Thursday, November 14, 2013

Learning to Balance with Dice

As you all may know from my Learning with Dice post, we own a large collection of dice. Crazy enough, they get used nearly daily, either for a board game, our Sunday and Monday night RPing games or as tools to help the kids learn and simply play with. Well back in August and September, when the kids were learning about Egyptian mythology and ancient history, we discovered the art of balancing. While we did create a homemade scale and talked about balancing good and evil (more easily explained using superheroes - at least for Bean to understand), the best part was created various constructions with dice and popsicle sticks, and seeing just how high they could build them! This has turned into a fun activity for the kids that they enjoy after our daily "numbers and math" activities.

Bean loves dice. She loves rolling them and exclaiming what number she rolled. It's a great way to continuously practice reading numbers and counting. I also created number flash cards for her, so she can match those to the dice as well. She can also roll a die, read the number, and they match that many objects to the die (example: rolling a 5 and matching 5 red apples to the die).

Munchkin however still has no real big interest in numbers. He enjoys counting along with us and singing various numbers, but he real passion when it comes to die is building with them.

And building with them always ends up leading to wanting to balance them. This is where popsicle sticks come in. The cups were not necessary at all, but we decided to use them (they used them to shake the dice up in). Simply lay a popsicle across the cup and load up the dice!

We discovered that one extra die on either side was not enough to tip the scales, but as soon as you add an additional extra.. they go flying! Literally, sometimes.

Isn't his super concentrated face adorable? I think so!

 Another fun material for this is silicone baking cups.. Why, you may ask? Because they are not always stable. It makes for a fun dynamic when you have created a super tall, perfectly balanced construction and then the cup shifts ever so slightly. Ok, maybe we just enjoy it too much!

 It's also great to add various sized dice. Size, shape and weight make a HUGE difference!

A mere millisecond after that orange die touched down they all went flying!

 D6's definitely work the best, since they have larger sides, but we love incorporating all of the dice.

This is a perfect fine motor activity, but it's also a fun way to incorporate math skills into an activity! 

Please always stay within arms reach of your child(ren) when they are playing. Some sensory materials may not be age suitable for every child. Please use your own judgement when creating sensory activities for your child(ren). 

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