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HomeAcademics & ActivitiesLearning Activities

Snowman race

Help kids brush up on basic math with a deck of cards and a paper snowman in this fast-paced game.

GreatSchools Blog

By GreatSchools Staff

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
  • Deck of cards
  • Snowman pieces cut from paper, 11 total (bottom body, middle body, a head, two arms, two eyes, hat, scarf, carrot nose, and a smile)

Make it happen

This activity transforms tiresome math drills into a fast-paced winter-themed race to assemble a snowman. The pressure to be first rewards kids who have their sums and products down cold. Follow these steps to get the game started.

  1. Remove all the face cards from the deck.
  2. Divide the remaining deck in half.
  3. On the count of three, each player turns over one card.
  4. Players compete see who can figure out the sum (for first-graders) or product (for second-graders) the quickest.
  5. After each round, the person with the first correct answer adds a piece to the snowman.
  6. The game continues until someone finishes constructing a full snowman (with all 11 pieces).
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