Top Menu

Easy Math Game to Combat Boredom (and Challenge Your Child’s Brain)

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.)

The object:

  • Move the stack of coins from where it is, to another space.

The rules:

  • 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

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?

Your turn!

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.

Check out her blog for various articles on math learning. Or head over to That’s Math to see more specific ways to see and say math using everyday things.

, , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Powered by GF Digital.