Thursday, March 29, 2012

Home is a Lily Pad - Liquid Measure Equivalents


Charles, 6, is learning liquid measures, their abbreviations, and equivalents. Here is a game I made several years ago when teaching this concept in the classroom.

 Using games provides a great time for Douglas, 8, to review this information. 

The board was made from a blue filefolder. I happened to have this pad of cute frog papers handy so it became the theme of the game. I cut a lily pad shape from green paper to be the finish space. The spaces along the path are 3/4" green stickers. 

On each space is written: gal., qt., pt., c., or oz. There are also about 4 spaces where I punched the sticker with a flower punch I had (having scrapbooking materials around is a great asset to gamemaking). I used the punched-out pieces as further decorations along the path.


Two spinners were made. One with the numbers 1-3 and the other with gal., qt., pt., and c. I love using these clear plastic spinners. I simple lay them on top of whatever I have drawn. Place a paper fastener to hold them in place and presto! a spinner that works well every time. When we are finished playing the plastic spinners are removed and stored with our game pieces to be used with other games. 

The Gallon Ruler is a great visual for the children while they play this game.  I think the picture shows how I made it. The divisions, fractions, calculations all help the children find the equivalents whether comparing smaller to larger or larger to smaller.

To play the game, the player spins both spinners. Then he asks himself a question based on the spins and the space his game piece is currently sitting on. For example: he spins "3" and "gal." and his piece is on "pt." The question he would ask is "How many pints are in three gallons?" If he gives the correct answer, he moves his game piece 3 spaces (the number spun).

Even though I made the "Gallon Ruler" to help the children figure things out, I do encourage them to use their math skills. Charles is learning multiplication, so I let him have paper to multiply when it will obtain the answer for him. As we talk through the problems, I think it gives the children a good understanding of the story problems, equivalents, and situations they will have come up in their math and in life.

Notice how excited Charles is. I wish I could say he was always this enthusiastic about his math. He just landed on one of the tulip spaces. It was the second time he did this game. Our rule is that anyone who lands on that space gets a special spin. On his next turn, he only has to spin the number spinner. He does not have to actually "do any math."  But it is fun things like this that make a game more exciting to the children and get them wanting to play again and again.

 I have made an answer key which makes it possible for the boys to play the game without me there to make sure that answers are correct. They each check the sheet when the other gives a response.


  1. What an awesome game (I need as much help on this concept as my kids!).Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Sometime I would love to have you post about how you organize all your games (and/or other school supplies). I'm sure you've got some great strategies from so many years of teaching.

  3. I agree, Jill :) I'd love to about that too!

    Thank you, Mary, for this game! Perfect timing. I am getting ready to introduce this concept to my children. I knew there would be a more fun way of mastering the math of this concept.