Monday, November 3, 2014

Easy To Make Math Game For Practicing Math Facts

My students absolutely LOVE this game for practicing their math facts!  You can watch the video below to see how we use it for practicing multiplication, but it can be easily adapted for other skills as well (including sight word or vocabulary words)!

I give complete directions in the post below, as well as some ideas for modifications you can make.

I am so excited to share this little game with you because it is a Pinterest inspired activity that I actually got around to making instead of just pinning!  I know I'm not the only one who pins something with the best intentions, but somehow never uses it.

Anyway, I ran across this pin from Primarily Speaking. I knew it would be a great way for my kiddos to practice their addition and multiplication facts.  My students always love playing games and I love finding ways for them to get better at their math facts.  Us teachers need to be sneaky sometimes!
Walk the Plank: practicing addition facts to 20- Both players line up cubes, roll dice and add, take the opponent's sum cube. First person to take all of the other player's cubes wins.
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I found these 5 gallon paint stir sticks at Wal-Mart for 38 cents.  I grabbed four of them to start. You can also find a pack of 40 of them at Amazon for even less.

Then using a sharpie, I sectioned off parts and numbered each one.  I determined what numbers to write on the paint stick based on the dice and operation I was going to use with it.  The picture above is an addition version. 

For example, if you are making an addition version using a six sided die, you would determine all possible sums from the die.  If the sum already occurred I skipped it.

1 + 1 = 2
1 + 2 = 3
1 + 3 = 4
1 + 4 = 5
1 + 5 = 6
1 + 6 = 7
2 + 6 = 8
3 + 6 = 9
4 + 6 = 10
5 + 6 = 11
6 + 6 = 12

 I used the red/yellow disks instead of the linking cubes because I happen to have a lot more of these (just in case the kiddos manage to lose one or two). Each student picks a color and then lines up their pieces around the paint stick.

The students take turns rolling the dice.  They find the sum (if they are using the addition version) or product (with the multiplication version) and then take their opponent's piece away from that number.  The object of the game is to take as many pieces of the other player's pieces as you can.  If they roll a number that has already been removed, they simply lost that turn and it is the next player's turn.

They absolutely loved the game and begged to play all week long!  You can easily modify this game for greater or less challenge by changing the numbers or the amount of dice you use.  You could even make a division or subtraction version if you want by using one die that has bigger numbers than the other.  For bigger numbered dice use these or these double dice (add the 2 numbers together). Easy, cheap, and fun!

For more ideas like this, be sure to follow my Pinterest Boards to see what other things I have pinned!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this great idea! What fun :)

    Lattes and Lunchrooms

  2. Great idea but how do you section it off for multiplication with so many possibilities?


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