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Fractions as fun; two interchangeable board games are easy to make.

Fractions as fun

Learning is fun--and easy--with interchangeable games that teach children to associate numbers or fractions with corresponding dots and shapes.

A clear plastic picture frame holds the game sheets in place. To store the frame, you can hang it on the wall as artwork (stow game pieces and dice in a hole cut in one corner of the cardboard base). You may already have on hand many of the materials you'll need to make the game (about a 2-hour project); buy what you don't have at art supply and stationery or variety stores. Cost will be lower if you draw the grids, numbers, and shapes with felt-tip pen. For both games, you'll need:

One 11- by 14-inch clear plastic picture frame with cardboard insert, about $11

Two pieces lightweight drawing paper in contrasting colors--one light, one dark-- about $1 per 22- by 32-inch sheet

4-point-width black mat tape (optional), about $1.60 per roll

One sheet medium-weight clear acetate, about $2 per 25- by 40-inch sheet

Self-adhesive 3/4-inch-diameter round labels, about $4.50 per package of 1,000

One sheet rub-on or lift-transfer 48-point numerals (optional), $5 to $9 per sheet; choose an easy-to-read typeface

Two 1-inch dice (about $1 each) and 4 game pieces

3/4-inch-wide cloth tape (95 cents per roll) You'll also need a ruler, pencil, glue stick, scissors, and permanent black felt-tip pen.

Making the game board. First cut a 13 1/2- by 16 1/2-inch rectangle from the darker drawing paper. Draw an 8-inch square 4 1/4 inches in from the rectangle's short sides and 2 3/4 inches in from its long sides; cut out square. Score a border 1 1/4 inches in from the outer edges; cut corners as shown in the drawing at left above.

Next, cut an 11- by 14-inch rectangle from the lighter drawing paper. Center it under the dark paper. Using the 8-inch-square as a frame, draw on the light paper a grid of 64 1-inch squares (see upper left photograph). Mark a large black dot in the middle of each of the four center "start' squares.

To create pattern for Game 1, set aside 15 self-adhesive round labels, then cut additional labels into quarter, half, and three-quarter circles for 15 of each shape. Next, cut an 11- by 14-inch acetate sheet, center it over the grid, and distribute the 60 shapes on all but the four center squares. For Game 2, randomly distribute rub-on numerals 1 through 6 (about 10 of each) on another 11- by 14-inch acetate sheet; or mark numbers with felt-tip pen.

To assemble the game board, glue grid to cardboard base and dark paper frame on top; let dry. Place acetate sheet on top and plastic frame over that.

Making the dice. For Game 1, cover die with cloth tape; affix round labels to all six sides. Mark two sides with a 1, two with 1/2, one with 1/4, and one with 3/4. For Game, 2, use a regular die.

How to play. The goal of each game is to reach the corner nearest to the black starting dot. Two to four can play.

For Game, 1, toss die and match fraction or number with corresponding shape on board. For Game 2, match dots on die with numerals on board. Move pieces vertically or horizontally--even backward-- but not diagonally across the board. Don't move if die doesn't match figure in an adjacent square.

These game boards were created by toy designer Judy Bracha of Palo Alto, California.

Photo: For 64-square grid, mark 36 1-inch squares with pencil (extend lines 2 inches at each end); overlay lines with tape or retrace with a felt-tip pen. Dark paper frame will define outer rows of squares

Photo: Game board's five layers include cardboard base, paper graph grid, dark paper frame, acetate sheet, and clear plastic picture frame

Photo: Two meet the challenge of the fractions game. Their goal is to move game pieces (each youngster is playing with two) from center squares marked with black dots to nearest corners. Here, she matches "1' on die with full circle on board to win

Photo: To fold paper frame around cardboard base, cut out triangle (left) in each corner of 13 1/2- by 16 1/2-inch rectangle; broken lines indicate scoring. Next, fold and glue corners (right)

Photo: Change games on versatile board by swapping one acetate sheet for another; slip box frame over acetate to secure. You can copy our game sheets or invent your own
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Oct 1, 1987
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