In celebration of Valentine’s Day, I want to share a math game with you. This Valentine Roll and Cover math game is a great activity to use during February, but can also be used any time of year. I love roll and cover games, because kids can play them individually or with a group. The games are also easily adapted for a variety of learning levels. Kids can practice subitizing, numeral recognition, +1 addition, and -1 subtraction with the four different little game boards.
To start, you will need to print the game boards and find some type of counters to use. You can use conversation hearts, plastic hearts, pennies, blocks, magnetic chips, erasers etc. I like to use magnetic chips so that kids can see the numbers after they are covered. I also often like to use a counter that can be stacked, and I’ll show you why in a minute. You will also need a single 1-6 die to play the game.
Start by determining the math skill that you wish to practice. 4 different game boards are included.
- If kids are not ready for numeral recognition, you can practice matching the dots on the die with the dot game board.
- If kids are practicing numeral recognition, select the 1-6 game board.
- If kids are practicing determining the next number or +1 addition, select the 2-7 game board.
- If kids are practicing the concept of 1 less, use the 0-5 game board.
Give 1 game board and at least 6 counters to each child. Use 1 die per group of kids.
If the kids are playing with the dot pattern or 1-6 game board: Each child takes a turn rolling the die, identifying the dot pattern on the die (count the dots if needed), and cover the corresponding heart on the game board. If a child rolls a number and finds that they have already covered that number on the game board, the turn is passed to the next player.* Continue to roll and cover until all of the hearts have been covered.
If the kids are playing with the +1 game board: The kids take turns rolling, identifying the number represented on the die, determining the number that results when 1 is added to the rolled number, and cover that number on the game board. For example, when the number 5 is rolled, the heart with the 6 would be covered because 5 +1 = 6
If the kids are playing with the 1 less game board: Each child takes a turn rolling the die, identifying the number represented on the die, and determining what number would result when 1 is subtracted from that number. For example, when the number 5 is rolled, the heart with the 4 would be covered because 5 – 1 = 4.
The game ends when the first child in the group covers all of the numbers on his or her game board.
*The first time that I played this game with a group of kids, I realized that it’s sometimes a good idea to let kids make up their own rules. We happened to be playing with counters that stacked. The kids decided that they wanted to stack counters whenever they rolled the same number more than once. This turned out to be a great thing because it generated more conversation about numeracy. The kids started comparing the stacks on their game boards…..which number had the most hearts, which number had the fewest, etc.
To download the Valentine Roll and Cover Math Game click HERE. It is listed as a freebie in my TPT store.
To see more Valentine’s Day ideas from Early Learning Ideas click HERE. You may also enjoy the following Valentine’s Day activities in my TPT store: