Help Build Math Skills: The Last Straw

You will need to assist younger children in constructing the gameboard, but both younger children who are just learning their numbers and older ones who need practice in adding and subtracting will benefit from playing this two-player game.

What this activity will develop:
Math and social skills

What you'll need:
• 2 strips of tri-wall cardboard, 1" x 12"
• Permanent marker
• 24 small nails
• Hammer
• Straws that will fit over the nail heads
• 2 dice

What to do:
1. Number each cardboard strip from 1 to 12 along the bottom edge.

2. Pound a nail above each number.

3. Cut the straws into 1" segments and place a segment on each nail.

Rule of Play:
1. Each player uses one gameboard. Players take turns rolling the dice to make addition or subtraction problems. Example: A roll of 6 and 2 can be 6+2 or 6-2.

2. The player who rolled the dice decides which problem to use and computes the answer, removing the straw above that number on the board.

3. If a player cannot remove a straw, the turn is passed.

4. Play continues until one player removes all the straws on the gameboard, winning the game.

Source: Learning Exchange

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