Last week, I had the opportunity to observe an Essentials class at my CC Community. Even if the next level of classical education is a few years away for your family, I’d highly encourage anyone with a Foundations child to take a looksie at an Essentials class. It broadened my view of this whole classical journey, and renewed my excitement for the process. Seeing English and Math memory work come to life in real application was a great motivator to keep plugging along with all those songs about gerunds and verb conjugations. Bonus, I saw math games in action that I immediately stole, and have been using at home ever since. Including this fun game, called SNAKE.
You can play this as a multiplication or addition game. We learn skip counting in our Classical Conversations memory work, so my 6-year-old can rattle off multiplication as fast (maybe even faster) than his addition facts. We play both multiplication and addition to reinforce both as a good math foundation.
You roll dice, add/multiply the two numbers and add that to your score. Each roll kids decide whether or not they want to be in or out for that roll. If they’re in, they get the points rolled. If they’re out, they don’t. BUT — roll a 1 on either die and anyone “in” LOSES their column of points. As we roll along, my kids are learning to play the odds, and decide if they are willing to risk the points they’ve already accumulated.
When a 1 is rolled, you move to the next column and repeat the process all the way through the word SNAKE. At the end, you add up each column and the person with the most points wins. If you don’t understand what on earth I’m talking about – never fear. I put together all the rules and a blank game board for you to print out if you’d like. We just use expo markers and a paper slipped inside one of these Reusable Dry Erase Pockets. My kids draw their own columns and just erase it afterwards. We aren’t fancy pre-made people. If you want to be, knock yourself out and Print Instructions and Gameboard for Snake.
Guess who won this game? Ha! Oh, one more thing. I have math dice
that go up to 12, and since we have memorized up to the 15s — we use two 12 sided dice and one regular 6 sided for a more challenging multiplication game. The 6 sided keeps the chances of rolling a 1 a little higher. Just using the two 12 sided dice was making for crazy long games because there were more numbers and therefore less chance of getting a 1. Follow all that? If not, feel free to shoot me a comment and I’ll try to clarify.