I really love this math game because it is ideal for the home classroom. Your older child can use this game to learn area (multiplying), and your younger child could use this game to learn perimeter (addition). What a great tool to play before you learn about area and perimeter, and what great multiplication and addition practice!
The game is called, "Land Run", named after the many different historical rushes to get land by Americans in the 1800's. And to kill two birds with one stone, read to your kids about the largest land run in American History. In Oklahoma in 1892, 100,000 settlers rushed in at the shot of the starting pistol, to claim land once belonging to Native Americans. What a different way land is distributed these days!
All you need is a piece of graph paper, 2 dice, colored pencils in different colors--one for each child. You can play with 2-4 players. Children roll the die. Whoever scores highest gets to go first.
The first player rolls both dice. The numbers become the length or the width of the rectangle they will be making. I let my girls choose which would be the length and the width. This gave them an extra step of having to think ahead about the best strategy in order to claim the most space.
Students take turns until the graph paper is almost filled. At the end, there will be plots of land that have to have an exact number roll to fit into the space provided. If that is the case, they have to skip their turn if they don't roll that particular number. It gets quite heated and competitive at the end!
Students multiply the length times the width and write the answer into each box with their colored pencil. They then add up all of their spaces. If you have children who have not yet learned multiplication, simply have them find the perimeter of each plot of land. Add them together. Whoever claims the most land, wins!
Instead of having children roll their dice and choose which is the length and width, you have them roll twice and use their first roll as length and their second roll as width. This is a different kind of challenge. They have to fit it into the graph paper correctly. If they are unable to do so, they skip their turn and wait for another roll.