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Teacher's Guide to Games

All of the Busy Day games work as small-group or whole-class activities: these games suit pre-K through 1st grade. Playing as a class will help you match kids' skill levels for small group or individual play. These games are also great for pairs or solo play on a laptop or desktop computer.

All games have audio. Once you know the game you can play without sound (but YOU may need to play the role of narrator!)

Below are tips for each game but here are two general ideas:

  • Ask questions as you play, getting the kids to predict what's coming next in each game.
  • Encourage kids to find their own strategies to solve each game, and to share these with fellow students.
  Description Topic Tips
Train Station
Help George assemble trains so that they have the same number of total sections. Decomposing: pairing numbers up to 10 in various ways to reach the same total. Ask kids what strategies they would use to decide how to complete each train. For older kids, have them write simple equations.
Museum of Tens
George and Dr. Wiseman are at the museum. How many objects are missing? For any number 1 to 9, find the number to add to make 10. Let the kids work out how many objects are needed.
Hide and Seek
Hidden animals, words and numerals in fun clickable pictures. Represent quantities up to 10 in different ways – using real objects, drawings, words, and numerals. Bonus: includes zero! As a group activity, ask the whole class questions like, "Who sees the word THREE?", etc. Or pair up kids and ask one to find the objects and the other to find the written numbers.
Bug Catcher
Estimate bugs then count them in jars. Be sure to let them all go! Determine which number is greater by estimating or counting. Get the whole class to estimate or count together, then play each round to confirm your answers.
Bunny Ride
Drive with George, moving his car from side to side to collect carrots for his bunny pals. Counting-on from numbers other than one with a count-along game that deliberately stops and restarts. This game is about counting on, so ask your kids before the game does: "What number comes next?"
Meatball Launcher
This crazy meatball launcher is also a counting tool. Count or put out up to 5 objects upon request. Ask your kids how many more meatballs they need to get different specific amounts.
This open-ended activity gives kids practice with plus and minus symbols. Crank up the volume to hear the chorus! Identify and use + and signs. This game is about plus and minus. Ask your kids how many frogs they'll have before they push either button.
Fair Shares
George has to give his hungry dog friends an equal number of biscuits. Sharing up to 12 objects equally among 2 or 3 groups. Here's a game where kids can find lots of strategies. Have them talk about how they're giving dogs the same number of treats.
Count with Allie
Click the number line — and then on Allie — to get some basic practice with counting. Digital, count-along flashcards from 1 to 20 that represent quantities in different ways. Let your kids count along with Allie, without letting them double-count any items. Click on Allie and she'll count along too.
Monkey Jump
Click George to count balls as they're launched into a ball pit at the toy store. Counting up to 40 while noting each number is one more than the last. There are many opportunities for questions: "What's the next number?" "How many more to fill the box?" "How many in each row?" If your computer has a camera, there's another version of this game you can play.
High Five
These colorful hand stamps let kids count in fives. Count by fives to 200. Make sure kids count along with George. And don't forget to try the replay button! You can also point out the tens as they find each pair of fives.
Hat Grab
George is borrowing colored hats. Kids will see the graph of what he grabbed. Use a real graph to gather and compare data. This game models real graphs. The whole class could even play along with pen and paper using our printable graph.
Flower Garden
Count each flower once in George's flower garden. Cardinality: count in a one-to-one fashion up to 20 without counting any object twice. Let your kids count along with the Man with the Yellow Hat.
Blast Off
Launch a rocket with George by counting backwards. Counting backwards from 10 to 0. This game helps model counting backwards. Have the whole class count down to zero.
Apple Picking
Scoop up apples with George and Jumpy in a game that gets harder as you play. Use number lines to place, order, and identify missing numbers up to 19. This is a good tool to let you know which kids need help and which may need a "running start" to find the missing numbers.
Bubble Pop
Burst bubbles with George and count along with The Man with the Yellow Hat. Count by ones up to 50. This might be more fun for kids to play in pairs. There is also a clapping version you could play if you have a microphone.

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