Making Math Fun!! - The Number Ladder Game

Both my goal and my daughter's goal for this homeschool year is to have more FUN with math. Well, I think this morning we got off to a very good start! A veteran homeschooling friend of mine gave me the most wonderful book, The Number Jugglers Math Game Book. This morning we sat down and learned how to play the Number Ladder Game. Believe me when I say you NEED to learn how to play this game!!!

As chance would have it, after we played the game, I knew I wanted to write a blog post about it. When I sat down at the computer to look up the book, I found a whole site dedicated to the book AND the full instructions for The Number Ladder Game on their site! You can even play the game by yourself on this site! Yippee!! My day just keeps getting better. :-)

Basically, the game involves making simple equations with number cards. You have to come up with an equation to equal whatever rung of the ladder you are on. In this equation we were trying to come up with the number 33 to balance out our equation. I made extra cards for the game that were plus, minus, and times signs. I would also, the next time we play, make parentheses -- we just grouped things verbally today and it was ok, but I want to be more clear next time. This was (5x5)+8=33

Even my five year old could play (with me assisting him on some of the rungs). I was astounded and so happy. My daughter discovered some neat patterns in her ladder, and also figured out that having a 10 card was a commodity. But, my son discovered having a 1 card was not so shabby, either. If you are confused, read the instructions to the game and play and it will make perfect sense!

Our ladders got pretty tall! In the end, Miss B got up to 38 rungs and then we quit.... but you see she has a smile on her face -- and it's math time! Hooray!

Maybe games like this aren't any big news for some of you, but for me, I WISH I would have learned math a little more like this. I would take this game over flashcard drills (or worse pages of written drills!) of addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division any day! I am excited to explore the rest of the book. My friend told me all of the activities were great, so bring on the math!