### Dinner Dilemma and the Roll of a Die

Being a grandparent lets you try some new discipline methods that you never thought of as a parent. My grandchildren don't always like what I serve for dinner (Unbelievable, isn't it?); so, many times food is left on their plates. My children want their children to at least take a bite of everything on their plate which often times feels like a monumental task for our grandchildren. The Solution? I have an oversized sponge die on hand for such occasions. The child who doesn't want to eat rolls the die, and the number that comes up is how many bites they must take before dessert is served. Now, the child must argue with the die and not the parent or me! (It's difficult to argue with an inanimate object.)

Besides taking care of a dinner dilemma, my grandchildren are learning to conserve sets. (Oh, there's the math part of this article!) Since there are no numbers on the die, only dots, the child must count the dots to find out the number. Surprisingly, even the youngest are learning to recognize the dot patterns and can state the number of dots without counting. This indicates they are learning to conserve sets, a necessary prerequisite to memorizing the math facts. If you aren't sure what conserving sets means, go back and read my blog posting entitled Can't Memorize Those Dreaded Math Facts. In the meantime, enjoy a new way to enjoy dinner because it is pretty dicey!

You might like a math game that uses dice. It is called Bug Ya and can be purchased at my store. Three games are included in the four page resource packet. One is for addition and subtraction; the second is for multiplication, and the third game involves the use of money. The second and third games may involve subtraction with renaming and addition with regrouping based on the numbers that are used. All the games have been developed to extend the recall of facts through playful and intelligent practice. Be sure and download the preview.