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Creative
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Open-the-Lock Game

A Counting Game for Two Players

Highlights 4Cs

Curious, Creative, Caring, and Confident™
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Curious
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Creative
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Caring
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Confident
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To sharpen your child’s math skills, here’s a secret arithmetic lesson disguised as a friendly counting game.
Open-the-Lock Game
What You’ll Need
  • Box
  • Cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Marker
  • Tape
  • Two pennies
What to Do
  1. Cover a box with cardstock.
  2. Cut out a handle and a keyhole from cardstock. Glue them to the box.
  3. Cut a 15-inch-long strip of cardstock. Use a marker to divide the strip into six squares. Write “Start” on one end. Tape the other end under the lock.
  4. Cut out two keys from cardstock. Write “Odd” on one and “Even” on the other.
  5. Cover two pennies with cardstock. On one coin, write “1” and “2” on either side; write “3” and “4” on the other coin.
To Play:

Each player places a key on the Start square. The first player rolls both pennies, and when they land, adds up the numbers. If the sum matches the player’s key (odd or even), he or she moves one space. If not, then that player does not move, and the next player takes a turn. The first player to reach the lock wins.

Extend the Fun

For younger kids: If odd and even are too advanced for your little ones, just have them identify matching numbers. Write “1” and “2” on either side of both coins and don’t write anything on the keys. If the first player rolls the coins and the numbers match, that player moves ahead one square. If they don’t match, the other player takes a turn. Whoever reaches the lock first is the winner. Play several rounds.

For older kids: The game will last longer if you make the strip longer. Instead of 6 squares, try 15 or 20. Or keep several strips going at once for a marathon game.

Craft by April Theis; text by Mary Sears

Who are your child’s favorite heroes at this moment?

Parents Talk Back
Who are your child’s favorite heroes at this moment?
Athletes
8% (4 votes)
Fictional characters
8% (4 votes)
Artists and musicians
12% (6 votes)
Cartoon and game figures
21% (11 votes)
Celebrities and entertainers
6% (3 votes)
Mom, Dad, or other relatives
46% (24 votes)
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0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 52