## MATH GAMES FOR ADULT AND CHILD

FORWARD-BACKWARD

TOPIC and LEVEL: Counting: Beginning; Order: Beginning, Intermediate
PLAY AFTER: HOW MANY WOULD YOU LIKE?, COUNTING TILL YOU GET THERE
PLAY WITH: HOW MANY WOULD YOU LIKE?, COUNTING TILL YOU GET THERE,
COUNTING BACKWARDS, THE HUNDREDS BOARD
EQUIPMENT: Spinner, board with numbers 1 through 10
TO WIN: Be the first player to cross home.
TO PLAY: Spin spinner and move accordingly.
• Use a board with 20 spaces.
• Let winner be the first player to land exactly on home.
• Use backward as well as forward moves as generated by a spinner or the flip of a coin.
• Increase board length to 30 or more.

FORWARD illustrates some of the ideas discussed in WHAT DO YOU GIVE TO THE CHILD WHO HAS EVERYTHING, namely, make the game simple, keep numbers sequential, illustrate the board, and consider involving the child in the construction of the game.

The goal in any level of play is to be the player to first move the playing piece from start to home. With the youngest child, use a board with spaces numbered 1 through 10. Use a die or a spinner with the numbers 1, 2, 3 equally spaced on the spinner or with 1, 1, 2, and 3 equally spaced on the spinner. If a player spins more than the number needed to reach home, let her go through home and win.

When playing this or any other board game with a very young child, the adult must do almost all, if not all, the work. A child does learn by observing so the effort is well spent. Have the child complete any form of play as soon as possible.

A slightly more sophisticated game is made by increasing the spaces from 10 to 20 or by demanding a player spin exactly the number needed to reach home.

If the length of the board is increased to more than twenty, the random number generator, spinner, or die should also generate larger numbers. Booby-traps should be introduced in order for the board not to become boring. The board which follows shows booby-traps and demands moves generated by tossing three coins and counting the number of heads.

FORWARD-BACKWARD introduces backward movement and makes the game more exciting. To play use a coin and any spinner. Flip the coin, then spin the spinner.

• If heads, move the piece forward the number of spaces indicated on the spinner.
• If tails and 1, 2, or 3, move backward accordingly.
• If tails and 4, 5, or 6, lose your turn instead.
• If there is no winner after a certain time period, the player who is closest to HOME wins.