Quick and Easy Math or Literacy with Don’t Break The Ice Game












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One of the best family games at our house growing up was Dont Break The Ice.  I remember getting this game for Christmas one year and playing it with my siblings.  It was sooo much fun to strategically tap out the blocks of ice without letting the red man fall off! We were allowed to get a little more rowdy in the house with this game as there was no real way to play it quietly:) All these reasons make the game perfect for play when the weather didn’t allow us to go outside.

Now a days the game uses a red bear in ice skates to stand on the ice, but it is still fun even at my age! 


I just had to get it for my kids as my mom had gotten her childhood favorites for me.  

It’s a bit noisey granted but when you and the kiddo are stuck indoors it’s a super fun game to pull out!  My son loved the hammering and was able to follow the simple goal of keeping the bear on the ice. There’s only one step- tap out the block of ice of your choice-before the next persons turn.  I’d highly recommend it for teaching children turn taking.


After PJ learned how to take turns I thought it would be fun if he could use the game to practice numbers and the alphabet.

One school holiday in his Kindergarten year I tried adding capital and lower case letters to the Don’t Break The Ice Game using dry erase markers. I tested one block first to see if the dry erase marker would wash off and wallah!  A baby wipe took it right off!

These pictures are a few years old but this is how we “played” by adding letters of the alphabet.

I  wrote about 10 or so upper case letters on ice blocks and the matching lower case letters on the remaining blocks.








We played as you usually would but each player recorded the letter of their knocked down ice block.  For this I drew columns on white paper and added the names of the players at the top.




Whoever can make the most Upper to lowercase matches after 5 games is the ABC Don’t Break The Ice champ!

We practiced Number Identification, too. 

I dotted the each ice block like the side of a die.  PJ practiced writing the numbers 1-6. Below, I’ll let the picture do the talking.

Quick and Easy Math or Literacey with Don't Break The Ice Game










More ways to use Don’t Break the Ice

  • You can have your child practice addition: Each player adds up all the blocks they have.  Whoever has the largest total wins.
  • Practice word families, CVC words, or Nonsense words for letter sounds.
  • Write numbers instead of dots on the blocks and have them match numbers to the corresponding amount of dots.
  • For older children, practice multiplication: Group blocks by the number of dots they have. Three blocks of three dots make 3 x 3 = 9

What other ways can you think of to put a new twist on this old classic??  I would like to read about your learning fun so please comment below!

Thank you for reading!

Crystal 🙂

Places I may share with or contribute to:








10s Target Practice

Practice Make Perfect….

10s target Practice

There’s really not a better way to have fun memorizing math drills than to do so outside…


We both love the break from repetivite flash cards (however much he needs them)!  Plus, my son gets to MOVE until his heart is content.


If you have a little move to think-er too, I think you will enjoy doing this basic math activity.  

I started by drawing a target pattern on the pavement.  I used a large piece of chalk attached to a long poly rope. PJ held the rope in place while I drew the bullseye for the center.  There’s no picture because we were both engaged in drawing.  Team PJ:) -but here you can see the finished target.










Using a rope with the end tied to our chalk allowed us to draw neat evenly spaced circles for his target. We just kept lengthening the rope by 1 1/2 feet before drawing a new (larger) circle.  

I added the numbers that were divisible by 10 up to 50 and he helped me COUNT BY TEN’S a few times.

All that was left to do was fill some balloons with water!












I brought out his easel to practice ADDITION.  











We took turns throwing water balloons at the target and adding our scores to the board.







The first one to reach 100 was the winner!












More ways to use this activity…

Count by 2’s, 5’s, and other numbers

Use single, double, or triple digit numbers for addition practice

Use only numbers that add to make 10.  The first to make 10 five times wins!

Each player starts out with a score of 100, then subtracts numbers from the target circle that is hit.  Player that reaches zero first is the winner.



Have Fun!!








Sites I share with:











Hip Homeschool Moms


Thank you for reading!

Crystal 🙂











August is just around the corner.  Get your planning on HERE, too!  More places PJ and I both like to choose ideas from.


