The SHOW ME/SHOW ME WITH COINS game and STONES ON MY LEGS forms a pair of games for written addition and subtraction. When playing, the child is adding or subtracting either using concrete objects or mental images of objects--important developmental activities.

      The games reinforce each other. SHOW ME should be played a bit earlier than STONES ON MY LEGS but as skill is developed in one game or activity the child should also be playing the other game.

      Because STONES ON MY LEGS is a mental game, it is included with the Travel Games. SHOW ME belong here with the Counting Games.

TOPIC and LEVEL: Addition/Subtraction Basic, Intermediate, Advanced
Key Questions:
  • The Adult says: "I'd like two red ones and one blue one."
  • The Adult says: "How many pieces did you give to me?"
  • The Adult says: "How many did you give me altogether?"
  • The Adult says: "We could count them and write the answer down," and the Adult writes: 4 + 4 = 8.
  • The Adult says: "Show me five plus 2 more."
  • The Adult says: "How much is 5 plus 2 more?"

      As described above, SHOW ME involves answering addition and subtraction questions through counting. The SHOW ME games outlined here are of two kinds: a game with all items having equal value and a game with items of unequal value, specifically coins. The first version is the simpler so we'll start with it.

      In summary, one player requests different numbers of colored pieces: the other player counts the required pieces. Players exchange places. Once each roll is mastered, the requester might ask for the total number of pieces exchanged or how many pieces remain.

      Expect the following passage to sound very much like HOW MANY WOULD YOU LIKE since those skills are used in this game. Now, after requesting "two blue ones and two red ones," the Child is asked, "How many pieces is that all together?" If the Child doesn't know, SHOW ME kicks in.

      The Adult says, "I'd like two red ones and one blue one, please."

      The Child collects the required pieces and passes them across the table then looks up for further instructions.

      The Adult says, "Thanks, Alan, how many pieces did you give to me?"

      The Child looks up and answers, "Two red ones and one blue one."

      The Adult responds, "Yes, that's true. How many pieces is that all together?" returning the pieces one by one to the Child.

      The Child is quiet. "Three."

      "Good!" says the Adult. "Now , I think I'd like two blue ones and two red ones."

      The Child sorts his stack and passes the requested pieces.

      The Adult comments, "Thanks. How many did you give me altogether this time?"

      The Child reflects then responds with, "Four."

      The Adult Responds, "Good. Now will you please give me four red ones and five purple ones?"

      The Child sorts the pieces and passes them across the table.

      The Adult accepts the pieces and asks, "How many did you give me this time?"

      "I don't know."

      "Let's count them, then."

      As the Adult touches and slides each piece from the existing pile to a new pile, each player counts out loud, "One, two,three, ..., nine."

      The Adult remarks, "You game me nine pieces."

      Play continues. The Child's pile is exhausted and the Adult asks, "How many would you like?"

      The Child responds, "I'd like five blues and three reds and four whites."

      The Adult sorts through the pieces, collecting the requested pieces, then responds: "Here are the five blue ones," advancing this collection of five pieces to the center of the table; here are three red ones," pushing these as a group to the center of the table; "and here are four white ones, moving this group to the table's center also. "Let's count them to see how many there are altogether."

      They count as the Child moves the pieces. "There are twelve pieces," announces the Child.

      Let's skip a few plays and look in when the Child has all the pieces.

      The Child asks, "What colors do you want?"

      The Adult answers, "Oh, I don't care. Red and blue."

      The Child responds with appropriate pieces then announces, "That's five altogether."

      The Adult smiles and says, "That's right. Show me four pieces and four more pieces. They could all be red."

      The Child sorts out two groups of four pieces and presents them to the Adult.

      The Adult responds, "Thanks. That's right. How many are there altogether?"

      The Child answers, "I don't know. Maybe we can count them?"

      The Adult answers, "Yes, let's do that and we can even write the answer down if you'd like."


      The pieces are counted and the Adult writes: 4 + 4 = 8.

      Once the game has been played a few times, the questions or requests will be abbreviated to, "Show me five plus two more," and, "How much is five plus two more?" Sophistication occurs with more and larger addends and with quicker responses.

      More addition facts may also be added to the Child's list. Some children enjoy collecting or keeping just about anything. These equations are no exception.

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