Thursday, November 3, 2011

Calla math game - and it's compostable!

Calla Math Game \ DIYWanting to help my daughter's confidence and math skills, we made the decision she could join her school's math club again this year.

The kids do bimonthly meetings where they practice math and strategy games in preparation for the city's annual Math Pentathlon. Last year, she participated for part of a year, only after begging. A lot. (And then more begging on the part of mom to let her join so late!)

I'm fortunate that my school supports these costs 100 percent, as I learned quickly during the parent orientation session that the games can be costly. (Not more costly individually than the average board game, but an expense I was still unprepared for.)

Instead, I found an option that worked in our home, one that didn't cost me anything but a few minute's of time and some unused supplies in our home. The deceptively simple Calla game is a great strategy game and quietly teaches the kids basic math skills as well. My daughter has become more and more interested in it, though the small piece sizes are an occupational hazzard in our little house. (Our Yahtzee pieces lasted all of a month before being scattered about!)

Our solution? A makeshift board game for her to practice the concepts. Our first attempt was a fully compostable one - made from a long-leftover paper bag and dried chickpeas that have admittedly been in our pantry far too long.

Unfortunately, it didn't lie as flat as we'd like, so we created a more permanent solution using the bottom of a reusable bag (which never seem to stay with the reusable bags!).

We now have the flexibility to play whenever we want, and any misplaced pieces can easily be replaced with a few dried chickpeas. Is it as nice as the original game? No, but it works for us.

What simple solutions have you come up with to replace a child's "want"?


bhelenj said...

So how is the game played?

robbie said...

Will show you when you visit.

I have been trying to find directions online to share!

robbie said...

Ask and you shall receive! (It just took a while to whittle down the links)