Math Activity For Fun And Learning

Math activity like drill and practice help a child gaining good mental number skills. Moreover, if the practice is done everyday through fun and games, children easily get familiar with numbers. Nowadays, we have a number of online math activities meant for children and the grown-ups alike. Teachers, parents and children have a number of games and number drill activities at hand. The online math worksheets help a child practice computing skills, number and logic, geometric and money exchange skills. The number skill in a child grows along with daily shopping skills- how they can get an object in exchange of money.

In online math activity like Dinner Time, a child can practice and grow its skill in measuring time. We have task cards, through which a child prepares a meal for dinner in a fixed time frame. He or she is assigned a specific time frame in which the food item is to be prepared. This number game is played between a small group of children and a clock pattern is maintained in playing the game. Games like Body Parts help a child know how to measure length with the help of a string and mark them in a data sheet.

Want to make your child familiar with Perimeter and Area? Now you have online math activity to help your child. Your child can measure and co-relate between area and perimeter of a particular figure. In this game, a child uses specific design shapes and blocks. These blocks are used according to the given instructions on a task card. The numbers are changed and so the area and perimeter of the given figures are also changed.
This game can be enjoyed more than two or three children in a small group. Not only solid blocks, we have number games in form of mold figures.

Play Dough is another mold figure game that children enjoy as a part of their online math activity. This game builds up number reflex in a small child easily. Through Play Dough, a child gathers number skills in measuring length, getting the volume of a particular object, area and perimeter of particular figures. Children use the playing dough to estimate and measure volume. An easy to follow task card is given to guide the children effectively. The child molds the dough to measure the lengths and areas of given figures and estimate the total circumference. The game is meant for classroom math activities and it can be played by one or more children.

Comparing Cylinders and Estimating Length are popular classroom math activity for children. Comparing Cylinders is played by children to estimate the surface area and determine the volume of given figures. Here students have to find the change in capacity of said containers made of same size of papers. In Estimating Length, children have to find the length by calculating the units of measurement. Children can estimate the measuring units to use while measuring the given objects. The game is played in a group and children have to maintain an activity data sheet.

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3 Fun and Healthy Recipes To Make With Your Kids

Kids love imitating what their parents do. Cooking isn’t an exception – if they see you prepare your daily meals in the kitchen, it’s natural for them to feel curious and want to try it out. Cooking would be a great parent-child activity. Nothing would make a child happier than to eat a meal that he himself helped prepare.

Try these fun and healthy recipes to make with your kids:

Easy Homemade Pizza

What you need:

Your choice of bread
Pizza sauce
Butter
Sausages (sliced)
Cheese, grated
White onions, sliced
Red and/or green bell peppers, sliced
Tomatoes, sliced
Pineapple slices
Olives, sliced

Slice or place your bread on a baking sheet. Spread the pizza sauce and add a layer of grated cheese on top of each bread. Give your child the freedom and creativity to layer and decorate the pizzas using the different toppings. When all toppings are used up, toast the pizzas in a pre-heated oven (375C) until the cheese has melted.

Baked Cheesy Spaghetti Squash

What you need:

1/4 kg. chicken breast, minced and cooked
1 egg
Spaghetti squash
Sauce of choice (red or white)
Cheese, grated
Basil leaves
Oregano
Pepper Powder
Salt

Heat the spaghetti squash in the microwave until the skin begins to wither. Remove from heat and split the squash then drain and scrape it. In a medium bowl, combine the egg, cheese, basil leaves, oregano, pepper powder and salt. Stir in the squash. (You can let your little one do this step!)

Place the squash mixture in a oven-safe plate. Top with cooked chicken and grated cheese. Place the plate in a cookie sheet in a pre-heated oven (350C) and bake until cheese has melted.

Beans and Cheese Tacos

What you need:

8 taco shells
1 can pinto beans, rinsed
1 bunch Romaine lettuce
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup mild salsa

Place the pinto beans and 1/2 cup mild salsa in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Ask your child to help you tear the lettuce into small pieces.

Lay out the taco shells on a serving plate and divide the bean and salsa mixture among the shells. Let your little one top each with the lettuce, remaining salsa and cheese. Serve immediately.

Have a great time in the kitchen with your child – experience a great bonding moment with these fun and healthy recipes!

What Is a Game?

We probably all have a pretty good intuitive notion of what a game is. The general term “game” encompasses board games like chess and Monopoly, card games like poker and blackjack, casino games like roulette and slot machines, military war games, computer games, various kinds of play among children, and the list goes on. In academia we sometimes speak of game theory, in which multiple agents select strategies and tactics in order to maximize their gains within the framework of a well-defined set of game rules. When used in the context of console or computer-based entertainment, the word “game” usually conjures images of a three-dimensional virtual world featuring a humanoid, animal or vehicle as the main character under player control. (Or for the old geezers among us, perhaps it brings to mind images of two-dimensional classics like Pong, Pac-Man, or Donkey Kong.) In his excellent book, A Theory of Fun for Game Design, Raph Koster defines a game to be an interactive experience that provides the player with an increasingly challenging sequence of patterns which he or she learns and eventually masters. Koster’s asser-tion is that the activities of learning and mastering are at the heart of what we call “fun,” just as a joke becomes funny at the moment we “get it” by recognizing the pattern.

