Do you ever get stuck too long in a waiting room with your kids? Here’s a nifty little game that takes 41 cents and a piece of paper.
- 41 cents – one quarter, one nickel, one dime and one penny
- Three “spots” – grab a random piece of paper and draw lines to divide it up (I used toothpicks in the photo below. But paper is all you really need.)
- Move the stack of coins from where it is, to another space.
- You can only move one coin at a time.
- You can only put a coin on top of one that’s bigger – physically. (i.e. you can’t put a quarter on a penny, but you can put a penny on a quarter.)
You can play it online for free (at a bazillion places, including below) or even download an apps for your smartphone.
Here it is in a quick online version from Fupa.com:
Want a bigger challenge?
See if your kids can move the stack in as few moves as possible. How many moves is that?
Ask about putting in another coin – or taking one away – how would that change things?
Don’t let your kids have all the fun – you enjoy it too. And share what you and your kids discover in the comments!
Contributed by Bon Crowder, math mom and education fanatic, who helps grown-ups see math in their everyday world so they can help their kids have a positive attitude in math.