Kindergarten Readiness – Valentine Math Fun

I was reminded today of a great resource for numbers that we hardly every think about anymore. What is it? Cards! (the real ones, not the ones on our computers) Regular, ordinary, made-out-of-paper playing cards. I even remember in the ‘olden days’ making sets of them with my sisters and cousins using the thin cardboard from shirts. Why do we forget to let our kids use real decks of cards? Noticing numbers, counting, matching, sorting, making groups and just having fun with numbers is all part of kindergarten readiness.

If you can find a set, dig them out and have some number fun with your little one. Since it’s Valentines, maybe start with hearts. Look at the number in the corner, count the hearts on the card. Wow, they match! Maybe put the cards in order from 1-10.  Little ones may enjoy just finding all the hearts.  Here are some games to play. Choose 4 or 5 cards from hearts and another kind. Turn them over to play Concentration or Memory. For older children, they may be able to handle 10 cards from 2 sets or maybe even all 4. (I rarely win this game.) Make 2 equal piles, turn over the top card on each pile and see which one is higher–or lower. For a group game, there’s Go Fish. Give each person 7 cards. Put the rest in the pond. Ask each other for cards to make pairs; if not, choose from the pond.
What’s your favorite way to play cards?

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