Early Number Game {Counting Candles}

Counting Candles is one of my absolute favourite math games! I am a little sentimental about it too. It has been with me right through my From the Pond  life - from eBay to website, and now including my own illustrations onto TpT. 


The basic idea with this activity is that students roll a standard die, count out a set of candles and place them on their cake. They keep rolling and counting to practice and eventually compare cakes with a friend to determine the 'winner'. 

Like everything in the classroom though, there are multiple ways to differentiate and utilise the equipment. Here are just a few ideas - some of which I shared on a Facebook Live video today as I played this game with my sweet boy. 

1. Addition. 

Roll the die twice, make 2 groups and find the total. Record on a whiteboard. 

2. Patterns

Create and build repeating-patterns with the candles.

3. Take-Away

Commence the game with a big stack of candles on your cake, and play in reverse. Take candles OFF the cake (tell the kiddos they are blowing them out) as they roll. 

4. Alternative Equipment

Use plastic plates, popsticks and play dough for cakes and candles! Just a warning though, this can quickly become a 'I want to play with the play dough' the situation quickly if students are not given very explicit instructions. It is very tempting to handle the dough! 

Make the basic game more challenging with a differentiated selection of dice.

1. standard dot dice
2. double dice (add)
3. numeral + dot dice (encourage counting-on)
4. 2 x numeral dice (addition with mental strategy)

5. Multiplication
Play with lots of cakes and candle cards. Students roll the dice twice and make a problem - e.g. 3 x5 by rolling a 3 and a 5. They then build an arrangement of cakes with candles to find the total and model multiplication. 

Thanks so much for stopping by my page today - have a wonderful day! 

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