Math Games Using Skip-Bo Cards

One of my favorite games as a child was Skip-Bo. I still play this game with my daughter, although it is not quite as memorable as it was when I was little. I was rummaging through our game closet, and discovered lots of old games that I could use for math centers for Kindergarten. Skip Bo was added to this pile. Skip Bo is perfect for little learners because the deck of cards has a lot of numbered sets 1-12, which is just about where our number recognition is at the beginning of school. The cards are thick and durable, which saves me time because no lamination is needed. Here are the activities that I thought of that Skip-Bo could be used for.

 Ordering Numbers-Place a deck of cards on the students' desks first thing in the morning with the numbers 1-12 all mixed up. The students practice ordering the numbers from 1-12. It is very surprising how difficult this can be for some students at the beginning of the year.

Clothespin Counting-Provide the students with a pile of clothespins. Let the students practice placing the correct number of clothespins on each card. This is perfect for number recognition, and one-to-one counting. Wal-Mart has clothespins for pretty cheap!

What is missing? Place students in pairs. Have each pair of students order a deck of cards from 1-12. One student closes their eyes, and the other student takes a card. When the first student opens their eyes, they have say what number is missing. Simple as that!

Old Fashioned Memory-Let two students play together with their decks of cards. The two students turn their cards upside down together. One student turns over two cards to try to make a match. The other does the same. When the game is over, the person with the most matches is the winner.

Comparing Numbers-This game resembles war! Two students take their deck of cards and turn them all upside down in separate piles. Both students flip over one card. The student with the highest number gets to keep both cards. Play continues until all cards are gone. The person with the most cards is the winner. Students must them sort the cards back into decks when they are done. This will help them practice number recognition, counting, and comparing numbers.

Domino Counting-Grab a bag of dominoes, and let your students match the number of dots on a domino to the number on the cards. This is perfect for number recognition, and one to one correspondence.

Number Towers-Provide your kids with building blocks. Students build towers to match the numbers on each card. They will love this!

Fill the Cup-Place a pile of Skip-Bo cards in an upside down pile. One person flips the top card over and places that many counters in their cup. Their partner then does the same, placing their amount of teddy bears in their cup. The first person to fill their cup is the winner!

Crystal McGinnis

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