It’s summertime! Time to play. More time for crafts.

..but we don’t want our kids to forget all the skills they’ve learned. Education is an everyday, life-long pursuit, and it should also be fun!

To bring fun into the learning process, I like to use games whenever possible. Way more fun than boring timed drills, wouldn’t you agree?

Since your kids likely have a bit of time on their hands these days, they can even help make their own games…like this one.

I took a sheet of poster board (mere shekles, and I picked it up at the grocery store) and cut it up into equilateral triangles. It’s easy enough to trace around a pattern or mark them off with a yardstick. A few cuts will divide the marked sheet into sections, and each family member can help cut out the shapes with scissors.

Then you get out the markers. The number “family name” goes in the top corner in red. The addends (for addition) or factors (for multiplication) go in the other two corners in blue. As you’re making the cards, your kids will already be learning. Smaller numbers like 4 don’t have very big families. Larger numbers have larger families. If you’re making a multiplication set, you’ll notice that some special numbers (prime numbers like 1, 3, 5, 7, 11…) only have one combination in their number family–themselves and 1.

Now you can use the cards to play rummy or “Go Fish”. You can match the numbers on each point like you would playing dominoes, but the three-sided cards produce a variety of wild shapes.

And next year when you’re ready to start school, you can use the triangular cards to review math facts. I like using triangular flash cards because you can make so many number sentences (4 + 5 = 9, 5 + 4 = 9, 9 – 5 = 4, 9 – 4 = 5) from the same card family, and it’s easy to group all the families with the same number “family name”. Really helps kids remember and understand how addition and subtraction, multiplication and division relate!