Monday, September 10, 2012

Fall Pine Cone Toss: A Simple Counting Game

We have pine cones and pine needles all over our backyard. My kids love to collect them on our morning jogs too. I also love to buy scented ones to use as accents in bowls and vases in our house.

Since we have so many pine cones around, we decided to use them to play a simple Fall Pine Cone Toss game. We worked on some hand-eye coordination and counting while we played.

Materials Needed: six pine cones in a variety of sizes, three varying sized bowls, one die, and tape to mark off the playing area

How we played:

  1. Put bowls out in order from big to small (small is harder and further away) and designate each bowl to have a certain number of points. We kept it simple and had the big bowl be worth 1 point, next bowl worth 2 points, and third (harder) bowl worth 3 points.
  2. Roll the die and count the number shown on the die. (ex. 3)
  3. Toss that number of pine cones into the bowls to try and earn the most points (ex. toss 3 pinecones into the bowls). Over time your child will learn that throwing three into the furthest small bowl will earn more points than throwing all three into the first big bowl.
  4. Count up your points (and write them down if you want to keep track).
  5. Take the pine cones out of the bowls and pass the pine cones and die to the next person.
  6. Take turns until everyone has had a turn. Play again and again until you are bored. We played probably 20 rounds. My husband and son really got into the game. You can decide to play until the first person gets to 10 or 20 points if you want to have a designated ending point.

I thought it was so fun to see my son setting different goals He really wanted to get all of his pine cones into the furthest bowl. Can you feel the frustration in the picture above when he didn't accomplish his goal?! I loved how animated he got! This was a good exercise in practicing good sportsmanship too :)

The simplest games that need the least supplies are always the most popular ones at our house- thank goodness!

What are some other favorite simple games you play to practice counting?

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  1. showed this to my daughter and we are so doing this after our nature walk today!!!

  2. Ohhhhh this is wonderful. J would love it as throwing pinecones from our nature table is one of his favourite activities at the moment at least that puts the action into a postive activity.

  3. Thanks for sharing! I featured you over on my Math Exploration - Pinecone Roundup today on my blog. Have a great day!


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