# Teaching Math with Blocks

Stacking the Numbers

In this game, we will use the concept of subitizing. Subitizing is the ability to recognize numbers in small groups instantly without counting each of them. Subitizing is one of the most useful early math skills for a preschooler which will be relevant throughout their life.

This block math game is a great start for beginners because it only works by subitizing numbers from 1-6. This game can be a fun way of teaching math and it can get pretty engaging. Check out the tutorial below for ways to adapt this game for older children as well.

Tutorial

First, gather all your materials. You will need a regular die, 12 toy blocks, and a marker. Number your toy blocks 1-6 with the marker. Don’t worry it will come off with a wet cloth.

Invite your game player and explain the rules. First, roll the dice and then recognize the number on the die. When recognizing the number say it out loud.

After that find the block with the same number that’s on the die. Ask the other player to do the same and repeat the steps. Slowly stack up the blocks on top of each other and place them in order.

If the number repeats which is already stacked then skip that number and don’t grab another block. The player who will stack the entire number in sequence wins the game.

10 frames of math with blocks

The 10 frames game is a great activity for math because it provides a perfect visual basis for learning numbers, counting, subitizing, adding, and subtracting and the frame stays the same so keeping continuity between activities.

Tutorial

Again, we will require some amount of toy blocks, a die and a number frame chart which can easily be drawn with a pencil and ruler or you can download and print it online. There are several different ways to play these games with limited supplies.

The Empty and Full

To start the first game put one block on each frame. Have the child roll a die and remove a certain number of blocks. Count the empty frames and then count the full frames or have the child roll a die and put the number of blocks on each frame. Then have them count the empty spaces.

Colours and Number Recognition

Put one block on each frame. Ask the child to find all the blocks and remove them from the board according to colour. As they remove each one has the child’s name and the number the block is on.

Build and Stack

Have the child build stacks with the correct number of the block on each frame.  (You may need to break the tall stacks down into a stack of 5 and put the remaining block in a second stack).

Find the Stack

Take the stacks off the chart and have the child count the number of blocks in each stack and place it on the frame in the correct spot.