This game requires two players.
What You Do:
- Start by printing out a picture of the Mayflower. Place the picture on a flat table, then arrange ten toothpick "anchors" around it to connect the ship to its harbor posts.
- Now each player takes a turn picking up a toothpick. You can choose to pick up one or two toothpicks per turn. No skipping turns!
- Continue taking turns picking up toothpicks until there are none left. The person who takes the last toothpick "wins" a ride on the Mayflower!
This game is fun to play many times, especially if your child can begin to see patterns and strategies for winning. (For example, is it better to start by picking up one anchor or two?) Once your child has the hang of it, try adding more toothpicks—eleven, say, or seventeen. How does this change your strategy? It's great practice for young math scholars, and good for wholesome family times, too.
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.