A Math game using playing cards
A game to immerse children in Math with the essence of Math- there are multiple solutions to a problem!
This game is suitable for 1st graders to 4th graders. Or even for adults who just want to sharpen their thinking and a fruitful pastime activity.
What do you need: A deck of playing cards. Yes! That’s all. You can also use UNO and adapt this game.
Number of players: 2 or more.
How do we play: The steps are quite simple and can be adapted to players
- Remove the picture cards from the deck. That should leave you with 40 cards of the standard deck.
- Shuffle them and place them in a grid facing up. Here, the cards are arranged in the grid of 8X5. You can change the grid to suit the place you have or even for variety.
- Player one gives the lead. For example player one says “I spy numbers that together make 8.”
- The other player picks up cards that make up 8. E.g. 5 and 3. These cards will be kept in front of the player with cards facing up.
- The second player makes up the total by picking up another set of numbers E.g. 4 and 4
- The turns take till no further possibilities can be seen.
- Players will make separate pile of cards and keep aside with them before the next ‘spying’
- The player who picks the last possibility now becomes the spy leader and announces ” I spy numbers that…”
- If a player misses to locate a pair, the next player can be given an extra chance or 5 points- whatever is suitable.
- There will be gaps, so bring the cards closer after every one ‘spying’.
- The winner is the player who has maximum number of piled cards with them.
- You can also assign points (lets say 5) for each possibility. Award player 5 points for each spied number ‘cracked’. Add up the total in that case at the end of the cards to declare the winner.
- Use the spy statements for all basic Math operations – “numbers that when multiplied…” or “when subtracted..” or “when divided..”. You can use “factors of..” “multiples of..” to level up.
- You can make it a bit more challenging by specifying colors to be used while the cards are picked up
- Rack your brains to add complexity.
- Enjoy the game.
- Can be played online as well. Just need to decide the screen share and the way in which points are kept.
Benefits of the game: You improve math skills since each player has to come up with a ‘spy’ statement. Players become observant. Develops logical and analytical thinking and creativity to imbibe “every problem has multiple solutions”.
Photo credit: Shweta Nagar