I felt extra successful today when I adapted to play dice (math) games with the boys using Legos instead of paper and pens. I know it's simple, but sometimes the simplest ideas are the best, so I thought I'd share.
I am making an effort to play more games with the boys (especially dice and card for math skills, but board too). Today Jack just wanted to play with his Legos; so I adapted.
Frank and I were playing "Climb the Mountain". We started out using a Lego piece on the numbers on our paper, but once I created a "mountain" out of Legos, I couldn't stop them playing!
Next we mixed it up by playing the "Random Order" variation of "Climb the Mountain". We all three played (each with a different colored piece) and covered both sides of the mountain (but this was a little hard to see because we had pieces the same colors as the layers. It worked better when we play with our different colored pieces as "armies" on the mountain. First person to cover his side of the mountain wins the battle (another idea is to let them fill the mountain, then start rolling to knock the enemy off the mountain... first one to clear the opponent wins). This gives me a great lead-in to talk about Veteran's Day today too. ;)
By the way, I use old Play-Doh cups for dice rolling and (in this case) holding small game pieces.
When Frank and I started out playing dice today, we were playing "Mouse", with paper and pens to draw our creatures. Jack would bounce in and out to see what we were doing, but after using the Legos in the "Climb the Mountain" games, I gathered Lego Mini-figure pieces, labeled an egg carton and let them go to town building characters, complete with bonuses (vehicles, allies, enemies, and apprentices) for rolling doubles.
This classic game of "Mouse" with a Lego Twist worked best of all. Instead of drawing the parts of a mouse (body, ears, eyes, whiskers, nose, and tail) with each number rolled, you can choose a part from the appropriate bin. We played with two dice and a bonus area for doubles (you could only choose one part per turn though, even though we used two dice).
All-in-all, a very successful way to integrate play and math for loads of learning! Things like this remind me of why I love to Homeschool!
You could easily adapt this to use whatever toys your little one likes to play with, just grab some dice to help direct the play in a math-leaning direction! ;)