Addition, Multiplication, Area

Create a grid on a piece of paper, made up of one-inch squares. (You can also use graph paper or a computer generated grid to save time.)

Take turns with your child rolling a die twice. The first throw designates the length (in squares) of one side of a rectangle. The second throw of the die represents the length of the adjacent side. After the lengths of the sides have been determined, the player can complete his rectangle and count the number of squares that it contains. The second player does the same, rolling twice and creating her rectangle. The player with the greatest number of squares wins the round.

The rectangle provides lessons in understanding multiplication and calculating area. You can discuss how “2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 8″ or “2 x 4 = 8.” And by determining the number of squares that make up the rectangle, your child can figure out how big the rectangle is in “square inches.” For example, a 2-inch by 4-inch rectangle has an area of 8 square inches.

You will find that there are no shortages of real life applications for this activity. For example, you can help your child calculate how many square feet are in his room, or what the dimensions of a flower box must be in order to hold a certain amount of mulch.
Source: Bright and Beyond, Smart & Simple Activities to do with your Child, Math, K-3rd Grades. For a fun hands-on tool, click on this link at
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