*Up, Down, Flying Around printable sheet - instructions**Up, Down, Flying Around printable sheet - board**Up, Down, Flying Around printable sheet - balloon pieces**Up, Down, Flying Around printable sheet - number cards**Up, Down, Flying Around printable sheet - alternative number cards*

Watch the video below to see how to play the Balloon Game.

*If you can't see the video, click below to read the rules.*

This is a game for two players. Each places their balloon on the game board, pointing to zero:

You have two piles of cards; operation cards (add/subtract) and number cards (-9 to +10).

A positive number is equivalent to puffs of hot air; if you add hot air to your balloon you will rise, and if you subtract hot air you will sink.

A negative number is equivalent to sandbags; if you add sandbags your balloon will sink and if you subtract sandbags your balloon will rise.

Take it in turns to turn over an operation card and a number card. For example, if you turn over **add -7**, this is like adding 7 sandbags, so your balloon will move down 7 spaces.

To win, you either need to get to the top, or you need to be afloat when your opponent sinks to the bottom.

To play the game, you will need to print out the following:

Board

Balloon Pieces

Number Cards (print out two sets of these and shuffle them together).

Alternatively, you may wish to play with these:

Alternative Number Cards

Here are some other games you can play with the number cards:**Alternative Balloon Game**

Take it in turns to take two operation cards and two number cards, and choose how to arrange them to give you maximum lift (or minimise your sinking!). You may need a larger winning target than 20 for this game.**Highest Totals Game**

Shuffle the number cards and operation cards. Each player is dealt three number cards and two operation cards. Arrange them to make the highest total you can. The winner gets one point; first to 10 points wins.

Variation 1: Deal each player four number cards and three operation cards.

Variation 2: As above, but arrange the cards to get as close to zero as you can.**Throwing Away Zeros**

Deal six number cards to each player.

When it is your turn, you can combine cards with operations of your choice to make zero. (For example, you could discard -7, 3 and -4 because -7 + 3 - -4 =0).

At the end of your turn, take ONE card from the pack.

The winner is the first person to get rid of all their cards.

See Adding and Subtracting Positive and Negative Numbers for some suggestions of how to use this game as part of introductory work on Directed Numbers.

### Possible approach

Introduce the game by demonstrating with one learner, or against the whole group. You could print a larger version of the board and stick it on the wall, with blu-tack on the back of the balloons.

Allow learners to play the game, either in pairs against each other, or in fours of two against two. Explain to learners that they should be checking each others' moves - even though they are competing, they should be critical friends if pointing out errors (such as moving the balloon in the wrong direction).

Once they've got the hang of it, bring the group back together to explain (or demonstrate) the Alternative Balloon Game. Although the game can be played one-on-one, having learners play two against two will encourage them to justify their reasoning. Insist that each pair agrees about how to arrange their cards before they move their balloon. After each round has finished, you could invite pairs to act as critical friends to their opponents, telling them if they think the cards could have been arranged in a better way.

As students are playing, listen for good insights or strategies that can be shared with the whole group. You could write these on the board, and when you stop the game, ask the learners to explain their ideas. Compare these between groups and draw out some general rules.

If you still have time, you could introduce the Highest Totals Game and/or Throwing Away Zeros. Demonstrate your chosen game against one or more learners, and then let pairs of learners play the game against other pairs. Again, insist that each pair agrees on their card arrangement before submitting their move. This will challenge them to consider all their options and to listen to each others' contributions.