Build a City Counting and Subitising Game will be an instant hit with your little mathematicians. It is a super fun game where children have the opportunity to create a city-scape or skyscraper of tall buildings using connecting blocks while learning to count and subitise with numbers 1- 6.
It is such a simple game to set and can be adapted for different levels, abilities and outcome focus. See below for our free printable Build a City Game Board, that you can print and laminate to create your own game.
What you will need?
You will need connecting blocks, dice, white board marker and the Build a City Game Board. We laminated our game board so that it became a dry erase board where children practise writing their numbers. It also helps with durability and we can re-use the board over and over again.
You may also need magnetic numbers as an alternative to using a white board marker to write the numbers.
You can download and print here: Printable Build a City Game Board
To play Build a City, children build a “building” using the number of blocks that corresponds to the number rolled and then places the building onto the game board. When all the spaces have been filled, the buildings (block stacks) resemble a skyscraper of tall buildings.
- Children roll a die and say the number out loud.
- Count out the number of blocks that corresponds to the number shown on the die. For example as shown in the picture, number six is rolled on the die and six blocks are counted out of the basket.
- Connect the six blocks to create the next building on the grid.
- Once all the spaces are filled on the grid, children count the blocks again and write the number using a dry erase whiteboard marker in the grid next to the building. Use a number line chart to assist with number formation.
Some Ideas to Modify the Game
There are so many different ways you can modify the Build a City game to suit the different levels of ability and needs of the child/ren.
- If the child is not yet ready to begin writing the numbers, you could use magnetic numbers as shown in the photo.
- To differentiate the game and skill focus – use a numbered die instead of a dotted die. The numbered die will assist with numeral recognition and the relationship between symbols and quantities.
- You could also add two dice to this game to increase difficulty or extend the learning. By adding two dice, children will also have the opportunity to practise addition, adding two dice together.
- Children can play Build a City independently or in pairs. When playing in pairs, children will take it in turns to count and build their city or alternatively the 2nd player uses the grid labelled ‘write’ as their build a city grid. That way both players build a city side by side each other on the board.
Why is Subitising Important?
- Subitising contributes to early forms of grouping. Seeing parts of a whole or that numbers are made up of other numbers.
- Understanding number relations: Interpreting number in terms of part-whole relationships makes it possible for children to think about a number as being made up of other numbers
- Understanding number relation: the notion that numbers are within numbers is important for separating, grouping and combining numbers as well as for multiplication, division and measurement.
- Make connections between the symbols and quantities.
- Subitising numerals 1-6: instantly recognise the number they roll, without having to count the dots.
- Counting out loud and making small collections.
Click here for more NUMBER activities & play ideas
Click here for more SUBITISING activities & play ideas
Click here for more ACTIVITIES USING DICE