Here’s a game to play with an adult!

You'll need an adult 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?

Train for Two helps to develop children’s fluency with simple addition. However, the real challenge is to find a winning strategy!

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

There is a classroom version of this game here.