Posted by on Aug 11, 2014 in Math Activities | 0 comments

A few weeks ago, both of my bugs were feeling a bit under the weather , so I created this simple math game to help entertain them for part of the morning. The best part is they were learning and practicing basic math skills (number sense, counting, number recognition, addition and subtraction, less and more) while having a great time doing it!

Ice Cream Scoop Math Game


  • cardboard, or brown construction paper, for the cones
  • different colours of foam sheets, or construction paper, for the ice cream scoops
  • scissors
  • markers (you can also use buttons, sequins, beads, etc. to decorate the ice cream scoops further)
  • cardstock, or construction paper, for the action cards

Whenever possible, I like to use a variety of different materials to enhance the overall sensory experience of an activity.

Game Set-Up

I started by cutting out a triangular shape from a piece of cardboard (I pulled a cereal box from our recycling bin). Then, I cut out some ice cream scoop shapes from the colourful foam sheets. While the kids were busy adding swirls, chocolate chips, and candy dots to the scoop shapes, I cut out some circles from cardstock and wrote a simple math operation onto each one (ie. +3, -2, +1, -4, etc.).

Ice Cream Scoop Math Game 4  Ice Cream Scoop Math Game 3

  Ice Cream Scoop Math Game 5  Ice Cream Scoop Math Game 16

Game Play

To start the game, I gave each of my bugs, and myself, one ice cream cone. Then we put the math operation cards face down in the middle of the table. I went first, to model how to play the game. I drew a math card and showed it to my boys (+4), drawing their attention to the  addition symbol that appeared before the number. We discussed what the symbol meant, as well as some math vocabulary words such as: add, more, addition, and plus. Then I added 4 scoops of ice cream to the top of my cone, counting aloud as a placed each one.

Ice Cream Scoop Math Game 17

When one of us drew a subtraction card, I asked my boys if this symbol looked the same as the addition symbol. We then discussed what it means to subtract a number using simple math vocabulary such as: take away, minus, fewer, less, and subtract.

Ice Cream Scoop Math Game 18

After identifying the addition and subtraction symbols, it was smooth sailing! The first person to make it to 10 scoops of ice cream won the game!

Ice Cream Scoop Math Game 13  Ice Cream Scoop Math Game 6

Ice Cream Scoop Math Game 10  Ice Cream Scoop Math Game 9

It got a bit competitive at times, but the boys really loved the game. We ended up playing 5 games in a row!

Ice Cream Scoop Math Game 12  Ice Cream Scoop Math Game 11

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