Matching Hearts Math

 

 

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I wanted to incorporate some Valentine’s-themed learning activities into our school activities.  These Matching Hearts Math Games are simple to set up and provide plenty of learning fun!

 

matching hearts math activity

 

To create your own matching hearts math game, you will first need a selection of paper hearts.  I cut ours from red construction paper, cutting several at the same time to ensure they’d all be the same size. (Using the same color of paper and making the hearts all the same size will increase the difficulty level of the memory game!)

Next I wrote simple addition problems on half the hearts and the corresponding answers on the other half.

Then it was time to play!

We did two separate activities with our hearts.  First, I gave them a handful of hearts and asked them to simply match the math equation to the correct answer.

Our second activity was playing a memory game with our hearts.

 

matching hearts math game

 

 

I mixed up the hearts and then turned them all upside down.   Then they played just like the typical memory game, flipping hearts over until they found the matching heart.

How to modify the matching hearts game:

You could easily modify this activity to fit the age and learning level of your kids!

For preschoolers you could place a specific number of dots on half the hearts (1 dot, 2 dots, 3 dots….) and the corresponding numbers on the other half of the hearts (1, 2, 3….) to work on counting skills.  Or, you could even do lower case and upper case letters!

For older children you could use subtraction, multiplication, or even division problems.  Or, give it a reading twist and use sight words or vocabulary words on half the cards and definitions on the other half.

 

Looking for other Valentine’s Day learning activities?  Check out our Matching Hearts Sensory Bin!

 

 

 

 

 

Making Reading Fun

 

 

I have two early readers in the house right now.  And while one is excited to point out the words he knows all around him, the other seems a little more apathetic about the whole thing.   Since this early reading stage can influence how they feel about reading later on in life,  I’m on a journey to make reading more fun for both of them.

tips for making reading more fun #sp

(This is a sponsored post on behalf of HiFiKiddo.  All opinions are 100% my own.)

Reading Games

I try to incorporate games into our school day whenever possible.  There are lots of different online games for beginner readers, but I really like making up our own games and adding some movement into reading as well.

One of their favorites is using packaging bubbles to play Sight Word Pop!  The kids have also smacked all kinds of words and even sentences in our Sight Word Smack game.  (There is just something about hitting things with a flyswatter that makes them happy!)

Most recently we got up and moving all around the house with this Early Reading Scavenger Hunt game.

 

Comfortable Reading Space

The kids have a bookshelf (a very full bookshelf, might I add) at the end of our hallway, with beanbag chairs to snuggle into as they read.  But everyone likes a change of scenery every now and then…

On these cold winter mornings they love it when I light a fire in the fireplace, drag the beanbags and blankets to the living room and create a cozy reading spot, complete with snacks.

making reading fun with a cozy reading spot

 

High-Interest Reading Material

That comfortable reading spot is only half the battle.  You need to have books the kids WANT to read.  When it comes to early readers, I look for books with eye-catching illustrations and only 2-3 sentences per page.  (More than that and they tend to panic before they even try to read the page.)

And don’t forget chapter books!  Bedtime is the perfect time for sharing chapter books with young kids.  When choosing a good chapter book, I look for one that I know will draw them in.  Currently the Magic Tree House series is a big hit.  I love it when I finish reading a chapter and they beg me to read “just one more!”

 

When it comes to reading material, don’t just limit it to books, either.  I’ve begun leaving small notes around the house for the kids to find.

And my oldest is loving the idea of writing short messages to her aunt and cousins and getting letters in return. Instead of using snail mail, which would cost us a fortune for the 2-3 sentences she may write, and then, of course, having to wait for a reply, we’ve discovered HiFiKiddo.  Since she wants her “privacy,” my reluctant reader has to sound out her short replies on her own.  And boy does she look forward to them!

 

making reading fun with HiFiKiddo

 

Want to know more about HiFiKiddo?  You can check out my earlier review and it’s available to download from the App Store as well as for Android.

 

HiFiKiddo Google App

 

HiFiKiddo app

 

I’d love to know how you make reading more fun for your kids!  Leave a comment below, or tell me about it over on the Facebook!

 

 

 

 

DIY Lego Board Game

 

We have been having lots of fun learning with Legos lately.  One of our activities during school this week was creating this fun DIY Lego Board game.

 

DIY Lego-inspired board game

 

To make our game board, we used a large square of cardboard from the recycling box.

I covered the cardboard with a large piece of white paper, and then we started to design our game board.

The kids decided to color the rectangles on our board with bright colors you would find in Legos.

Once it was colored, I added directions to the rectangles.

One of the goals of the game was to practice reading skills, so I made sure to make the directions fairly simple for my beginning readers.   I included color words, like “Pick up 1 blue” and other simple directions, like “Put back 1 block.”

 

DIY Lego board game

 

 

To play our Lego board game, the kids rolled a game die, moved their Lego character, and followed the directions on the rectangle landed on.

At the end of the game they had fun creating with the pieces they had picked up.

 

DIY Lego board game

 

Older kids could design a more complicated board, including more specific directions of which pieces to pick up.

Or, play with a bunch of 2×2 square bricks and see who can build the tallest tower at the end to determine a winner!

 

Looking for more ways to learn with Legos?  Check out our Lego Sentence Building Activity.

 

(This post is not endorsed by the Lego company, it was merely inspired by its awesome interlocking blocks.)

 

Heart Gifts, Cards, and Treats

 

 

The other day I shared over 50 awesome heart crafts and activities.  

Today I have more terrific heart ideas, with some cute DIY heart gift ideas, heart-themed cards, and some tasty heart treats.

DIY heart gift ideas

 

over 15 heart-themed card ideas

tasty heart treats for Valentine's Day