We’ve played this game at least 50 times in the last two days! It’s a strategy game that develops mathematical thinking. It’s very easy to learn, and students love it. Científico (7.5 años), Aventurera (4.5 años) and I played it together, and we all liked it. They played with my husband when he got home from work, too!
So, how do you play? I drew 5 ladybugs on a sheet of paper, and we put 4 spots on each one. We used counters like Bingo markers that we already had. This was perfect for 3 people. For 4 people, I would use 6 ladybugs with 4 spots on each.
On your turn you take 1, 2, 3, or 4 spots from any ladybug. Then the next player, moving clockwise, takes 1, 2, 3, or 4 spots from any ladybug. Continue playing until only one spot is left; the player who picks up that spot loses the game! It doesn’t matter how many spots you’ve collected in the game, it only matters who picks up the last spot. When you finish, put all the spots back on the ladybugs, and play again!
It’s fun to watch how students’ strategies develop and change after playing several (or many!) times. They almost always begin taking the maximum number of spots, and later discover that this strategy doesn’t serve them very well. It´s important to resist the temptation to tell students that their strategy isn’t going to work, and let them figure it out on their own, even if they have to play 100 times before they discover it! That is how you help them develop mathematical thinking!
Now, how about a winter version? And what if it’s FREE? Sound good? Then, here it is! You can click on the link below the picture to download it!
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