Welcome back to the STEAM Corner, a blog series featuring Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math projects to do at home. Today, we are going to harness our crafting skills to transform home into a paradise of math games.
Stay home. Stay safe. Stay STEAM-y.
Want to show off your project? Share your pictures and videos on social media and tag the Library!
Game #1: Dice Time!
This DIY multiplication game is easy to make and works as a fantastic boredom buster. Adults: this one is fun with or without the kids.
- Dice (4 per player, each set a different color)
- Paper or Paper grocery bag
- Round things to trace
- Thick book
To make your game board, either tape together a few sheets of paper or dismantle a paper grocery bag to use as a surface. Create a bullseye and extra targets by tracing round things you find at home. Label multipliers as shown. Place a thick book on one end as a dice launching platform.
Note on dice: Make sure each player has a set of 4 matching dice. If you do not have dice in different colors, apply marker until the situation is remedied.
Number of Players: 2+
How to Play
- Each player flicks one die off of the launching platform onto the board.
- Repeat until all dice are flicked. (Yes, you CAN bump another player’s dice!)
- To score the round, multiply the value of each die times the value of its board area. Then add the products.
Play one round or keep a running score over multiple rounds. Highest score wins.
Game #2: Phalanges
This next game requires no materials and no setup. Named for the little bones in your fingers, Phalanges is the “Rock, Paper, Scissors” of math.
Number of Players: 2
How to Play (multiplication version)
- Players chant: “Ready, set, phalanges!”
- On “phalanges,” each player holds out 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 fingers.
- The player who calls out the correct product first wins.
- Instead of multiplication, play with addition or subtraction.
- If players use two hands instead of one (0-10 fingers), the game becomes Super Phalanges. Adjust the chant to match.
- If you add a third player, the game becomes Triple Phalanges.
If you need more math activities in your life, check out one of these ebooks on Hoopla using your library card:
- Eat Your Math Homework by Ann McCallum
- Math Lab for Kids by Rebecca Rapoport
- Math Games & Activities From Around the World by Claudia Zaslavksy
Jess Alexander is a Youth Services Librarian at Morton Grove Public Library.