Addition Bowling Game for Kids

In our household, we have something called “Creative Time.” This is when my son chooses an activity or a game he and I can play. This is my time to follow his lead in whatever creative project he wants to do.

This time, he pulled out his bowling game and said, “Let’s play!”

While playing the game we incorporated addition so my son could practice his math skills. If your child is not doing addition yet, use this game to practice counting and number recognition. Like all games we play, we had a blast!

I will show you how we played below!

Let’s get started!

Materials:

How to play:

  • On a piece of paper, draw separate columns and put each player’s initial at the top to keep score
  • Set up the ten pins
My son set up the pins.
  • Have the first player roll the first ball towards the pins
  • Have the first player roll the second ball towards the pins (the bowling game comes with two balls)
  • The number of pins a player knocks down is the person’s score that round.
    • For example, if a player knocks down eight pins then their score is eight for that round.
  • Record the score in that player’s column on paper.

  • The next player will go and repeat the previous five steps.
  • My son added both our bowling scores for all the rounds.
  • It was a great way to practice addition.
  • Below is what my son wrote.
M is for mommy. The score was 26 to 24. I won the game but it was really close. The second to last number under the C column is 10 and NOT 16.
  • Have your child count the number of pins knocked down for each round if you want to do number recognition instead of addition.

My son created a spin-off addition game. You will hear about that next week!

Stay tuned!

Have Fun with this Activity!

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Teach Kids, ages 3 and up, Chess in a Fun Way

Admiration and Failure

I have always admired people, young and old, who can play the game of Chess. Throughout my life, I have heard the many benefits of playing this strategic game. Also, people who play Chess seem intelligent to me.

Honestly, I have tried three times to learn chess and failed. It was the time and energy it took to learn the name of the pieces and how they moved. I would read or watch online videos about the game and eventually become bored.

Grandma’s Inspiration

The idea of tackling Chess again came from my mother. One of her gifts for my son’s third Christmas was a Chess game. It was the same cycle again.

I read the book that came with the game she gave my son and I got bored. Additionally, I thought my son was too young to learn the game. However, in the back of my mind, I knew Chess would be a game that he would like because it challenges the brain.

My Bright Idea

My decision was to wait until he got a little older to introduce him to the game.

My future plan was to take him to some type of community program that would teach him how to play Chess. Then, maybe I would learn through him. This was a win-win situation!

The Solution

It wasn’t until one night while skimming Facebook, I saw an advertisement for Story Time Chess. After seeing the advertisement’s picture of young kids playing chess with their parents, I wanted to learn more. On the website, I saw these words, “A revolutionary new game that lets you teach your child how to play chess as young as the age of 3!”

It is revolutionary because it teaches kids to play through fun stories with colorful diverse characters instead of rules. Each piece has a story about how it moves. Each piece holds a character’s picture from their story which allows children to visually connect it to the chess board and understand how to play.

Another helpful aspect of Story Time Chess is each story is concluded with a mini game that reinforces how the pieces move.

Our Experience

We love it! My four-year-old son and I learned how to play chess within a week and a half of opening the game! He was highly motivated to learn because of the engaging stories and pieces in the game. We currently play almost daily. Sometimes, he wins and other times I am the victor.

Watch the two videos below of my son and I playing chess. The first video is footage of us playing a game. The second one shows my son winning against me in the game of Chess.

My four-year-old son and I playing Chess.
My son is the winner in this game.

Below I will answer frequently asked questions parents have about Chess. It will be through the lens of our experience.

What age can a child learn chess?

The programs that I have researched in my local area start teaching kids chess at the age of seven. However, I have seen kids learn chess as young as five-years-old. My son learned how to play through Story Time Chess as a four-year-old. However, if I’d known about this game earlier, our starting age would have been three.

If your kids love fun engaging stories with colorful characters, they can learn at an early age.

What is the easiest way to play chess?

Of course you know the easiest way for us to play chess was to learn through Story Time Chess. We learned how the pieces moved in this order: king, pawns, knights, rooks, bishops, and queen. There were mini games at the end of each story that gave us a hands-on perspective on how each piece moved.

The best way to learn is be consistent with playing. It is important to learn the basic steps first and then take it a step further by learning various strategies.

We play daily which helps to hone our skills and learn new strategies.

What Chess teaches?

Chess teaches children so many important skills. I will concentrate on three skills below.

Chess teaches kids problem solving skills. During our games, my son spends time concentrating on how to keep his king safe while capturing mine. I can see him thinking about and planning his next move.

It also increases your child’s creatively. There is one piece my son loves to use when capturing my king. When I take that piece away from him, he has to be creative and think outside the box to win the game.

