Playing Strategically

This feature for Primary teachers offers a collection of games intended to encourage learners to think strategically. The playful contexts challenge pupils to think ahead and modify their tactics as they become more expert at each of the games. The last day for sending in your learners' thoughts and ideas is Thursday 8 July.

You can watch a recording of the webinar in which we discussed the mathematical thinking which can be prompted by these games.


Double or Halve? 

Age 5 to 7
Challenge Level
Throw the dice and decide whether to double or halve the number. Will you be the first to reach the target?


Age 5 to 11
Challenge Level
This is an adding game for two players. Can you be the first to reach the target?


Age 5 to 14
Challenge Level
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?


Age 7 to 11
Challenge Level
In this game for two players, take it in turns to shade one petal, or two petals next to each other. Is it better to go first or second?

Latin Lilies 

Age 7 to 14
Challenge Level
In this game you are challenged to gain more columns of lily pads than your opponent.
Read this article to find out more about the inspiration for NRICH's game, Phiddlywinks.


Age 7 to 18
Challenge Level
Have a go at this version of John Conway's game. Do you have any good strategies for winning?