Gabe Skehan, 7, gets a push from Ady Provencher, 7, to collect balls while playing a giant Hungry Hippo game at Rumford Elementary School on Giant Family Game Night on Thursday. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

RUMFORD — Students at Rumford Elementary School’s Giant Family Game Night probably weren’t even aware of the math skills they were using as they moved floor-size checkerboard pieces around Thursday night.

Games like checkers, Hungry Hippo, Battleship and Jenga were set up to be extra large, just for fun. The school usually has a family fun event in December and the focus is literacy, teacher Emily Rowley said. However, Thursday’s family game night was on math, she said.

Jenga, Battleship and other games deal with thinking processes using strategy, gridwork and coordinates, Rowley said. “Being very strategic about the tools that you pick and plans that you make for math are super important,” she said. Playing games helps students learn how to tackle tough math problems by giving them “an entryway into the problem.”

Another benefit of holding a family game night at the school is that it promotes community and family time. The school is really fortunate, she said, because several area businesses donated items such as wire and hardware to help build the giant games.

Besides those, the students also used colorful paper to create several origami designs, including a boat, a dog, and a hat design. Learning to do origami teaches children fine motor skills and promotes geometry with its shapes and line segments, art teacher Maria Logan said.

Charlie Bernard, 9, and Jordyn Whitaker, 8, play Jenga during Giant Family Game Night at Rumford Elementary School on Thursday. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

Christiana McCarthy creates an origami Fortune Teller with her daughters Serena York, 7, left, and Evelyn York, 6. The family was enjoying Giant Family Game Night at Rumford Elementary School on Thursday. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

Maria Logan, art teacher at Rumford Elementary School, shows Natalee Farnum, 8, how to create an origami Fortune Teller at her table at Giant Family Game Night at Rumford Elementary School on Thursday. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times


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