Football Math Touchdown

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This math-heavy lesson from Raddish Kids was a little tough to tailor to a kindergartner, but I appreciated the challenge, and that Raddish had us thinking about new concepts and skills. We’re excited to make more ballpark fare to go along with the learning!

The lesson begins with brainstorming a list of sports. I put white poster board up on the wall just like a teacher and gave Travis a big sports-couch-voice, “Go!” He soon had a great list.

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I told him today we would focus on football, and went through some of the facts that Raddish provided. Did you know that the first official football game was all the way back in 1869? We watched a quick overview of the rules and took a look at all the gear players have to wear.

Pause a moment and make a second chart with your child, focusing on what we learn from losing and what we learn from winning. I was proud of Travis coming up with items like, “You learn not to cheat” and “not getting upset when you lose”.

Now go over a bit of football facts and figures (6 points for a touchdown, 3 points for a field goal etc.) and set up some math problems with manipulatives. We used dried beans, and I talked Travis through three problems. First up, addition:

If the Dallas Cowboys scored 2 touchdowns and 2 extra points, how many points did they have altogether?

Travis counted out 6 beans for each touchdown, plus the extra two, then added them all up. This is a sophisticated problem for a kindergartner, and I don’t think he even realized it!

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We next did subtraction:

Last night the Kansas City Chiefs lost to the New York Jets by a score of 7 to 10. How many fewer points did the Chiefs have?

Again, manipulatives made it a cinch. He counted out each team’s score in beans, then took away 7 from the Jets pile. How many were left? “Three!” he declared.

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Finally, fractions:

If there are 4 quarters in a game and 2 have been played, how many are left?

Beans made the answer clear.

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After that big brain workout, we needed a physical one! We played two fun variations on “football” that we found online, adapting them to be a mom-and-son game instead of requiring teams. For the first, I set up a yoga mat as the end zone. His job was to get as many balls as possible into the end zone in 1 minute.

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For the second, he stood on a target (we used stacking rings) and had to catch a ball. If he caught it, he moved the target to his end zone for a point.

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We even had an adorable cheerleader on the sidelines!

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Finish up with a football read at storytime. Travis enjoyed A Running Back Can’t Always Rush, by Nate LeBoutillier

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Poster Board Puzzles

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These giant puzzles are a cinch to make and just hard enough to put together. On other words, super fun.

On a large piece of poster board, draw any puzzle picture you and your kids like. I kept one simple for Travis with a heart shape in the middle and a squiggle around the outer edge.

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He drew on the second piece of poster board, and I reminded him he’d need cues to know which pieces lined up where (and eventually added the circle in the center).

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Draw 5 or 6 big lines from the outer edge to the center; cut along these lines to make your puzzle pieces.

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Now put it all back together again! Travis was so pleased seeing his drawing line up.

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Some of the pieces neededto be turned and fiddled, and then success.

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You’ll notice that little sister Veronika loved the giant pieces of poster board and watching it all take shape! Feel free to give younger siblings a marker for scribbling, too, as long as you’re sure they’ll keep the ink on the big poster board pieces.

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I had one happy scribbler, and one proud puzzle solver!

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Little Helper

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Veronika’s at that delightful age, just shy of one year, when babies want to be your little helper. Ever notice how toddlers toddle over to clean up much more readily than your big kid? Yup! Take advantage of this moment to model “please” and “thank you”, and hopefully to set the stage for good habits.

I noticed it today while folding laundry; Veronika was so eager to help me put the socks in the laundry bin.

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Don’t harp over the fact that socks are unpaired or washcloths unfolded, just accept the help! With each item in, I gave her a big thank you. “Can you please put the socks in the bin?” I asked her. Yes indeed!

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Another great opportunity was at meal time.

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“Can I please have your cup?” I asked her, instead of simply taking it from her when she looked finished.

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She handed it over with a big smile.

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How do you teach your baby manners? Please share in the comments!