There is nothing like a little hockey game to get kids doing a little mark-making!

This class was filled with a whole bunch of kids who LOVE to play games like hockey so I set up a hockey tray game. I really didn’t care about the hockey as much as I wanted to inspire the children to do a little mark-making and tally counting. You know how it goes, you gotta keep the kids learning without them realizing that they are learning.

How to Make a Hockey Tray Game

To make the game, you will need some kind of tray that will hold a thin layer of frozen water (ice). Place a piece of red or brightly colored tape in the center of your tray. This will be the center line of your hockey game. And you need tape to mark a goal at both ends of your tray. You have to have a goal! Then fill the tray with some water to make an ice arena and set it outside to freeze (or in your freezer if it isn’t cold enough outside).

The Hockey Puck

Once you have your hockey game all set up, then you will need a hockey puck. I had my students choose a bottle cap out of our bottle cap collection. As for a hockey stick, my students used their fingers to flick the hockey puck but you could set out a pencil or straw if you like. 

Ready to Play

Once the game was all set up, the children wasted no time making up their own rules for how to play the game. I suggested that every time someone gets the hockey puck into the goal, then the children should put a tally mark on their sheet so we could keep track of their score. Oooooh yeah – keeping score? That was a win.

Rules of the Game

There really were no rules. Some of the children played with a partner. Then some of the children stayed long after the others lost interest and played the game on their own. And every time that hockey puck landed on the goal, they added another tally mark to the score sheet. 

The Final Score

Throughout the day, the children brought us their score sheets so we could count and admire how many goals they made. We didn’t compare score sheets. This was an individual effort to just make as many goals as possible (and as many tally marks as possible). I kind of think some of those tally marks don’t actually represent the true number of goals anyway but who’s keeping track of the children’s mark-making? Certainly not me! 

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