This game is designed to offer children plenty of opportunities to practice those troublesome times tables; the 6x, 7x, 8x and 9x. The game is for two players, you need the Hard Times board, the Hard Times number cards, and a set of counters – 8 of one colour and 8 of another.
The Hard Times board is a grid of 16 squares with 16 product cards.
The players place the board between them. Shuffle the 16 product cards face down on the table. One card is then chosen (without being looked at) and slid face down under the main board. The players now take it in turns to place their 8 counters on the board. Where they place the counters is up to them, but after they have played a few times they may begin to work out a strategy.
When all of the counters have been played on the board the players begin taking it in turns to turn over any of the face-down product cards.
Over time, counters will be moved from the board, replaced by product cards, and collected by the players.
The game will end with one player’s counter still on the board (belonging to the product card hidden earlier)
The winner is the player who manages to ‘rescue’ all of his/her counters.
Here 'Red' won! 63 had been under the board from the beginning and 'Yellow' couldn't play their last piece.
Tip – we've found that if you keep the face down cards in a shallow box (or upturned lid) it will make mixing and choosing easier. The whole thing could even be covered by a cloth during the mixing if you think the players may be devising ways to cheat!
The attached download consists of a high quality four page pdf - teacher instructions, two game boards and two sets of coloured 'product cards' to cut out.
As far as we are aware, this is another unique mathsticks-original maths game... yes, the winner is purely chosen by luck, but that doesn't stop it being educational and great fun to play.
mathsticks+ members get access to an additional version of this maths resource.
this resource is not part of the Creative Commons Licence, and is copyright Mathsticks 2011
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