I do not consider myself crafty. Or especially creative. Which makes me all the more proud of this:
Made entirely from scraps--including sections from two pairs of ragbag blue jeans--this "math bag" is designed to carry my junk AND provide game playing and math practice when we're on the go. One side of the bag has pockets in order, 1-9; the other side has the numbers 1-9, but mixed up. I'm guessing that my younger ds will get more use out of the ordered side while my older ds uses the mixed side. My daughter (crafty!) did the lettering and included symbols on each pocket in a pattern for the boys to decipher.
Here's a multiplication fact practice game from this morning:
milk cap math numbers. As a side note (that probably deserves an entire post), I don't ask my kids to "drill and kill" to learn math facts. My son knows his multiplication facts from using visual models and manipulatives as well as from games like Mythmatical Battles. He knows them. And when/if he doesn't, he has many strategies for finding the answer because he understands what multiplication is. That's what I really care about.
I've found it helpful in my own life (especially in the grocery store!) to be able to use the facts that I know at a fairly fast rate. This isn't necessary; I know some great mathematicians who do not have the times tables memorized. But, for me, it's been helpful. So I give him opportunities to practice what he knows. This is a miniscule part of what we do in math. Very. But if it's fun and easy and take-along, I'm all for it. (BTW, milk caps weigh practically nothing to carry along in a bag like this.)
I have several other easy, take-along games in mind to post later.
This is what comes of a night alone, btw. On New Year's Eve, my 4yo ds went to bed, everyone else left for a church party, and I pretended I was a craft enthusiast. I'd really like to be one. Shhh. Don't tell. ;)
P.S. BTW, a WHOLE LOT of math went into making this bag!!! I didn't use a pattern and had to do a ton of measuring.
P.P.S. I'm glad I learned how to sew...back when "sewing" was still offered in high school course offerings. Shows you how old I am!
P.P.P.S. I've added a new label, "Make-It-Yourself Math" that I'll be adding to. For all you crafties!