I love to play games and do math with my family and I’m trying to think of ways to make practicing multiplication more fun. Here is one idea. (This game is like the game “Spoons” that you can play with cards, but we are using dice to multiply instead of making a set of 4 cards.) I chose 24 because it is my favorite number and it is a relatively small number with tons of factors. 1×24, 2×12, 3×8, 4×6, etc.
Math Skills Needed: Single digit multiplication, addition, subtraction. Ideal for kids who are practicing single digit multiplication.
- 3-4 dice for each person (we use 4 dice each from the game Tenzi)
- A spoon for each person, minus one. (You need 1 fewer spoon than there are players, sort of like the number of chairs in musical chairs.)
Objective: Don’t be the last person to grab a spoon, or you will be out!
Setup: Players sit at a table with a pile of spoons in the center. Space them evenly as possible so it’s fair for all the players.
How to Play: This game happens in “rounds,” with one player eliminated each round. Play until there is one winner.
A Round: Each player rolls their 4 dice. They need to add, subtract, multiply and divide to make 24 with any number of their dice. Roll the dice over and over as quickly as you can to make 24.
For example, if they roll a 4, 3, 6, and 2, they could make a 24 by multiplying the 4 dice with the 6 dice. They don’t have to use all of the dice.
Example 2, if they roll a 3, 5, 1, and 2, they could add up 5+1+2 to get 8, then multiply that by 3 to get 24.
Once a player makes 24, they grab a spoon from the center of the pile. They often try to be sneaky about it. When another player notices that a spoon is gone, they can grab one too. This grabbing happens until all of the spoons are gone. The person who does not get a spoon sits out for the rest of the game.
Begin the next round with remaining players. Continue until there is one player remaining.
Variation: Put the spoons in another room. Players have to run into the other room to race for a spoon.
Variation: Instead of grabbing a spoon when you notice someone else has, you have to make a 24 yourself to grab a spoon.