Make your own board game.

What You Need:

• Paper
• Small objects such as buttons or coins to use as game pieces
• One die or a pair of dice (or six buttons; color one side of each button black)

What To Do:

1. Draw thirteen blank squares that are connected to each other on a piece of paper. Write “Start” before the first square and “Finish” after the last square.
2. Choosing squares that are not next to each other, write the following instructions on three different squares: “Go again,” “Skip a turn,” and “Go backward one space.”
3. Ask your child to choose her game piece; choose your own as well.
4. Count the dots on the die (or the six buttons) with her before beginning the game. Explain that the dots (or black buttons) represent the number of spaces she can move.
5. Have your child roll the die (or gently toss the buttons from a small container). Help her count the number of dots facing upward on the die (or the number of buttons with black sides up). Ask her to move her game piece the same number of spaces as the number of dots. Explain what she has to do if she lands on one of the squares with the written instructions.
6. Take turns rolling the die (or buttons) and moving the game pieces.
7. Continue until you both reach the “Finish.” Celebrate as each person reaches the end.
8. As your child becomes familiar with this game, add the other die and count the dots on the two dice to introduce early addition.

Instead of writing instructions on the different squares, have your child help color the squares and use colors to indicate what to do. For example:
Green = “Go again”
Red = “Skip a turn”
Yellow = “Go backward one space”

! Safety Alert: Remind your child not to put small objects in her mouth. They can get stuck in her throat and cause choking (and even death). When you are done using small objects, put them away, where your child cannot reach them. Childproofing your home creates a safe place for your child to explore and learn.