Bullseye Ball- Math Game in a Bag

I'm on a mission to make up a collection of Summer Math Busy Bags for my soon-to-be second grader.  Just a little something to pull out every now and then to sneak in some math review over the summer.  I have several math games-in-a-bag planned,  and I'm excited to share the first finished project:  Bullseye Ball!  Just like the sticky dart ball games that you could buy ready-made, but customizable.  I wanted to be able to be able to switch out the numbers on the target and work on different skills as needed, so I made one of our own out of felt.

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What you need:

Make the target
Trace the circle shapes onto the felt and cut them out.  The circles are about the size of a plate, a bowl, and the bottom of a cup.

Next, cut squares of white felt and write the numbers you'll use for scoring.  (I used 1, 5, and 10).  

I used "peel and stick" velcro dots (rough side only) on all of the felt pieces. I only used one side of the Velcro and let it stick to the felt itself.  It holds the felt together pretty well during the game, although I think I should have used a little more on the large red circle.

Make the Ball
I am adamantly opposed to cutting strips of Velcro (if you've ever done it, you know where I'm coming from) so I used more peel-and stick squares.   It is much easier to stick the squares (or dots) all over than it is to try and pry scissors back open after attempting to cut the strips.  

Hang the target
I clipped the target onto a small hanger to hang it up.  Since we don't have anything outside to hang the target on, we used Command hooks.  I hung a couple at different heights so each of my little boogers would have a fair advantage.  

The Bag
Have you seen the super-clever idea floating around Pinterest to make a number line manipulative out of a plastic storage bag (with zipper)? 

It just so happens that I had the Summer Math Busy Bag idea stirring around in my brain when I saw the number line bag on Pinterest.  How perfect!  A bag that doubles as a manipulative!!  You can imagine my excitement.  Or maybe you can't, I suppose it doesn't take much to make me happy.

So here's what to put in your handy dandy number line bag:
  • Piece of card stock inside to see the number line better (I also included a little piece of paper with the game's name and a suggested directions).
  • Target and numbers (you can make extra numbers and throw them in the bag in case you want to change the game to work on different skills)
  • Velcro ball
  • Hanger to hang the target
  • Command hooks  (if needed)
  • Paper and pencil to keep score (or a dry erase marker to keep score on the bag itself)

How to play:
First, Sam threw the ball and it landed on a number 5 portion of the target.

So he got to slide the zipper over to the number 5:

His next throw landed on a number 1 circle, so he moved the zipper over 1 more than five for a score of 6 (so far).

His third and final throw was another "1."  So his final score was 7.

Skills reviewed: Addition with three addends, "counting on," and using a number line.

I specifically chose 1, 5, and 10 to also talk about and reinforce the concept of coin values... penny, nickel, and dime.  Maybe we'll play a version using play money and small prizes.  So many possibilities!  I'll make some more numbers and put them all in the bag so we can switch them out to work on different skills (for Sam and my two younger kids).

Inspiration for this game came from both education.com and a game found in the book Miss Brain's Cool Math Games.  

There are SO many great math game suggestions for children grades 1-2 in this book.  It's my primary resource for the rest of the Math Busy Bags I've got planned.  Be sure to check out my Math Concepts board on Pinterest for more fun hands-on math ideas!

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Thanks for stoppin' by!


  1. I love this! What a great idea! Will definitely be making one of these :)

  2. What a fun idea! Just pinned and can't wait to try it.

  3. This is SUCH a good idea! My son and his buddies would LOVE this and I like that it's portable for those times when you need a good boredom buster away from home. I'd love it if you'd share this at the After School Linky Party on my blog right now: deceptivelyeducational.blogspot.com

    1. I'm SO glad you stopped by and shared! Come on by tomorrow to see it featured and link up more great ideas!

  4. This is such a fun idea! I love that you made it portable =)

    I featured this at TGIF this week {http://www.123homeschool4me.com/2013/06/tgif-linky-party-79.html} Thanks for linking up and sharing your creativity with the rest of us! I hope to see you linked up again later this week!

    Have a great weekend,
    Beth =)

  5. Awesome idea :) Pinning it!
    Veens @ Our Ordinary Life

  6. You have some wonderful ideas here!
    This is my first visit to your blog as I was stopping by to check out your I swatter post.
    This bullseye math will be great for my girls.
    I am now following you via email and Facebook.
    If you have a chance I would love for you to stop by Tots and Me
    Have a great day!

  7. This is really cute! Pinning it to remember it for next year.



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