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Make practicing addition fun in the classroom or at home with this adorable play dough spider addition game! Getting hands-on with learning games is a great way to strengthen and reinforce a new math concept. Adding a sensory element as well, not only helps to further engage young children in an activity, but also helps them to learn and retain new information more effectively. This is a great addition activity for Halloween, when learning about spiders, or any time!
*Pair with our Addition Centers and Activities for Pre-K & Kindergarten!
Play Dough Spider Addition Game
Store bought play dough is great in a pinch or to have on hand for a quick sensory activity but we love making homemade play dough. It’s super easy to do PLUS it’s inexpensive!
For this spider addition game we went ahead and made our own play dough which meant we could customize it to make the perfect color for our spiders!
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 cup of salt
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- Approximately 1 cup of warm water
- A few drops of black food coloring
To make the play dough, add all the ingredients into a pan and cook over medium heat for a few minutes. Keep stirring the mixture until you have a nice big ball of play dough. I like to give it a good knead for a few minutes after I have taken it out of the pan. This really helps to improve the texture of the play dough.
How to Play
Begin by cutting two different colors of pipe cleaners into small pieces to use for the spiders’ legs. Write the addition problems to be practiced onto small pieces of paper or index cards with a marker.
Grab a few googly eyes and you’re ready to play!
This game is ideal for a small group of children to play together.
Divide the ball of play dough between each of the players and ask them to roll it into a ball. Then invite them to add a couple of googly eyes and make a mouth using a pencil to turn it into a spider’s body.
Turn the cards face down onto the table and decide who is going to go first.
The first player turns over a card and reads the equation out to the group. The player then takes the corresponding number of pipe cleaners for the first number in the equation and adds them to the left hand side of the spider’s body. Repeat for the second number of the equation on the right hand side of the spider’s body.
The player then counts out the total number of pipe cleaners on their spider to work out the sum and calls the answer out. If the player is struggling, then encourage the other players to help out.
The next player then takes a turn and play continues around the table until all of the equations have been solved.
Some spiders may end up with more or less than 8 legs. But we know that this game is for fun and not meant to be a correct representation of a spider. It definitely gets kids excited about math and makes addition more engaging!
If you have time left over, then just let the kids have fun making their own silly spiders using lots of legs and googly eyes. They will have a blast!
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