Do you have the game Don’t Break the Ice®? We have had it for a while and take it out during the winter months especially for a little fine motor fun. I modified our Don’t Break the Ice game to create a simple preschool activity for learning numbers. My preschooler enjoyed this the first few times we played and when we recently pulled it out again I was so amazed at how her number recognition had developed.
There is nothing better than teaching your child a new (and valuable) skill. Creating this preschool activity for learning numbers with the game Don’t Break the Ice is so simple. (About 5 minutes.) I have a few ways to turn it into a toddler activity too.
Learning Numbers with Don’t Break the Ice
What You Need:
Take the game out of the box and set up the frame.
You can start with 1 and write up to 32, or stick with 1-10 and repeat them depending on what you would like to teach your child.
I wrote numbers all the way to 32. I like to challenge my preschooler and also make sure I am exposing her to numbers larger than 10 to encourage as much recognition as possible before she heads to Kindergarten.
These dot to dot printables are also a great follow-on activity to teach number order for numbers up to 20.
Set It Up:
There are a variety of ways you can set up the game.
- Place the number cubes into the frame in order.
- Place the number cubes in the frame out of order.
- Place the number cubes in the frame in reverse order.
I found that it didn’t really matter what order the cubes were placed into the frame. Your child will scan and identify which numbers they know. The game moves so fast the cubes will often fall before all the numbers are identified.
With an almost 5 year old, I pour the cubes out of the box and let my preschooler flip them all over and find each number in order.
She places as many as she can in each row and I put the tough ones in when space gets tight.
She learns each number just from the set up of the game each time we play.
Taking turns, we each choose one number, point to it, bang it out, and then the other takes her turn. (You can give this to your child as a center or busy bag type activity when you need to get some housework done too!)
After all the cubes fall out, we put the numbers in order. This last time we played, my daughter said, “I think we should find all the numbers that have a one in them.” Go with your child! If they suggest a way to group or explore the numbers, go for it. I love those suggestions from my kids.
These cool math games for kids are a wonderful way to extend the learning.
My toddler girl wanted to try this game too. To modify this for toddlers, you could use the colored stickers or animal stickers. Point to a cube, name the color, bang it out. Of course toddlers just like activity that involves banging anyway. Check out this bang the box activity for learning colors or letters.
I found a fun idea for using this game to learn sight words. The link I found requires you to purchase printable sight word stickers that fit onto the game cubes. It is pretty simple: write a sight word on each cube and you have a new game.
What do you do if you make this preschool activity with Don’t Break the Ice and want to modify it later to create the sight word game? Grab a pack of stick-on mailing labels, cut them in half, stick them on top of each cube to cover the numbers. You can then write on the label to create a new game.
Do you have any fun ways to change up your family’s favorite games to keep the game fresh?
For more preschool activity ideas as simple to create as this one, check out the post 40+ Preschool Homeschool Activities and the Homeschool Resources section of The Complete Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms.