You can also give players a set amount of time to finish. For example, they have 30 seconds to blow the pom poms across the finish line. I hope these ideas will spark some ideas of your own and you will have a ton of fun with just some pom poms and drinking straws! 🙂

Dots and Squares Game

Here’s a fun game to entertain the kids even if all you have with you is a pen and a piece of paper. 🙂 We’ll call it Dots and Squares Game.

The first thing you’ll do is to make 100 dots on your piece of paper, in 10 rows of 10 dots each. If you want a little help to keep the dots in line, you can use a lined piece of paper behind a plain piece so you can see the lines showing through on the top paper.

Hanging both pieces of paper on a window also helps to see the lines more clearly.

10 dots down the side and 10 dots across…

Keep going…you’re getting there. It doesn’t take as long as it sounds like it will take when you say “100 dots”. 😉

Presto! There we are!

The game can be played with just one pen being passed around to each player or you can use a different colored pen for each person. (Or use a pencil.)

The idea of the game is to make the most squares. Each person takes a turn drawing ONE line, either horizontally or vertically, between 2 adjacent dots. (No diagonals.)

Play continues this way while each player tries to NOT add the third side to a square because if you do, that means the next person can make a square.

Eventually the game board gets so full that someone HAS to add the third line. Can you spot the place that is ready to be closed off into a square? Hint: look on the lower right side.

In this game, Jasper was the first one to make a square. When you complete the fourth side of a square, you get to claim that square as yours and add your initial to the square. These are the names and initials we used for our example game:

So you can see the J in the box in the bottom right corner of the game board. When you finish a square, you get to take another turn. And sometimes you can make only 1 square, but sometimes you are able to make a LOT of them! When Jasper played his bonus move, he set it up so that Rick was able to make a square on his turn.

Play continues in this manner until the entire game board has been made into squares and claimed by the player making each square.

Count up the squares for each person and see how many squares each one made.

The player with the most squares wins the game!

It’s a great game to play to keep the kids occupied while you are somewhere waiting for someone or in a restaurant waiting for your food to be served. Tuck a little tablet into your purse or pocket along with a pen and you’re ready to go! Have fun!