Schoolyard Multiplication Activity

3.6 based on 35 ratings
Updated on Sep 12, 2013

Your child's multiplication skills will help him move around the schoolyard in this fun game. Once you've drawn a school map, outlining favorite locations such as the main building, swing sets, lunch room and basketball court, it's time to race around the yard while mastering the all-important times tables.

What You Need:

  • Pair of dice
  • White paper for game board
  • Black marker
  • 1 marker per player (beans, coins, foam shape, etc.)

What You Do:

  1. Encourage players to come up with a list of their favorite locations at school.
  2. Have each player draw the locations in a large oval shape on their respective piece of paper, then tell them to connect the locations with lines to create the game board (see picture). Make sure the main school building is one of the drawings, as this will be the starting point.
  3. Ask each player to come up with different numbers that are products of potential dice rolls. This means, of course, that prime numbers shouldn't be included. Also, keep the numbers under 36.
  4. Encourage them to assign each location a different number they happened to come up with.
  5. Have all of the players place their game pieces on their main school buildings.
  6. Decide which player will go first (we played roshambo) and have this player roll the dice.
  7. Have the player find the product of the two numbers he rolled and say it out loud. If the product is the same as the number of the next location on the game board, he can move his game piece to the next location on his game board. If he doesn't end up rolling the product he assigned to the next location, must stay where he is.
  8. Whoever goes all the way around the schoolyard first wins!

Variation: For younger players, use addition. The highest number on the game board should be 12.

This activity is a great opportunity to introduce the concept of probability. Before the kids create their game boards, explain to them that there are certain product that will occur more frequently than others and hint that it may be in their best interest to pick the "popular products for their game boards so as to increase their chances of winning.