Video Games as Soft Real-Time Simulations

Most two- and three-dimensional video games are examples of what computer scientists would call soft real-time interactive agent-based computer simulations. Let’s break this phrase down in order to better understand what it means. In most video games, some subset of the real world -or an imaginary world- is modeled mathematically so that it can be manipulated by a computer. The model is an approximation to and a simplification of reality (even if it’s an imaginary reality), because it is clearly impractical to include every detail down to the level of atoms or quarks. Hence, the mathematical model is a simulation of the real or imagined game world. Approximation and simplification are two of the game developer’s most powerful tools. When used skillfully, even a greatly simplified model can sometimes be almost indistinguishable from reality and a lot more fun.

An agent-based simulation is one in which a number of distinct entities known as “agents” interact. This fits the description of most three-dimensional computer games very well, where the agents are vehicles, characters, fireballs, power dots and so on. Given the agent-based nature of most games, it should come as no surprise that most games nowadays are implemented in an object-oriented, or at least loosely object-based, programming language.

All interactive video games are temporal simulations, meaning that the vir- tual game world model is dynamic-the state of the game world changes over time as the game’s events and story unfold. A video game must also respond to unpredictable inputs from its human player(s)-thus interactive temporal simulations. Finally, most video games present their stories and respond to player input in real time, making them interactive real-time simulations.

One notable exception is in the category of turn-based games like computerized chess or non-real-time strategy games. But even these types of games usually provide the user with some form of real-time graphical user interface.

What Is a Game Engine?

The term “game engine” arose in the mid-1990s in reference to first-person shooter (FPS) games like the insanely popular Doom by id Software. Doom was architected with a reasonably well-defined separation between its core software components (such as the three-dimensional graphics rendering system, the collision detection system or the audio system) and the art assets, game worlds and rules of play that comprised the player’s gaming experience. The value of this separation became evident as developers began licensing games and retooling them into new products by creating new art, world layouts, weapons, characters, vehicles and game rules with only minimal changes to the “engine” software. This marked the birth of the “mod community”-a group of individual gamers and small independent studios that built new games by modifying existing games, using free toolkits pro- vided by the original developers. Towards the end of the 1990s, some games like Quake III Arena and Unreal were designed with reuse and “modding” in mind. Engines were made highly customizable via scripting languages like id’s Quake C, and engine licensing began to be a viable secondary revenue stream for the developers who created them. Today, game developers can license a game engine and reuse significant portions of its key software components in order to build games. While this practice still involves considerable investment in custom software engineering, it can be much more economical than developing all of the core engine components in-house. The line between a game and its engine is often blurry.

Some engines make a reasonably clear distinction, while others make almost no attempt to separate the two. In one game, the rendering code might “know” specifi-cally how to draw an orc. In another game, the rendering engine might provide general-purpose material and shading facilities, and “orc-ness” might be defined entirely in data. No studio makes a perfectly clear separation between the game and the engine, which is understandable considering that the definitions of these two components often shift as the game’s design solidifies.

Arguably a data-driven architecture is what differentiates a game engine from a piece of software that is a game but not an engine. When a game contains hard-coded logic or game rules, or employs special-case code to render specific types of game objects, it becomes difficult or impossible to reuse that software to make a different game. We should probably reserve the term “game engine” for software that is extensible and can be used as the foundation for many different games without major modification.

Clearly this is not a black-and-white distinction. We can think of a gamut of reusability onto which every engine falls. One would think that a game engine could be something akin to Apple QuickTime or Microsoft Windows Media Player-a general-purpose piece of software capable of playing virtually any game content imaginable. However, this ideal has not yet been achieved (and may never be). Most game engines are carefully crafted and fine-tuned to run a particular game on a particular hardware platform. And even the most general-purpose multiplatform engines are really only suitable for building games in one particular genre, such as first-person shooters or racing games. It’s safe to say that the more general-purpose a game engine or middleware component is, the less optimal it is for running a particular game on a particular platform.

This phenomenon occurs because designing any efficient piece of software invariably entails making trade-offs, and those trade-offs are based on assumptions about how the software will be used and/or about the target hardware on which it will run. For example, a rendering engine that was designed to handle intimate indoor environments probably won’t be very good at rendering vast outdoor environments. The indoor engine might use a binary space partitioning (BSP) tree or portal system to ensure that no geometry is drawn that is being occluded by walls or objects that are closer to the camera. The outdoor engine, on the other hand, might use a less-exact occlusion mechanism, or none at all, but it probably makes aggressive use of level-of-detail (LOD) techniques to ensure that distant objects are rendered with a minimum number of triangles, while using high-resolution triangle meshes for geome-try that is close to the camera.

The advent of ever-faster computer hardware and specialized graphics cards, along with ever-more-efficient rendering algorithms and data structures, is beginning to soften the differences between the graphics engines of different genres. It is now possible to use a first-person shooter engine to build a real-time strategy game, for example. However, the trade-off between generality and optimality still exists. A game can always be made more impressive by fine-tuning the engine to the specific requirements and constraints of a particular game and/or hardware platform.