We have short bits of down-time between weeknight activities. On Mondays everyone is home from school by 3:45pm and we have to leave for Karate at 4:10. On Wednesdays we’re all home by 4:15pm then we depart for gymnastics at 5. Normally this in-between time is spent doing homework, playing, snacking, making dinner, whining, fighting, etc… but sometimes all our “stuff” is done and we’re left sitting around waiting for departure time.

It’s times like these you have a choice that goes something like this: a) read a magazine while the kids play their DS, b) turn on the TV, c) force your son to practice piano 15 more minutes, or d) play a math game! I freely admit option a and b are good for me many an afternoon, and option c was really just for the tiger moms out there, which leaves option d as a fine choice for those afternoons when everyone is getting along and you find yourself with a few ounces of patience left and 20 minutes to kill.

We encountered this situation a few days ago, so I pulled out a game that’s been sitting on the shelf for months:
Picture
Math Bingo! Since we never played before I wasn’t sure how hard this particular version would be (keep in mind the players are 3, 5, and 7 years old), but I figured we could wing it. And so we did, and it worked! I made a rule that you can’t yell out the answer, you have to raise your hand and wait to be called on:
Picture
The other rule was that someone had to help Ramona:
Picture
Some of the problems were a little challenging for our age group, but we muddled through:
Picture
We completed 2 rounds and before we knew it, it was time to leave for karate class. Twenty minutes, 20 fairly challenging math problems under our belts.  And guess what, no lie, this was actually fun! Kids love it when you sit down and play a game with them (even a math game, I promise).

If you are interested in obtaining this game for yourself, I’m sorry to report it’s no longer available in the $1 bin at Target, which is where mine came from. I saw it for sale on e-bay for $6.95, but honestly I don’t think you want to pay that much. There are tons of math bingo games out there, just google “math bingo” and you’ll be all set.  π