Penguin Grid Game- Coordinates for Kindergartners

Penguin Grid Game for Early Elementary // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // math fun for everyone!

I was playing around with Pinterest today, organizing things differently and moving things from one board to another.  I ran into an idea that had inspired me almost a year ago, but I had never managed to actually get done.  Planning Playtime has an awesome Hide and Seek dinosaur grid game with the specific focus for working on letters and numbers.

I really liked her idea, but I didn't want to be confined by the A-G letters in order, and instead wanted to work on letter recognition in a more natural way.  I originally did the entire printable with the word "penguin" since I'm working on a few penguin printables right now.  The problem with penguin didn't present itself until the kids and I were playing the game.  Oops!  Penguin has 2 Ns!

I went back to the drawing board to come up with my next word- seabirds.  Although it's a bit of a stretch for most kids, I like that seabird encourages more discussion about penguins as marine birds.  They can't fly, but they do swim every well.  Plus, no repeat letters!

Penguin Grid Game // Coordinates for Kindergartners  // Battleship for Beginners // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // math game // geometry // STEM

As you can see, the printable game is very easy to set up.  Simply download the printable and print 4 grid pages, and one of the other two pages (fish and labels).  I recommend laminating the pictures so the hits and misses can be recorded with a dry erase marker.  If you decide to use them without lamination, you can have the child write lightly in pencil and erase after each round.

Next, glue two game boards onto each file folder as shown in the picture above.  I used glue stick for the plain paper, but double sided tape would work better for laminated papers.  The two folders can be glued to each other or kept separately.  Glue a label onto one or both folders.

For game time, the two folders can be clipped at the top with paper clips (if they're not already glued together) and clothespins can be clipped to the bottom to make a stand.  The game is a bit floppy, but laminating the game boards should help add some strength.

Penguin Grid Game // Coordinates for Kindergartners  // Battleship for Beginners // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // math game // geometry // STEM // file folder game

To make the fish pieces, cut out the circles and laminate them.  I like to hot glue the fish to wood disks to make them stand out more and make them easier to move around.  They can also double as math counters!  The game pieces can be stored in an altoid tin, and I included a label for the tin as part of the bundle.

To play the game, have each player sit opposite each other with the game board between them.  Each person gets five fish pieces to place anywhere they'd like on the lower part of the board.  Once the pieces are put down, care must be take not to move the pieces.  For younger kids, a few pieces of "teacher tack" could help keep them in place.  More game pieces can be added to the board to make the game more exciting for smaller players.

Players then take turns calling out a coordinate by naming it with the letter and number (for example B2).  If the player guesses correctly, they mark the win with a circle on their upright board, and the other player removes their piece from that spot on the board and sets it aside.  If the player is wrong, they record the miss with an X on their board.  Each player takes one guess at a time until one person has found all the fish.

When I tested this game with my kids (7, 6, and 5), they struggled with the concept of coordinates.  Additional practice in the math concept would be helpful before attempting the game.  Each child could have a game board in front of them, laid out so that everyone else can see it.  Then, the teacher could call out coordinates like Bingo for them to lay their counter upon.  After each announcement, the parent/teacher could check the kids' work and correct any misunderstandings.

My kids pointed out that goldfish crackers could be used instead of the fish game pieces to make the game more fun.  All this coordinate practice will be a great asset when the kids start working on geometry!

After the rampant success of my multiplication battleship post (it's my #1 pin too), I know grid games are something people want to see.  I'm excited to do a whole bunch of themes in the near future.  What would you like?  Leave your suggestion in the comments below!

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Penguin Grid Game // Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids // Battleship is a classic game for elementary age kids that teaches the use of x and y coordinates in a sneaky way.  Introduce the concepts even earlier with this simplified version.  Help the penguins catch their fish in this cute game for kindergarten or first grade kids.  Free printable for homeschool, family, or classroom use.


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