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The Game of Nim

Second Grade Rounding & Estimation Activities: The Game of Nim

based on 12 ratings

This is a simple version of a pairs game played all over the world. At first it can seem like simple counting practice. Similar to mancala, this game gives your little strategist the chance to estimate and predict mathematical outcomes.

What You Need:

  • Small objects, like buttons, coins, toys or beads, etc
  • Two players

What You Do:

  1. Instruct your child to find 15 small things, for example: buttons.
  2. On each player's turn, he or she can take one or two buttons away. Take turns doing this.
  3. The loser is the player who takes the last button.
  4. Eventually, you can teach your child the winning strategy: Just make sure on her turn she leaves 13,10, 7, 4 or 1 objects. Give the game a challenging twist by using a different number of objects or by taking away different amounts.

Your child can teach her friends this game during lunch and be the hit of the cafeteria!

Recommended Books:

Reprinted with permission from "Math Detectives," the book that introduces geometry, probability, ratios, and more! Get your child on the case by becoming a "math detective" with this fun and engaging book. By Lalie Harcourt and Ricki Wortzman (Sterling Publishing, 2003)

Updated on Jul 3, 2013
Printable Workbooks from Education.com
Find a printable workbook to go along with this fun activity. See Workbooks
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