What it is: A simple two-player math game to review “greater than/less than” number sentences (Does anyone else’s child have to stop every single time they draw a greater than/less than sign so they can turn it into an alligator?)

Best for: A young child learning math and an older sibling or parent

What you need: A printable number chart and a crayon or maker

How to play: Start with a number chart on the table in front of both players. (The printable charts I included have four versions that go up to 100, 120, 150, and 200.) Player 1 (who can be named Mom) silently chooses a number on the chart and says, “Guess my number.” Player 2 (whose name can be Ben) then guesses any number, saying, “Is it 25?” Say Mom’s number is 56. She would say, “It is greater than 25.” Ben would then be able to use his crayon or marker and cross off any number on the number chart he knows the answer isn’t (so 25 and everything less than 25). Ben then gets another guess. If he says, “Is it 73?” Mom says, “It is less than 73.” Then Ben gets to cross out all numbers 73 and higher. Play continues like this, with Ben guessing and getting closer and closer until he finally guesses Mom’s number. Then Ben gets a turn to think of a number and Mom gets a turn to guess.

If you’re playing competitively, you can say that the person who had the most un-crossed-out numbers when they finally guess the right number wins. You could also keep track of guesses and say the winner is the one who gets the answer in the least number of guesses.

It’s a simple game, but it can be a good way to work in number practice and reasoning, too. Make sure to give your child a turn both guessing and thinking of a number.

If you want to use the printable number chart again and again, laminate it and use a dry erase marker. Happy playing!

(For you older people playing, my husband informed me of a strategy called binary search that greatly increases your odds of winning when it’s your turn to guess. Basically, if you’re playing up to 100, you guess 50 first. If you’e told the number is less than 50, guess 25. If you’re told the number is more than 25, guess 37. Basically keep cutting the un-eliminated numbers in half and you’ll get it faster. Just be careful not to crush the confidence of the younger players you’re playing with.)  😉

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