Bump and Wild to Three in a Row: A Math Play Activity

I have to say that social media has really opened me up to be a better parent and teacher. The amount of things I see on a daily basis make me a better thinker and person. I’ve been on a mission to do 20 minutes of math play with my daughter, and was inspired by these posts by Pre-K Pages and Scott’s Brick by Brick.

The ziploc quilt is extremely easy to make and the building of this game was an entire 20 minutes of math problem solving for one day alone! We made our quilt out of stuff that we already had around the house:

  • colorful duct tape
  • ziploc bags
  • paper
  • masking tape
  • giant duplo blocks

All we had to do was make a simple array. While we were making it we talked about skip counting by three. I made mine with 12 ziplock bags and made a “quilt” by laying them onto the sticky side of the duct tape. Then we covered the sticky underside with masking tape so it wouldn’t stick to the floor.

Math Game

The object of the game? Simply get three of your game pieces in a row horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

For our first game I made a deck of cards for the draw pile of three types to be played in the following way:

  1. Numbers 1-12 in standard form: Find a matching representation of that number on the board.  (If your number is already taken due to a bump or wild card, you lose your turn.)
  2. Bump card: bump someone’s piece off and replace it with your own.
  3. Wild card: place your game piece on any open space.

Math Game

Then I made 12 cards to slip into the ziplock bags for the game board.  I mixed the representations up and made tally marks, word form and dots to make the standard form cards. I wanted to make five and ten frames but I wasn’t sure I could draw them evenly enough (and our printer is out of ink!). I’ll probably try that next time.

Playing with three players made each game both quick and fun.  We were totally addicted.  I think the three of us played for an hour straight. The game wasn’t purely about matching, but included thinking about where to put a wild piece, as well as which piece would be the best to bump. My five year old began picking up strategies and we were amazed at her thinking!

The possibilities are endless for what can go in the quilt!

I think I am going to see if we can make these in my third grade classroom for the kindergarten mentors we work with!  Making them will mean that they’ll need to use their multiplication skills to make the quilt.

This is a great after school play activity!

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4 thoughts on “Bump and Wild to Three in a Row: A Math Play Activity

    • Wow, thanks so much for commenting! We have put time inside the ziplock quilt already, and I know we’ll keep making new cards whenever we want to try something new!

      Have a wonderful day.

  1. Hi It looks like a fantastic game. I’d love to make some for/with my class but could you give a few more details for the construction and procedure for playing.
    Thanks, Maria

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