Chess has improved my son’s memory and observation skills. I use a particular strategy to win games against him. One day, I noticed he began to remember my first three moves while playing. He told me what the moves were and asked why I always did that. Then he developed some strategy to counter my moves. Amazing!

Try Story Time Chess! Be persistent and play with your child often!

Have fun Playing!

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Our books are available on Amazon, “Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play” and “Fun and Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Write.”

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Slime Time Game for Kids

One day my son came home from daycare with DIY Slime. He could not wait to show it off after he greeted me with a kiss and hug. It was in a yellow container and sparkled with glitter.

We decided to take the slime out the container to play with it. It was sticky, slimly, ooey, gooey, and fun to play with. We smashed and constructed it in to various shapes.

About 30 minutes before dinner, we decided to make up an activity called the Slime Time Game. The game is simple and will encourage your child to think on their feet while being creative. This is a great indoor activity for rainy and cold days. Below I will explain how to play.

Let’s get started!

Materials Needed:

How to Play:

  • Give your child the slime.
  • Let them play with it for a while to get used to shaping and forming it.
  • I encourage you to play with the slime as well.
  • Tell your child they have a certain amount of time to make a letter, number, shape, or image.
  • During the first round of the game, I told my son he had 45 seconds to make the letter A.
My son made the letter A in 25 seconds.


  • Have your child give you the slime.
  • Have them tell you to make something in a certain amount of time.
  • My son asked me to make the number 89 in 40 seconds.
I made the number 89 in 30 seconds. This slime was very sticky.

Watch this video of my son making the letter H in 30 seconds.

We had a lot of fun with this activity. It kept us busy for about 35 minutes! It is great for letter, shape, and number recognition.

Have fun with this!

Don’t forget both of our books are available on Amazon, Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play” and “Fun and Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Write.”

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6 Games/Activities for Kids and Parents to Make your Morning Routine Efficient

I am a full-time working mom who occasionally rushes in the morning. There is so much to do such as packing my three-year-old’s lunch and snacks, exercise, get myself and son dressed, and so much more.

When I am in a hurry, it does not transfer well to my son. He is probably thinking, “Why do I have to do everything so fast?” 

One way I have solved this problem is by getting up earlier and playing games to lighten our morning routine. 

Below are some of the games we play…

Stop (Freeze) and Dance

Have your child dance in between self-care activities. Below are examples…

  1. DANCE to the bathroom then STOP to use the toilet. 
  2. Do a little DANCE to the sink then STOP to wash hands.
  3. DANCE while at the sink.
  4. STOP when they have to brush their teeth.

My son loves this game. It helps him to get dressed faster. When he STOPS, it provides an opportunity to focus on his self-care activity. Plus, this game encourages us to laugh in the morning.

Race against the Clock

Tell your child they have a certain amount of time to do a task. Then challenge them to beat the clock!

  1. Tell your child they have 45 seconds to take off their pajamas.
  2. Count to 45 and see if your child has beaten the clock. 
  3. Count in different languages if you are teaching your child to be bilingual.
  4. If you see your child struggling with a task, count a little slower to give them a better chance to win.
  5. You may also help your child with the task, so both of you are racing against the clock. 

This is a fun and educational game in the morning. For young children, it is a great time to practice counting. Once your child becomes more efficient in a self-care task, they will complete it faster. My son really concentrates during this activity because he wants to beat the clock and he is competitive!

Chant to put clothes in hamper or wherever they belong

Say a chant to encourage your child to put clothes in the hamper

  1. Our chant is “Shirt, pants, underwear, and socks in the basket!”
  2. We repeat this chant loud while marching from the bathroom to the bedroom.

This is a great way to incorporate song and movement in the mornings! The repetition in the chant helps the child to concentrate on one task at a time without getting distracted. Sometimes, we will clap and stomp our feet to make the chant more musical.

Storytime to keep child still while brushing their hair or putting on lotion

Tell a quick story that will interest your child and keep them still.

  1. I usually tell silly stories about skunks, elephants, cartoon characters, and cars.
  2. Create child friendly stories that will keep their attention.

After dancing and chanting, my son usually wants to move around. In order to settle him, I tell a story that interests him.  He likes stories where a problem is being solved. Sometimes, I will ask him to fill in the story details to ensure he is paying attention. This is a great activity to help your child listen, focus, and use their imagination.

Race Against You

You and your child have to put your shoes on before going out the door, right? Why not make it a friendly competition?

  1. We start the race by grabbing our shoes.
  2. My son says “Ready, set, go!”
  3. Then we both hurry to put our shoes on.
  4. The person to put their shoes on first, wins!

