When my daughter Makenna was in kindergarten, I noticed that she had a disconnect with numbers. Being a math person, I was quite surprised that she struggled with matching the quantities with the name of the number. In addition, she really REALLY struggled with even and odd numbers. We worked on evens and odds for weeks!
One of the activities we enjoyed when working on this came from the Math Card Games book, the Dot Card Activities, game N22. Maybe your child is struggling with identifying quantities or knowing their evens/odds. Or perhaps, you have some children who are in preschool. If so, this game is a fabulous way to help children learn to recognize quantities and identify numbers as even or odd.
It is important that children learn to recognize quantities from various patterns. Recognizing evens and odds will enhance the recognition.
ACTIVITY 1 – One of the best ways for your child to start recognizing even and odd numbers is by using the AL Abacus. Turn the abacus sideways and show various quantities on two wires as evenly as possible. It does not matter if the odd bead is on the left or right.
Start by working through the numbers in numeric order. Explain that even numbers have an equal number of beads on each wire. I told Makenna that every even bead had a partner. Tell your child that odd numbers do NOT have an equal number of beads. We said that one bead is lonely because it does not have a partner.
Once your child has worked through all the numbers in order, start choosing random numbers and have your child say the name of the number and whether it is an even number or an odd number.
If you find that your child is unsure if the number is even or odd, ask them if they see if each bead has a partner. Be sure to let them study the beads to see the pattern. Some children like to feel the beads to help with the even or odd aspect. Feel how beads have a partner or if they are lonely.
ACTIVITY 2 – Once your child has a good grasp of even and odd numbers on the AL Abacus, introduce the bead cards. You can find the bead cards in the back of the Math Card Games book. Click on the image to get a pdf version to use.
Have your child put these bead cards in order by quantity, raising the even numbers slightly higher than the odd numbers.
Have your child say the quantity and whether it is even or odd.
ACTIVITY 3 – Hopscotch My daughter has ADHD, so movement while learning is extremely important to help her remember the concept. As she became more proficient at recognizing the quantities, I added a hopscotch element to the dot card activities.
First, I would have the numbers put in order from one to ten spread out with some distance on the floor.
Next, I would have her jump from one number to the next landing on one foot for the odd numbers and two feet for the even numbers.
As Makenna got better and better at identifying her evens and odds in order, I would start mixing up the numbers. We both had lots of fun jumping hopscotch to even and odd numbers. Ok. Yes. I jumped hopscotch, too!
I hope you and your children enjoy these card game activities. If you have enjoyed learning about this game, you may be interested in checking out the other math card games shared on our blog page here. If you have a favorite game that you enjoy playing or if you would like to request a specific game to be included in this blog series, please comment below. We would love to hear from you!