The Tower That Won’t Topple- relentlesslyfundeceptivelyeducational.com

11 Hundreds Charts Activities- 123homeschool4me.com

A Fin-tatstic Boys Shark Party- spaceshipsandlaserbeams.com

Free Digraph Sort and Find- playdoughtoplato.com

Football Make Ten Game- mathgeekmama.com 

Wiggle your Toes Week: Sibling Footprint Canvas- craftymorning.com

The Green Zone Social Skills Game- image


Living Montessori Now









3 Must Try Math Visuals

Easy Math Visuals….


3 math visuals


Today I want to share with you a few basic math helpers that we loved during Kindergarten year!  


What I love most about these visuals are how super easy and inexpensive they are!


The first of these has been around for years but had recently made a BIG come back.  There are many variations of the traced hand used for counting on fingers.  I posted our version below.  






Counting On Fingers

For our version simply trace a hand and cut out several small squares of white card stock. You will need 2 of each number up to 10 for beginners.  Using a crayon print each number then print it again on a separate square in trace it fashion.

You will need:

3 pieces of  plain cardstock


A clothes pin

1 piece of colored cardstock

A crayon 

                                SUPER EASY!!



Here, I was helping my son practice number identification, writing, and matching.

Hand tracing for number ID, tracing, and matching
Hand tracing for number ID, writing practice, and matching.


More Ideas

  • Trace and cut out 2,3,or 4 hands to count past 10!  LAMINATE and use VELCRO DOTS for tons of practice.
  • Draw a TENS FRAME on the top of the paper and have your child use a dot marker to dot the frame with corresponding number of dots.
  • put the number squares in order and ask your child to COUNT FORWARD from a given number sequence
  • Ask your child to draw TALLY MARKS for the corresponding number.  (Only placing 1 number at a time on the hand.)
  • Crayon an ADDITION, SUBTRACTION, and equal sign to add or subtract numbers to 10.  Cut and trace as many hands as needed.







DIY Counting or Number Rods

DIY Counting Rods are wonderful to have on hand!  We started using these before I learned about Montessori Math Methods (I’m still learning) and have been using them ever since!  Counting Rods can be used as soon as your child can count 2 numbers in a row or identify 2 different numbers for sequencing.


There are several ways to make counting rods but the most popular version is shown below.

You will need:

  • wooden craft beads (purchased from Walmart, Micheals, or most any craft store.)

Wooden beads: counting rods


  • pipe cleaners (Ours were 1$ for 20 at a dollar store.)   

Pipe cleaners: counting rods





Fold one pipe cleaner in half

Counting rods: DIY beads and pipe cleaners

Pinch the two ends together and add desired number of beads.  Ten beads will fit with a small to large mix of beads.  The container I purchased at Walmart above has a nice mix of sixes and textures!

DIY counting rod: beads and pipe cleaners

When finished adding beads, make a loop for holding at the top and bend the loose ends inside the last bead.

Counting Rods





More Ideas


Use the rods for simple 1:1 counting, number ID, and simple addition/subtraction..  






You can also form tens rods for skip counting.  

DIY counting rods
Don’t mind that 15 in there. He was probably holding the fives rods:)


If you are like my family and can see using rods for some time to come,  check out these other helpful Montessori Math post:


Learning Montessori Multiplication – Every Star Is Different


DIY Number Rods and Alternatives – Living Montessori Now





Counting and Tracing Numbers with Dot Stickers 

The last super easy visual is just this…

You will need

  • a dry erase marker or some other marker that writes brightly on foam
  • yard sale stickers
  • foam 5 x3 inch squares from the dollar store ( use glitter foam for a softer than sandpaper texture)

Simply draw a diving line with dry erase marker on the foam piece.  Write your number.  Your child can trace the number with their finger on one half and place dot stickers on the other half.  Very easy to make and your kids will love the glitter texture when tracing each number!

3 math visuals


More Ideas

Your child can have fun using a VARIETY of STICKERS, LEGOS, CARS, or balls of PLAYDOUGH to count with. 

Tracing can be equally fun if they like to rainbow write tracing each number again and again with separate colors.  

I hope these visuals and ideas have been helpful to your family!

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Bless you and thanks for reading!

Crystal 🙂