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French Fry Games

This game is quick and easy to make.

Most McDonalds will happily give you ten or more french fry boxes if you talk to a manager and explain what you are going to be doing with them.


Using yellow sponges, cut into strips about the size of french fries.....note that straight cuts are not necessary, as who has ever seen a perfectly straight french fry.

(NOTE: be sure to get ones that do not have added chemicals and cleaning materials added)

Write numbers zero to ten (or higher if you have enough boxes) in the back top edge of the boxes.



Have the child read the number at the back of the box and correctly put the right number of french fries in each box.


Using additional boxes that have plus, minus and equal signs along the top edges, visual number sentences can be created. For example...4 + 3 = __ . The child would put the appropriate number of fries in each box, and then decide which box needed to be put at the end to complete the sentence, filling it also with the correct number of fries.

After I wrote these directions Dawne gave me more. She writes:

I have my kids MOVE the existing french fries into the empty box. I wanted them to SEE how adding means 2 smaller groups becoming one larger group. Also, I don't use + - and = although you could easily do that. I didn't have enough boxes at first and we got into the habit of talking through the sentence and never got around to making any of the operation signs. We would count out 3 [that was Katie's job] for the first box and then 4 for the second. Ben would supply the answer and we would check by moving the french fries given to mom [3] and the fries ordered by Ben [4] together into the empty box. Then Katie was in charge of counting out the answer to check Ben's mental math. You might wonder why we did it this way. Well.... we did it to mirror word problems and to get used to seeing and hearing other words that meant add or subtract.


By playing "McDonalds," children can have fun learning money and making change. An interesting game would be that fries are sold individually for a price (which could vary with difficulty). Customer would ask for a certain number of fries. The employee would find the correct box, fill it with the right number of fries and then have to calculate the cost. Play money, making correct change makes this an even more valuable learning tool.


Learning to be a friendly, polite employee in the above scenarios, as well as a courteous customer, saying "May I help you?" and remembering "Please" and "Thank you" help children to build correct social skills.


Dawne wrote and suggested: To tackle division I plan to get several more holders at our next trip to McDonald's. I will 'order" a number of fries and see if they can be shared by 3 empty holders [to represent me and the kids] or by 4 to include sharing with dad. Of course you can use any other numbers like dividing the fries by 2 or by 5 or whatever.

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