Age

7 to 11

Challenge level

Here's a game to play with an adult!

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**How do you play?**

You'll need an adult to play with.

You'll also need one set of ten Cuisenaire rods or you could use the interactive version here.

**The aim of the game is to be the person who places the last rod to complete a train of a particular length.**

- One player decides on the length of the final 'train'. (We suggest this is longer than an orange rod but less than the length of five yellow rods.)
- The other player goes first and chooses a rod.
- The second player then chooses another rod and places it end to end with the first rod so there is a single train.
- Players take it in turns in this way, each placing a new rod on the end of the train to make it longer and longer.
- The player who puts down the last rod to make the chosen length wins.

If one player puts down a rod that makes the train longer than the chosen length, then the other player wins.

Does it make a difference who goes first?

Can you work out a winning strategy?

**Notes for adults**

Train Tactics 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.

There is a classroom version of this game here.