Spontaneous games and play often leads to wonderful opportunities for natural learning. Last week, I made up a game with Everett that turned out to be perfect for beginner's math. It was very simple and similar to an old carnival game. We took Kellan's stacking cup, each with a number on the bottom (1-9) and lined them up side by side. We used some small balls from ball guns and other toys. To play the game, we simply took turns tossing the balls into the cups trying to get as many in as possible.
The number on the bottom of the cup indicated the number of points we received for that ball. We used our fingers to count and add up the scores. Very simple addition, like 1+3=4. Any number we couldn't count out on our two hands, I added up. It started with us counting on my fingers but he picked it up right away and began counting on his own fingers by his second turn. Then, he also wanted to start writing out the numbers.
After one game, Everett created his own version of the game by including the chair as an obstacle. Much harder but he loved it nonetheless and would get super excited when he scored.
Of course, when you have multiples, it's best to figure out how to include everyone. Kellan happily took his turn playing with the balls and cups in between (and sometimes during) our turns.
At nine months, a fun game to play with Kellan is to put the balls into the cups in continually decreasing sizes allowing him to figure out how to get them out.
They were super simple games that were developmentally appropriate for both ages and took no time to set up. In turn, they were a great chance to connect through play and observe how my boys are growing kinesthetically and intellectually.