Here's an educational boredom-buster for car trips this summer! And it only takes a few supplies and a few minutes to make. Depending on your child's age and skill level, you can make this an addition, subtraction, or multiplication game.
Metal tin with clear acrylic top (I found mine at Michael's for $2.99.)
2 10-sided dice
Small round magnets
A few marbles or plastic pieces of some sort to use as playing pieces
1. Choose a really fun looking tin! It has to be metal (so it is magnetic), and it needs a clear top, so you can see the dice.
Here is the label on the back of mine, so you can see the brand and size (6.75" diameter).
2. Cut craft foam to line the bottom and sides of the tin. This is really, really important! If you don't line the container, it will be SO noisy when it is shaken! You could use felt instead, but craft foam is super cheap and deadens the sound better. If you don't know what craft foam is, this is the label from mine:
3. Glue it in place with tacky glue. Here my daughter is helping me.
I only had scraps of foam laying around from previous projects, so I had to piece it together. That's ok -- it is all about sound insulation, so it doesn't matter if it takes multiple pieces.
4. Next you need to attach a game board to the outside of the tin. If you are using the same size tin, you can download a game board here.
Print it out on paper, cut it out, and tape it on with clear packing tape. I don't have a picture of myself taping this in place, because I can't tape and take pictures at the same time! But here it is with the game board already taped on the outside.
Put the dice inside, and, if desired, use the packing tape to seal the tin so it can't be opened. That way, the dice cannot escape during use. However, then the playing pieces can't be stored in the tin. So, it is up to you.
5. The only thing left is to make the playing pieces. Use some more tacky glue to attach your glass beads or marbles to the magnets.
All done! Ok, here's how to play (but you can always make up your own rules, of course!):
Shake the tin five times. Add up the two numbers on the dice. If you get the answer right, you get to move your piece that many spaces. If you get the answer wrong, you don't move on this turn. Play passes to the next player. Win the game by reaching the finish square first.
Shake the tin five times. Subtract the smaller number from the larger number. If you get the answer right, you get to move your piece that many spaces. If you get the answer wrong, you don't move on this turn. Play passes to the next player. Win the game by reaching the finish square first.
Shake the tin five times. Multiply the two numbers. If you get the answer right on the first try, you get to move your piece 3 spaces. If you get the answer right on the second try, you get to move your piece 1 space. If you get the answer wrong both times, you don't move on this turn. Play passes to the next player. Win the game by reaching the finish square first.