April 19, 2010

Storm the Castle!

When I thought about how to go about math in our little home school I was sure I wanted it to be fun. We have a math curriculum, copy work pages, flash cards, manipulatives but by far we have found that playing games is the funnest way to get those facts into our heads. AND….so much more. Ruth Beechick says….“Much arithmetic is learned as children count moves, compute scores, take turns. But that is only a fraction of the benefits. Numerous thinking skills are developed as children learn to operate within various kinds of rules, plan strategy, and so forth. Sportsmanship and other social skills gradually develop. When children learn that rules don’t have to be ridged, they can develop new twists and live by their own agreed upon rules.” From An Easy Start in Arithmetic pg 12

Storm the Castle is one of the inventive games that Ellen Mc Henry has created. I was alerted to her basement workshop by homeschool freebie of the day. She has a wonderful elementary math curricula called Professor Pig’s Magic Math. It is charming…very inventive and fun!
My six year old has loved storming the Castle. To play each player sets up a soldier at the start spot on the field. Then each player in turn takes a card and the difference between the two cards tells how many spaces you may advance towards the castle. After each move the catapult guy gets to role a letter and a number dice which gives coordinates to where his rock will land. (it is fun to use real rocks) If the rock lands on the space where the soldier is, he is "hit". To be healed he must answer correctly a word problem from the stack by the castle. If he is incorrect he must retreat 5 spaces. Once the soldier has made it across the field and is advancing on the draw bridge the catapult guy is disabled because of short range difficulties. To advance towards the castle across the wooden bridge 5 cards are drawn. The soldier may use any or all of the five cards to make the number on the space on the bridge. Repeat this until the soldier is across the bridge. Once he crosses the bridge he has stormed the castle and there is a treasure box inside filled with treasury sorts of things. Last time we played, I adjusted the game a bit so Zak and Tj could join us and I played the catapult guy. I put a small box of face painting crayons in the treasure box. Once they stormed the Castle and looted it, I painted their faces and they painted their bare tummies.

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