# Boxes

This is a unique twist on an old pencil and paper game. The focus is on addition, subtraction and multiplication, as well as adding a little strategic thinking and problem solving.

The children work in pairs on a 'dotty' sheet, playing a version of boxes... they take it in turns to join two horizontally or vertically adjacent dots by a line.

A player that completes a fourth side forms a finished square; this player now shades that box in and makes a note of the number inside it.

The game ends when all of the boxes have been completed, the player now total the numbers they have 'collected' and the winner is the one with the highest score.

Simple and straightforward for young learners getting to grips with adding 1s, 2s, 3s and 4s. However, the dotty boards can offer more challenge than that. What about asking that the children multiply the numbers together as they go, keeping a running total.

Clearly, the boards are not restricted to simple numbers, the downloadable file includes a selection of boards with negative numbers, together with a blank version. This latter sheet could easily be adapted to include larger numbers, decimal numbers or fractions. Children could even create their own boards by rolling dice, selecting digit cards or using our squashy boxes or digit window frames to fill the board with random numbers.

The download includes 16 different dotty boards (4 per A4 page) together with teaching notes and a set of blank dotty boards for you own customisation.

Mathsticks+ members, go to the members dashboard to access a range of additional boards.

If you find this maths teaching resource useful please take a moment to use the social network buttons below. This is much appreciated.

## Comment viewing options

### Great resource!  I am going

Great resource!  I am going to use it for my maths focus group tomorrow who are working on mental calculation.  Thanks a lot!
0 users have voted.

### Great resource - easily

Great resource - easily differentiated. Really looking forward to using this. Thank you so much :-)
1 user has voted.

### What a super idea -

What a super idea - especially the variations. Playing this tomorrow! I love games that consolidate more than one skill!
1 user has voted.

### This looks like fun. Perfect

This looks like fun. Perfect for my class.
0 users have voted.

### My class really love this

My class really love this activity - in fact they were a bit put out this week when I had run out of them!
1 user has voted.

### Sarah8, thanks for the

Sarah8, thanks for the feedback - great comment - only sorry we did not make any more maths Boxes resources!

John

1 user has voted.

### Love this logic puzzle

Love this logic puzzle
0 users have voted.

### This is a great game and the

This is a great game and the whole class loved it. It helps us review our speedy addition and practise using negative numbers. From Protector Class
1 user has voted.

### My class love the dots/boxes

My class love the dots/boxes game - they'll be thrilled when they see this (especially those that don't usually manage to get too many boxes!)
1 user has voted.

### Thank you so much! This will

Thank you so much! This will be a great way to differentiate the lesson I plan to use this with! My kids will love it!
0 users have voted.

### I particularly liked the use

I particularly liked the use of negative numbers in some of the boxes as this will really add to the challenge and the competitive nature of the game with my Year 4s!
0 users have voted.

### Great game that the children

Great game that the children have that the asked to play again and again as well as taking it home to beat their parents! They were so focussed on winning that they didnt realise how much Maths they were doing.
0 users have voted.

### Like the idea of the children

Like the idea of the children making up their own!  Will need to invest in some coloured whiteboard markers for this , all of mine are black.
0 users have voted.

I've downloaded this great activity and will laminate it so we can use the gameboards over and over and save on paper! Yay! Thanks!!
0 users have voted.

Good idea about lamination. I'll borrow your idea, if I may, and I think I'll color code the sheets by the type of numbers embedded in the boxes.
1 user has voted.

### This is fantastic! I used to

This is fantastic! I used to love playing this game myself ...love the maths element that has been added to it. I am sure my students will love this game and want to play it in their own time :) Thank you
0 users have voted.

### When my son asked me to play

When my son asked me to play boxes I quickly referred to the mathsticks twist in order to make it a fun homework activity. As I didn't have ink I quickly made up my own.It was a huge success and we both loved the anticipation of not knowing who had won until we'd calculated the total no of points. Also we soon started planning strategically so that boxes we had to give away had the least value Thankyou again for brightening an otherwise dull and wet afternoon !
1 user has voted.

### That's brilliant. Thank you

That's brilliant.

Thank you for sharing your story. I agree that the way to go with this activity is to ultimately let the children create their own boxes grids and add their own numbers - they will have so much more control and invested interest in the activity. I'm glad it made a dull, wet day more worthwhile... I guess, like me, you are in the UK and have gone through 29 such grey, rainy days throughout August.

0 users have voted.

### Thanks once again for

Thanks once again for providing such user friendly fun resources - another great starting point that the children can then make their own.
0 users have voted.

### This looks good. I'm looking

This looks good. I'm looking forward to trying it out with my group of ASN children. It will give them lots to think about!
0 users have voted.

### What a great idea, My kids

What a great idea, My kids are going to love this, Not only can I set challenges they can make their own. I fully expect they will want to use this resource in their free time.  I have just shown my student this site as she was spending so much time trying to think up activities for herself. I am sure she will use you a lot.
0 users have voted.

### Many thanks for you kind

Many thanks for you kind feedback. The Boxes game has proven to be very popular. Its simplicity makes it so very useful - and it is (of course) so easy to adapt... you don't even need the download really!

Great idea to encourage the children to make up their own.

Thank you also for sharing this site with others... that's always good to hear - it's our measure of success.

1 user has voted.

### Going to use this game this

Going to use this game this week.  The kids will love it.  I played this without the numbers as a kid.
1 user has voted.

### Fantastic maths twist to an

Fantastic maths twist to an old game!
0 users have voted.

### Love this - was thinking

Love this - was thinking about the game "Boxes" the other day, but great idea to add an extra maths element to it...
2 users have voted.

### Great new take on an old game

Great new take on an old game :-) I'm a numbers count teacher and can see this going down very well.
2 users have voted.

### Thanks for the feedback. Once

Thanks for the feedback. Once we started working on this teaching resource we quickly realised it had so much potential... great to hear such positive things. Thanks.
2 users have voted.