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Money Line-up

Age 5 to 7
Challenge Level

Money Line-up

This is a game for two players.  It would be good to use your own currency for this game, but we will explain the rules using dollars.

You will need:
  • a copy of the board (or you could draw out a five by five grid)
  • one 50c coin, four 25c coins and seven 10c coins for each player

How to play:
1.  Decide who will go first.
2.  Players take turns to put one coin on one of the squares. 
3.  The winner is the first to make a row (horizontally, vertically or diagonally) of four coins which add to one dollar.

Why play this game?

This game will help children become more familiar with their currency, but in particular it consolidates calculating in the context of money.  Being fluent with bonds to 100 helps learners when they come to give, and check, change.

Possible approach

There are a number of different ways in which you could introduce this game.  One way would be to work with a small group at a time to begin with so that you can check they are happy with the rules.  Alternatively, you may be able to set up a version on the interactive whiteboard so that you and another adult, or a child whom you have briefed, play the game for everyone to see, talking outloud as you do so.

However it is introduced, give children lots of time simply to play the game before you begin asking questions about strategy.  Listen out for those pairs who mention having to think ahead and who are aware of the coins that their opponent has left to use.

You may like to set up one pair playing another pair so that learners have a chance to talk to their partner about the next move.

Key questions

Tell me about that move.
What could you do next?
What might your opponent do then?

Possible extension

Challenge children to change one aspect of the game so as to create a new version.  For example, what about using different numbers of coins?  What happens if the total is different?  What about using different denomination coins?  What about a different grid size?

Possible support

If a pair of children plays against another pair, that gives an opportunity for less confident children to talk about the next possible move.