Incorporating Your Curriculum: Playground Math Games and Activities
Playgrounds are a hub for physical activity, but there is no reason why kids can't also exercise their brains while they enjoy playground equipment. Math playground games are one way for kids to get in an academic work out while they enjoy the playground. From number games to multiplication tables, there are a number of ways to incorporate math activities into the playground space. When all else fails, you can use the equipment that you already have to create new games that incorporate mathematical concepts and reinforce what kids are learning in the classroom.
One of the ways to teach very young kids about numbers and math is by introducing numbers with a game like the Tot Town Fun Center Number Game Panel. Numbers games for young kids will teach them how to identify large versus small numbers, and you can create an activity where kids are asked to add together two or three of the numbers on the wheel. Numbers games encourage memorizing number increments and help kids to understand how larger numbers are reached based on addition. A number panel is an excellent introduction to playground math.
Math panels are playground math games that introduce more advanced concepts. A math panel usually has a series of rows and columns of spinning numbers that can be used as a tool to learn addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Students can spin the numbers in each row to create many combinations of numbers, which allows them to propose math challenges to friends and learn how to answer math problems that involve multiple digits. Advanced playground math will enhance classroom learning and encourage students to teach each other as well.
Simpler math playground games include counting games. Similar to number games, these activities are designed to teach the fundamentals of math, which will help kids advance towards more complicated equations. Large beads or plastic parts can be slid across a bar one by one, and children will be able to count them as they slide. If a playground doesn't have a counting game on a panel or as a part of the equipment, it's always possible to count the rungs on a ladder, or the steps that lead up to the slide. Use whatever you have on hand to teach counting, as this will ultimately lead students to take interest in the more advanced math panels.
If you don't have built in math games, playground equipment by AAA State of Play affords a lot of opportunity to create your own. Count the number of swings and add it with the number of Xs on the tic-tac-toe board. Or, subtract the number of steps from the number of poles around the playground. With the various playground components that you have to work with, it's easy to create unique and fun playground math games every day. Encourage kids to create their own games, and you can get them excited about math. When creating math games, playground equipment can be used to show kids the real world implications about the need to know counting and basic math equations.
At AAA State of Play we know that learning never stops, even when kids head outdoors to run around and get their daily dose of exercise. Having math games and activities on the playground helps incorporate what is being taught in the classroom into everyday life. You can buy math panels that are appropriate for a variety of ages, from toddlers learning to count to older kids who are ready to practice addition and subtraction equations. It's easy to shop for and purchase math and number panels from our online store, so making math a part of your playground doesn't have to wait.
Find more about the author: Kim Hart