Reviewing and learning math facts is not always considered math fun. This solar system game was created to tap into a child’s love of space, a joy in bouncing and throwing balls, and a need to practice math facts.
While we practiced basic addition facts with the math fun game, you could easily practice basic subtraction facts or even multiplication facts with it. Mastering basic math facts is something my almost first grader needs to do to get ready for first grade in a few months. We will probably take out this game again to work on subtraction facts later.
How to Play Solar System Math Facts
The goal is to get two of the planet ping pong balls into a section of the intergalactic themed egg carton. Each egg cup has a golden star with a number on it.
Then a player needs to add the numbers displayed on the stars to get the sum. If they get the answer right, they can have another turn. If you get an incorrect sum, it is another players turn.
Not Ready For Math Fun in Their Heads
Not all children are ready to work with numbers in their heads at my son’s age. Children a little younger and a little older may have trouble too. You can provide paper and pencil if you are playing this game inside or chalk if you are playing this outside. Children can draw stars or planets to represent each number. Tally marks could be used as visual representations too.Wait! They could used small rocks, pom poms or buttons to count up the the sum of the two numbers if working with concrete objects makes adding easier for your children.
How to Create The Solar System Game and Planetary Ping Pong Balls
You will need: (There is an affiliate link listed below for your convenience.)
- Multi Color Ping Pong Balls
- Magic Markers
- Egg Carton
- Black Paint
- Blue Paint
- Paint Brush
- Yellow Sticky Backed Foam
I started by painting a egg carton with its lid removed black. It took a couple of coats of paint to make the carton dark black.
Then blue paint was added as an accent to the black paint and make the egg carton look more space like. You could add comets or asteroids to the carton if you like.
Next 12 stars were cut out of the yellow sticky backed foam. If you don’t think you can cut stars out freehand, print out a clip art star and use it as a pattern.
Then numbers were added to each star.( Several numbers were displayed on stars more than once.) Once the numbers had dried they were placed into the egg carton cups.
With the game space was finished it was time to make the planetary ping pong balls. I found a set of color ping pong balls at a local big box sports store that I thought would make great planets. Simple lines were added to the ping pong balls to make them look other worldly. I think they turned out well. You could easily have your children decorate the planets if you like.
We will be playing with this solar system math facts game over and over again. It really made math fun!