Learning to Give, Philanthropy education resources that teach giving and civic engagement

Make-It, Take-It Family Night
Lesson 6
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework


As families get busier, "together time" often decreases. This lesson promotes family togetherness during the "Make It, Take It Night" and also at home as they play with the new games. This lesson brings parents and students together for the purpose of creating family games to play at home. Families will make a math game, a language arts game and a family favorite.


One Evening for One Hour and Thirty Minutes


The learner will:

  • create three games with family members to take home.
  • cooperate with family members in a community setting.
  • communicate with family members and take turns with classmates.

Service Experience:

Although this lesson contains a service project example, decisions about service plans and implementation should be made by students, as age appropriate.
Learn more about the stages of service-learning.

The service learning component is a "Make-It, Take-It Family Night" which fosters community involvement as they work in a positive community setting, and promotes family togetherness as they make games to take home and play.


  • Invitations
  • Cookies and punch
  • Gallon-size resealable plastic bags (one per family at each station)
  • Math Game Station:
    • Copies of Attachment One: Number Cards 0-9 (four sheets per student)
    • Markers and scissors
    • Copies of game directions Attachment Two: Addition War
  • Language Arts Game Station:
    • Copies of Attachment Three: Sight Word Cards (two copies per student)
    • Markers and scissors
    • Copies of game directions Attachment Four: Sight Word Memory
  • Family Favorite Station:
    • One egg carton per student
    • Colored pasta (enough for each student to have 48 pieces)
    • Copies of game directions Attachment Five: Mancala
Handout 1
Number Cards, 0-9
Handout 2
Addition War
Handout 3
Sight Word Cards
Handout 4
Sight Word Memory
Handout 5

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:

Send home invitations to a family Make-It, Take-It Night in which the students work with family members to create games to bring home for family game night. The evening also promotes unity in the larger community as families work side-by-side, sharing materials. On the chosen evening, play music, provide snacks and set up the classroom in three stations with the materials indicated to make each of the three games. As families enter, instruct them to move around the stations together at their own pace. Encourage them to have a snack and meet the other families. If time, they may also practice playing the games within their families while the teacher is there to guide and instruct them.

  • If possible, arrange to have three volunteers lined up, one per station, to explain the process of making each game and to lend a helping hand when needed. If this is not possible, provide written directions at each station:
  1. Addition War: You need four copies of Number Cards, 0-9. Help the student cut out the number cards on the lines and trace the numbers with a marker. Put the cards and directions in the bag and seal it.
  2. Sight Word Memory: You need two copies of the Sight Words. Help the student cut them out on the lines and trace the words with a marker. Put the cards and directions in the bag and seal it.
  3. Mancala: You will need an egg carton and 48 pieces of pasta. Put these and the directions in a bag and seal it.
  • After every 20 minutes, make sure families are moving along. For example, after 20 minutes, you may say, "You should have at least one game prepared by now."

  • At the end of the evening, thank the families for coming and encourage them to play these games regularly to reinforce skills and promote family togetherness. Ask the families to report back to you their reactions to the games and family time.


Send home an evaluation form of the evening and of the family game nights that follow. Ask families to report back their reactions to the quality of the family night at school as well as the family game nights. Ask questions about communication, positive feelings, sense of unity, etc.

School/Home Connection:

Families come to school one evening to create games for future family game nights at home.

Cross-Curriculum Extensions:

Investigate places within your community where students can donate their gently used games (and/or the games created on Make-it, Take-it night). Suggestions include a pediatric ward of the local hospital, boys and girls club, women and children shelter or the after-school program within your school building. Choose three places and write them on the board. Allow your students to vote on where they would like to donate their games. (As an alternative, students may raise money to purchase new games.)

Lesson Developed By:

Wendy Abbey
Pre-service Teacher


Handout 1Print Handout 1

Number Cards, 0-9













Handout 2Print Handout 2

Addition War

Number of Players: Two

Materials: 40 number cards, 0-9


  1. Deal the 40 number cards between two players. Each player should end up with 20 cards.
  2. Each player turns over two cards at the same time and adds them together. The first person to say the sum of his/her two cards correctly wins all four cards.
  3. Continue playing until one player has all of the cards or until a pre-determined amount of time is up.

Object: The winner is the person with the most cards at the end of the game.

Handout 3Print Handout 3

Sight Word Cards

Sight Word Cards














Handout 4Print Handout 4

Sight Word Memory

Number of Players: Two

Materials: Two sets of Sight Word Memory Cards


  1. Place all sight word cards face down on a table in an array.
  2. Players take turns flipping over two cards at a time. The player must read the word on each card.
  3. If the words are the same, the player gets the match and another turn. If the words are not the same, it is the other player’s turn.
  4. The game is over when all cards have been matched.

Object: The player with the most matches wins the game.

Handout 5Print Handout 5


Number of Players: Two

Materials: Egg carton and 48 pieces of pasta*


  1. The board is placed between the two players.
  2. Each person takes 24 pieces of pasta and puts four pieces in each of the six bins on his/her side of the board.
  3. On your turn, you can move any of the pieces from your side of the board. You may not move the pieces on your opponent’s side of the egg carton.
  4. Scoop up all the pieces from one bin on your side of the board. Now, moving to the right, drop one piece into each following bin until your hand is empty.
  5. If you come to the end of your row and you still have one piece in your hand, drop it in front of you. Then you get another turn.
  6. If you have more, continue to put your remaining pieces into the bins on your opponent’s side (moving left until your hand is empty).
  7. If you come to the end of your opponent’s side—this will happen later in the game—continue around to your side again. If your last piece lands in front of you, you get to go again. Otherwise, it is your opponent’s turn.
  8. Capturing: If the last piece of pasta that you drop goes into an empty bin on your side of the board, you capture the playing pieces in the bin directly across from that bin. Place them in the pile in front of you. After you make a capture, it is your opponent’s turn.

Object: The game ends when all six bins on one side are empty. The player with pieces remaining in the bins puts these in the pile in front of him/her. The winner is the player with the most pieces of pasta at the end.

*Pasta, such as elbow macaroni, can be brightly colored by mixing the pasta in a sealed plastic bag with ¼ cup rubbing alcohol and a small bottle of food coloring. Pour the wet pasta in a single layer on a sheet of newsprint in a well-ventilated area to dry overnight.

Philanthropy Framework:


Barb, Teacher – Milwaukee, WI3/27/2012 12:37:07 PM

This is an awesome site with very useful ideas! I am planning a Family Make-It, Take-It Game Night, so I found this site quite helpful. Thank you.

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Unit Contents:

Overview:Unity in the Community Summary


United We Are
United We Stand
The Family as a Community
Playing Group Games from the Past
Make-It, Take-It Family Night

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