Fill the Empty Space

Fill the Empty Space

Inside: fun math game for kids for area and volume

I’ll be the first to admit that Tetris is pretty addictive.

There is something about mixing the sizes and spaces that keeps me up all night wondering how it all fits together. Call me crazy, but Tetris changed the way I see the area and volume of a shape.

So, when I first saw this idea on @bare.nutrients I knew that I needed to add it to our collection of Breakfast Invitations. There was something so compelling about finding the right sizes and shapes to fit into the empty space similar to a Tetris game. Talk about a game that generates thinking and conversation!

RELATED: Did you know we have a Breakfast Invitation Startup Guide coming soon?! Mark your calendars for our April 9th launch to go from cranky to creative in 6 simple steps.


This Breakfast Invitation was an instant success!

It was also played very differently with each one of my boys.

I have a five-year-old, almost four-year-old, and a little guy around 23 months. Each one participated, and each child worked on their ability level. All were thinking and manipulating.

My oldest payed attention to each color and carefully matched the empty space.

My middle guy wanted to stack the Mega-Bloks upright and had no interest in color matching. He simply filled the empty space, then knocked them over with plastic lions and tigers. - He’s my creative guy and needs to be able to have some freedom with his learning.

My 23 month old stacked. This is exactly where he needed to be as well. He basically shows up to the Breakfast Invitation with zero expectations. For now, we are simply setting the stage just like we did when we began sensory bins.

fun math game for kids

Here is why this math game is so great!

This math Breakfast Invitation is an introduction to area and volume. It is tracking the space around the blocks, and filling the space within.

By the end of Kindergarten children working on the Common Core will be asked to analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes, in different sizes and orientations, using informal language to describe their similarities, differences, parts (e.g., number of sides and vertices/"corners") and other attributes (e.g., having sides of equal length).

You can begin this conversation now as the Breakfast Invitation unfolds! But remember to keep it light and stop the conversation when your child seems to check out. The idea is to expose them to this way of thinking and see how and where they take it.

How many circles make up the red line here?

How many sides does the blue shape have? Let’s count them.

How is the orange arrangement different than the blue?

RELATED: Manipulate shapes for more practice with spatial perception here!

block game for kids

Setup is simple!

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  • Lay out your white paper roll.

  • Organize your blocks to form lines on your paper.

  • Outline each formation.

  • Slide all of the blocks to the left of the paper. This way your child will begin to pick from the left and work to the right.

  • Invite your child to fill the empty space.

Increase difficulty by interlocking each design. Simplify this by having less spaces to fill.

How will you get started?

RELATED: This measurement activity is another fun math game to try!

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