This is a simple digit card game to help children practice mentally addition and subtraction strategies.
The fun maths game uses only 10 digit cards (numbered from 1 to 10 and works with a group of 4 - 5 children.
One child (let's call him Daniel) mixes all of the cards and hands each of the other children in the group a card, face-down.
Daniel is the only one in the group without a card. He says, "Go!" and all of the others hold their cards face outward so that everyone else can see the digit on their card but they cannot see their own digit.
Now, Daniel must mentally calculate the sum of everyone's cards, and then announce it to the group.
The remaining children then look around the group at everyone else's cards and use mental subtraction strategies to try to find out what card they have. For example, five children each have a digit card. The sixth player has told them the total of all the five digits is 21... Jilly now looks at the four digit cards she can see (not her own):
Jilly's card is a 5.
The other four children make the same mental 'deductions'. Note: in real play the children should not mention their calculations aloud - they could write their thoughts on a mini white board, or simply explain their strategies at the end of each round.
Extension - with just three players the game could be used to reinforce multiplication and division strategies. Two players show their digits, the player without a card multiplies them and anounces the product. Each player must then use the one digit they can see (a factor) to calculate what their digit (the other factor) is.
We have used this teaching activity for lots of different concepts across a range of subjects. It was inspired by a much earlier version of this simple Hedbanz Game for Kids [Amazon affiliate link].
The Hedbanz game itself is ideal for promoting discussion and therefore a great way to develop speaking and listening skills.
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