With fewer hours in the day and a lot less sunshine, winter can be a time when accomplishing even ordinary tasks seems like a challenge. But that doesn’t mean parents have to forgo teaching altogether. To set your childrens’ math wheels spinning, GreatSchools presents these fun but unusual activities with a seasonal theme.

What you’ll need

  • Two pieces of graph paper (or two copies of the printable version)
  • Two brightly colored pens
  • A folder or book to block the view of the other player

Make it happen

1. Review and practice how to call out coordinates (horizontal, vertical).

2. Use a folder or book to prevent opponents from seeing each other’s boards.

3. After obscuring the view of their boards, players hide their sleds. There are four sleds of varying size (equivalent to the number of dots on the board):

  • Toboggan (5)
  • Flexible flyer (4)
  • Racy red rider (3)
  • Saucer (2)

Because this activity focuses on practicing coordinates — and not grids — the sleds are drawn along the lines of the graph, not as shaded boxes.

4. Player one begins by “throwing the first snowball” and calling out a coordinate.

5. If the coordinate matches the location of a sled, player two says “Hit.” If it doesn’t match, player two says “Miss.”

6. Player one keeps track of the information on the lower graph by marking the coordinate as a hit (X) or a miss (•).

7. Now player two calls out a set of coordinates. Player one indicates a hit or miss, and the second player records it on his or her graph.

8. The game continues until one player sunders all of his or her opponent’s sleds.

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