(4 Years Old)
I love games, board games, tile games, card games, activity games. I love them all! I'm lucky that my kidabunks also love playing games as much as I do. Grandma and Grandpa bought them Shut the Box! for their 4th birthday (thank you Grandma and Grandpa, they love this game). Blah, blah, affiliate link provided.
I haven't read the directions on how to play. I knew when I saw it what we'd be using it for. First, subitizing (fancy name for being able to easily recognize a small number of objects without counting- like the number of dots on a die, you just know that a die showing two rows of three dots stands for the number six) and second learning how to add.
We start with all the numbers showing. Then Little Miss rolls the dice. She counts the dots on one die and we both say "plus" and next she counts the dots on the other die. Then, we both say "equals" and she counts all the dots together. For instance, if she rolls a three and a five, she would knock down the eight tile. After a few minutes, she only had the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 9 left. After she was able to knock down the nine, I removed one die. She continued rolling until she Shut the Box! She loved this game! Every time she knocked down a tile, she would have a giant smile on her face.
Without saying anything, she began to notice that three dots always means three. Yay! By the end of the game she was able to subitize the numbers 1- 5! What an easy and fun way to practice addition. She had no idea we were doing a math lesson. Learning through play - I wish everything was this easy.
Another fun way to practice subitizing is with dominos! That's next on our list.