Today we want to introduce you to a math game that we’ve been really enjoying called Construction. It’s a great way to practice arithmetic sequences and develop your algebraic thinking skills.
In the game, players use a deck of cards (ace = 1, face cards = 10) and a 4-sided die to generate and extend number patterns based on a given rule. The true strategy comes from being able to figure out how to use the face cards in tandem with the other cards to create the desired numbers.
To begin the game, shuffle the cards well and deal three cards to each player. Turn over the top card – this is the value at which the pattern starts. If the top card is a face card, simply move it to the bottom of the deck and turn over the next card.
Next, roll the 4-sided die – this is the value of the increment between elements in the pattern. For example, if the top card is a 3 and the die shows a 2, the pattern would be 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13…
On each turn, a player may play as many cards as they can, as long as they follow the pattern. If a player can’t play a card, they draw a card and add it to their hand, but they don’t get to play on that turn. Face cards count as 10’s when placed together with any other card, and the first player to get rid of all of their cards is the winner. If the draw pile becomes exhausted, players count the number of cards in their hands and the player with the fewest number of cards is the winner.
We love this game because it’s challenging and helps kids develop their pattern recognition and strategic thinking skills. It’s also great for teamwork – we’ve been putting two or three players on each team and they’ve been working together to help their team win. If you’re looking for a fun, educational math game to play with your kids or students, give Construction a try and let us know what you think!