My oldest son is obsessed with penguins! He studies them, reads books about them, and daily makes art projects of adorable little penguins. I must say that I’m a little fond of them myself! When it came time to practice numbers with him I thought that penguins were the perfect subject for this Counting with Penguins DIY Game!
- Large construction paper – 12×18 (2 pieces, so it’s sturdy and also because we can use the other side for a second game board)
- Penguin die cuts or stamps
- Colored markers
Creating the Game
- Use a blue marker to write the title of the game at the top of your paper.
- Using your stamp, stamp 4 penguins across the paper, followed up with stamping 4 additional rows (total of 20 penguins on the paper).
- Number each penguin, starting at the top with “#1” and ending on the bottom with “#20”. (For my purposes, I decided to also make this a “fill in the missing number game” and so I left some penguins empty, allowing my son to fill in the missing numbers with a dry erase marker.)
- Laminate the game board @ your local copy shop for reuse in the future.
4 Ways to Play
- For children who are working on ordering numbers, you can give them a dry erase marker and have them fill in the missing numbers. As an extension activity, you can then have them create their own “missing numbers” in the spaces between the rows of penguins and then have another child fill in the missing numbers.
- I like to use a drawstring bag, placing numbers 1-20 in the bag, so that the kiddos can pull out a number, say the number, and match the number to the game board.
- Using a deck of number cards, each child takes turns choosing a card on the top of the deck, saying the name of the number, while also finding the number on the game board. If the child says the correct number, the child gets to cover that number on the game board with a game piece. I use colored chips so that each child has his/her own colored chips. Once the entire deck is gone, then each player adds up how many game pieces he or she has on the game board. The winner is the child with the most game pieces on the game board.
- For children who are working on tracing and fine motor skills, I would give them dry erase markers so they can trace over the numbers. For older kiddos who are working on number recognition, they can name the number as they trace over the letters.