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Cuisenaire Environment

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Train for Two

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Here’s a game to play with a grown-up!



How do you play?
You'll need a grown-up to play with.
You'll also need one Cuisenaire rod of each length between 1 (white) and 10 (orange), or you can just write down the numbers on a piece of paper. You could use the interactive version here.
Decide who is going to go first, and choose a distance between 11 and 55. We'll use 25 as an example. The aim of the game is to make a train of length 25 (exactly).
Each player in turn puts down a Cuisenaire rod, putting them end to end so that there is a single train. The person who puts down the last rod to make 25 wins. If one player puts down a rod that makes the train longer than 25, then the other player wins. (If you aren't using rods, then you can use each of the numbers between 1 and 10, but only once.)

Does it make a difference who goes first?
Can you work out a winning strategy?
Notes for grown-ups
Train for Two helps to develop children’s fluency with simple addition. However, the real challenge is to find a winning strategy!

Easier version: Choose a smaller target, or use more rods.
Harder version: Choose a bigger target, or use fewer rods.

Repeat the game, aiming to find a winning strategy, then talk together about how it was found.