Remember the game you used to play as a kid when you got bored at restaurants? You'd make a grid of 100 (or so) dots on a napkin and each person would get to draw a line to connect 2 dots on his or her turn. When you drew a line that closed a square, you got to write your first initial in the square to show that you had "captured" it. The goal was to be the person who had captured the most squares once all the dots were connected.
I played that game a lot as a kid. It was such a simple game, but it was fun and it had a lot of strategy to it (I mostly played with my younger brother, so I may have particularly enjoyed the fact that I had the upper hand in the strategy). So when I was trying to come up with a new, minimal prep math center for practicing multiplication facts, I decided to try to "mathify" the squares game. I find that it's easy to invest kids when I'm simply introducing a twist on a game that they're already familiar with and enjoy, so this seemed like a no-brainer.
2. Print out the game board. The game board contains 100 squares with the products of any two numbers that can be rolled with two dice (i.e. 1 x 6, 2 x 4, 3 x 5, etc).
3. Grab two dice and a different colored marker for each player.
4. During a player's turn, he/she rolls both dice and multiplies the two numbers showing on the dice. The player looks for the product on the board and draws a line to connect any two dots that form part of the square around that product. Since each product appears multiple times on the board, the player can be very strategic about where he/she draws a line.
5. When a player draws a line that closes a square, that player gets to color in the square with his/her marker. That player rolls the dice again and takes another turn.
6. When all of the dots have been connected, the player with the most squares colored in wins!
Did your students enjoy playing this game? We'd LOVE it if you'd share one of these images on social or leave a comment in the space below!
Looking for more 'Squares' games to practice math skills? Check out these full sets of 'Squares' games in our store!
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