Little Miss usually asks to get dressed as soon as she gets up. Dress, headband, necklace, bracelet and sparkly shoes- dressed. Wild One would stay in his pajamas all day if I let him. Anyway, this morning while Wild One and I were waiting for Little Miss to get dressed, I saw that he was playing with the Jenga blocks. Hmmm, lets do a quick math lesson.
I brought out a pair of dice and asked if he wants to play a math building game with the blocks. As soon as he saw the dice, he was hooked. Yes! We played using the same method we do as when we play Shut the Box (see here). He rolled the dice, counted the first die, counted the second die, and then said "3 plus 2 = (pause, as he counts them altogether) 5!" Then he balanced five blocks. When Little Miss saw us she joined right in.
I love these dice games, we're learning numbers, we're learning subtilizing, we're learning how to add, we're learning parts of a sum, we're learning early math vocabulary (plus, add, altogether, equals).
Using the Jenga blocks also allows for creativity- Will it be a tower, a set of tracks, a castle, a wall? It helps to develop spatial reasoning, balancing the blocks. It also works on their pincer grasp and fine motor development. If working as a group, it promotes sharing.
I love these spontaneous, easy games. I love how they are learning through play.