This is another friendly game that gets my son moving in the mornings. Sometimes, I forget to mention this game before putting our shoes on. However, he does not let me forget and reminds me every time!

Another Chant to Move Things Along

We say a catchy chant to go downstairs or to get dressed.

  1. Our chant is “LET’S GO FLOW JOE, LET’S GO!”
  2. We repeat this chant to help us get things done in the morning!

This chant is a reminder to us both that there is a certain task we need to complete. It helps us get finish quickly and more efficiently. We are definitely more focused when it is time for this chant!

Incorporate these games in the morning and make it a fun time! It has definitely help us to lighten our morning routine!

Happy Morning Play!

What are some tactics used in your household in the mornings?

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4 Simple Financial Literacy Games/Activities for Kids

April is financial literacy month. I wanted to start the month off by giving you fun and simple financial literacy activities to do with young children.

Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad said  when you are an adult your report card is your credit score. This is one reason why teaching kids financial literacy is so important. Once a child becomes an adult, handling money becomes inevitable. So, let’s strive to build an early foundation for our children!

GO TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST AND GET 10 ACTIVITIES TO BOOST KIDS’ FINANCIAL LITERACY KNOWLEDGE

Let’s get started with our activities!

Money Recognition

The value of money and how to count it is a basic skill every child should learn. The activities below will teach money recognition in a fun way.

  1. The first step in money recognition is for kids to hold and interact with money.
  2. Have your child put money in a piggy bank.
  3. Another activity is for the child to sort money by pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, etc.
    • Help your child learn the difference in colors and sizes.
  4. After your child has mastered this, then teach them the monetary value of each coin by doing the following.
    • Repeat step 3 by having the child sort coins, then make a COLORFUL SIGNS with the value of money.
    • Create a sign for each coin and place it near each type of coin. The signs should read the following…
      • Pennies = 1¢
      • Nickels = 5¢
      • Dimes = 10¢
      • Quarters = 25¢
  5. Review the values frequently.
  6. Read books about the value of money such as…
  7. Watch the value of money videos on YouTube.
  8. Then move on to the next activity, Ice Cream Store.
Sorting money




Using a money funnel to sort money


Putting money in coin wrappers.

Ice Cream Store

This is a great activity to reinforce the value of money. It also introduces your child to entrepreneurship.

  1. Create ice cream by using the following suggestions.
    • Make ice cream with Playdoh. An example is shown in the picture below.
    • You may also put various colored balls in cups to make pretend play ice cream.
    • Another option is to purchase an ice cream set like the Melissa & Doug Scoop & Serve Ice Cream Counter.
  2. Create price tags and put them on the ice cream.
  3. Get pretend play money and give to the customer.
  4. Have your child play the ice cream store owner.
  5. As the customer, start by giving your child the correct amount of money for the ice cream.
  6. Once they become more advanced, give them more than enough money and help them determine the correct change to give you.
  7. This is also a great activity to teach your child about kindness and customer service.
My son giving me change after my ice cream purchase.
Ice Cream Cones made from PlayDoh

Monopoly

Introduce your child to investing in real estate with this game. Use this game to teach your child financial literacy vocabulary such as Assets, Liabilities, and Transaction.

  1. If you have a young child, start off with Monopoly Junior.
    • There are various versions of this game. The tips below can be used with most versions.
  2. Read the directions on how to play the game.
  3. Play the game with your child until they start to understand the concept and do the steps below.
  4. View the video below to learn how to teach your child the words, Assets, Liabilities, and Transactions by playing Monopoly.

Saving

This activity teaches kids how to work towards something they want or would like to purchase in the future.

  1. Explain to your child that saving money means putting money aside.
  2. Most kids like to save for something they want in the future.
  3. Is there a toy your child has been begging you for?
  4. Use this as an opportunity to teach them about saving.
  5. You may create a project around the house that allows them to earn money.
  6. It doesn’t have to be money, you many use a behavior chart so kids can earn awards at the end of the week.
  7. We use the Melissa & Doug Chore Chart.
    • If my son completes his chores at the end of the week, then he earns a privilege of his choice like going for a fun outing or watching television.

Bonus Activity – How the Stock Market Works: A Simple Explanation For You and Your Kids

Financial Literacy can be taught to children in a fun way on any level.

Have fun with these activities!

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Our books are available on Amazon, “Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play” and “Fun and Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Write.”

OUR TEACH YOUR TODDLER TO READ THROUGH PLAY ONLINE COURSE HAS A 44% DISCOUNT!

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