I am very pleased to present the game of Tic-Tac-Toe Products:
This is a really fun game which also happens to review multiplication facts! It’s one of my favorite math games to teach and play with my students. It’s super simple, and kids can play several rounds of this without noticing the time passing! Like most of the games I will share, it’s also very portable. If your child has learned their multiplication facts, you should really give it a go! Fun for the whole family.
The directions to play are below. Please let me know how it goes if you try it!
Math Concepts Covered: Multiplication fact practice
Materials: Game board, two sets of colored game pieces (bingo chips, colored paper squares, etc.), two paper clips
# of Players: 2
OBJECT OF THE GAME: Get four in a row!
HOW TO PLAY:
Player 1 moves the 4 to the 3 to make 3 x 7 = 21.
Suddenly, Player 2 realizes that Player 1 can get four in a row with the number 24!Player 2 moves the 7 to the 8 to make 3 x 8 = 24.
Crisis averted! …Or is it?Player 1 smiles with satisfaction and moves the 3 to the 2 to make 2 x 8 = 16.Four in a row! Player 1 is the winner!
Q: Can I stack two paperclips on top of each other, like 6 x 6?
Q: Can I make four in a row going horizontally, vertically, or diagonally?
Q: Can I cover someone else’s game piece on the board?
A: No. Once a product is covered, it is gone. You cannot cover it again.
Q: Can I move both paperclips in one turn?
Once the children have a few rounds under their belts, ask them what strategies they use and share some of your own with them, such as:
There are lots of other strategies, too, and it will help your child develop their mathematical thinking to discuss and share these strategies together! Seriously, these conversations are where incredible amounts of learning take place in the classroom, and it would be such a treasure for your child to be able to have them one-on-one with you!
You can modify this game to make it easier by making the goal 3-in-a-row instead of 4-in-a-row. Or, if your child is still learning their facts, let them use a multiplication table to look at. The game is supposed to be fun, rather than taxing.
You may notice your child just picking products they know. While it may feel like they’re missing out on the chance to play the game better because they’re just covering the squares they’re familiar with, at least they are reviewing those facts! If you notice this happening, you might want to write out a couple more useful facts for them. Once they are familiar with the new ones, add a couple more. Over time, as they keep referencing the cheat sheet you created, they may just start to memorize those facts! Don’t give them a whole bunch at a time, though. Keep it simple, so they can actually master some as they go.
Please let me know how it goes if you try it!
See more fun math games in my series on Fun Math Games for Children!