Making Aha! Moments at Home

Jul 24, 2020 | North OKC

As an instructors, some of my favorite math aha! moments happen during our math facts/game time. So many of my students could not resist a bit of friendly competition.

Students get excited when I pull out the cards or dice that we would use for the day. It would double as soon as they successfully beat me at my own games! Some would see the opportunity as a way to level up like in a video game. Others love to challenge and especially defeat their instructors and other students. And of course, some would welcome the happy brain break from homework or worksheets.


When parents ask me how they can keep the same momentum going at home, I share with them the following activities. Our games are fun to play, easy to learn and all have underlining purposes (some sneaky).  Most can be played with everyday household items.  We have lots more games to share, come by and we'll be happy show you.


We would love to hear how you and your child have fun and learn playing these games.  Share with us your own games and fun ways to learn math.  What aha! moments are you creating at home today?



Ninety-nine or Bust!
Using a deck of playing cards, remove all face cards.
Deal 5 cards to each player.
Players take turn adding 1 card per turn to the total.
Place used card in discard pile and draw a new card.
Goal is to reach 99 without going over. 
Ace is -11.

1 or more players.  Place 4 cards face up.  You can add, subtract, multiply and divide to make the number 24. Use all four numbers, but use each number only once. You do not have to use all four operations.


Beat That! 
This game is for 2 or more players.  2 dice (up to 7 dice for older players)
Roll the dice and put them in order to make the highest number possible. If you roll a 4 and an 6, for example, your best answer would be 64. Using 3 dice, a roll of 3, 5 and 2 should give you 532, and so on. Write down your answer, pass the dice, and challenge the next player to “Beat That!

Play in rounds and assign a winner to each round. For a change, try making the smallest number possible! This is a great game for reinforcing the concept of place value. If you are playing with younger children, explain your reasoning out loud and encourage them to do the same.

Get to Zero
Each player starts with 20 points.  Players takes turn rolling 1 die and subtract it from 20.  First player to reach 0 wins!

Tug-o-war (addition / subtraction / multiply)
2 players.  Give 10 dice to each player. Players roll 2 dice.  Players add, subtract or multiply the top number.  Player with the greatest answer captures opponent’s dice.  Continue play until one player lose all of his/her dice.    

Optional: add, subtract or multiply the bottom numbers (tip: top and bottom of a 6 sided die adds up to 7!)

Deal or No Deal (Pig)
2 or more players.  Be the first to score 100 points or more.  Players take turns rolling two dice and following these rules:
1.  On a turn, a player may roll the dice as many times as he or she wants, mentally keeping a running total of the sums that come up.  When the player stops rolling, he/she records the total and adds it to the scores from previous rounds.

2.  But , if a 1 comes up on one of the dice before the player decides to stop rolling, the player scores 0 for that round and it’s the next player’s turn.

3.  Even worse, if a 1 comes up on both dice, not only does the turn ends, but the player’s entire accumulated total returns to 0.


Race to $1.00
Roll 6 dice or role 1 die 6 times.
Add up all the six dice.
Select that many coins, choosing from quarters, dimes, nickles, and pennies.
Your goal is to get as close as possible to $1.00.

We hope you enjoy playing these games with your family.  Call us at 405-412-8758 or come by our center if you would like more game ideas.