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Child Designed Literacy and Math Game

child designed literacy and math game

Seven-year-old Emma invented this fun literacy game using the valentines the kids got at school. It’s very simple:

  1. Put all the valentines (or cards with names on them, if your cruel mother recycled your valentines – thankfully I have forgiving children) into a bag or other container.
  2. Reach in and pull out a card, and write down that person’s name.
  3. Put the card back, reach in again. If it’s the same card, put a dot next to the name. If it’s a different card, write down that name.
  4. Repeat until you randomly decide that the game is over.


My kids learn a lot through this simple game! For five-year-old Johnny, it’s a lesson in reading and writing (that’s his list above). For seven-year-old Emma, it’s more of a math game – a lesson in statistics and things that skew results: larger cards get pulled out more frequently, and if you don’t shake up your container between turns you’ll pull the same cards out over and over, because they are sitting on top. For three-year-old Lily, it’s a lesson in basic sight word recognition, and this game got her thinking about which letters were in which friends’ names, which letters were in the most friends’ names, and which friends had the same letters in their names that she has in hers.

Do you have a favorite literacy or math game that you think my kids would enjoy? This statistics game often leaves even adults confused – including me!

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

20 thoughts on “Child Designed Literacy and Math Game”

  1. Your posts and ideas are always so simple but always give me such great ideas. I am a big believer in incorporating learning into the every day times, like at breakfast and in the car.

  2. This is not only adorable, it’s a great idea! Plus, I think every kid activity should end with : “Repeat until you randomly decide that the game is over.”

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