The kids and I recently read the book This House Needs a Mouse by Jeffrey Nunnally. It is such a fun book about the messy little house that needed a clean little mouse, and a clean little mouse that needed that messy little house.
This House Needs a Mouse – a Book and a Math Game
The kids and I read This House Needs a Mouse several times, as it quickly became a new favorite and a top requested book at bedtime. The text is dynamic and lyrical and the stylized illustrations draw the reader into the story. As a parent and educator, I really appreciate this book for it’s predicable text, which makes reading fun for all three my oldest children. William, at five years old loves it, as does Corinne at 3, and Kent who is only 16 months.
Jeffrey Nunnally writes a story that encourages interaction from the reader as it is impossible not to be drawn in by the funny family and the extraordinary mouse in the book. Naturally, like every good book, this one lent itself to inspiration for imaginative play among my children. Corinne’s new favorite mode of making her way through the house is to skittle, scuttle and scurry, complete with the appropriate sound effects, just like the mouse in the story. One thing lead to another, and This House Needs a Mouse worked its way into our math lessons, and I found myself creating this game to appease my children (and their cousins, as the case was).
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To make This House Needs a Mouse Math Game
- Cut down the scrapbook paper to measure 6″x6″ (x2) and 6″x5″ (x2)
- Glue down the sheets of scrapbook paper onto the open file folder, as seen in the main photo. These pieces will serve as rooms for the house game board.
- Draw some lines between each room. This is merely decorative, but having the lines drawn in does help distinguish one room from the next. While you’re at it with the markers, draw a hatched roof at the top as well.
- Make your dice by labeling one dice numbers one through six, and the second dice zero through two. Each number on the second dice (which should be a different color) will appear twice on the dice. The 0-2 dice may not be needed, depending on the gamer version being played.
- And, don’t forget to draw in some awesome pictures to designate which piece of paper is which room in the house. I used the book as a template for how my house should look. Notice that my drawings a very basic, and that is ok.
Set up the game
- Scatter on the This House Needs a Mouse game board a handful of pom poms. It doesn’t matter exactly how many, but base it on your child’s skills. I think I did about 40 for William and Corinne and their two cousins.
- Give each player a clothespin, which will serve as a “mouse”, and some sort of container to keep collected pom pom in, if you wish.
The object of the game
The object of the game is to collect as many crumbs as possible. In this game, pom poms serve as crumbs. We have very colorful crumbs at our house.
To play This House Needs a Mouse Math Game
This game can be played in three ways.
Select a player to go first.
Version 1 (easy level of difficulty)
Each player, during their turn, rolls the dice labeled 1-6 and uses the “mouse” (clothespin) to collect that rolled number of “crumbs” (pom poms). The rounds continue, in turn, until all the crumbs have been collected. The player with the most crumbs at the end of the game wins.
Version 2 (medium level of difficulty)
This version is played in rounds. During the first round, each player, during their turn, rolls the dice labeled 1-6 and uses the “mouse” (clothespin) to collect that rolled number of “crumbs” (pom poms). During the second round, the 0-2 dice is rolled and players must return “crumbs” to the game board. The rounds continue, in turn, until all the crumbs have been collected. The player with the most crumbs at the end of the game wins.
Version 3 (greatest level of difficulty)
Each player, during their turn, rolls the dice labeled 1-6 and the 0-2 dice at the same time. Then, the player must subtract the smaller number from the larger number to determine how many “crumbs” to collect. Player collects the appropriate number of “crumbs”. The rounds continue, in turn, until all the crumbs have been collected. The player with the most crumbs at the end of the game wins.
Now, this may seem pretty basic, and it is, but it kept my older two children and their cousins busy for the better part of an afternoon. I love games that sneak in academic skills among all that silly fun.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.