We try to find a math game every day. Sometimes it happens when we are cooking – yesterday we needed to double a recipe. Today we came up with a very simple (and free!) manipulative game that Brother-Bug really enjoyed.
I pulled out my ribbon box and cut 9-10 different lengths of ribbon. I made sure that two of the ribbons were the same length. I handed the pile of ribbons to Brother-Bug and asked him to put them in order, longest to shortest.
Once he had lined them all up, and we figured out how to show that two ribbons were the same length (stack them up), he had a treasure hunt to find something in the house the same length or height as each ribbon.
He had a great time. He raced around the house with a fist full of ribbons, holding different ribbons up to different items. While playing this game he learned about ordering, estimating, and classifying, building on these skills and growing them in his brain. I'm saving the ribbons for another game soon – are any of the ribbons the same length as his or Sister-Bug's arms/legs/other parts?
I find math easiest to teach when it is this simple – ribbons and exploration. And it's fun… Way more fun than endless math worksheets.