A game for 2 or more players

This game is very easily adjusted to provide practice of a wide range of maths skills at different levels of challenge.

You will need

  • An amount of small items composed of several different colours e.g. beads, buttons, counters, sweets etc
  • A container or bag to put the items in
  • A spoon for each player
  • How to play

    Before playing, allocate a value to each colour (or shape) of the items. See variations below for examples.

    Take turns to scoop a spoonful of items out of the bag. Sort the items by colour, in a way that makes them easy to subitise, such as arranging them in dot patterns. Find the value for each colour, then the total value for all items.

    The player with the highest total wins a point. First to gain 3 points wins the game.


  • Use 2 different colours for an easier game, increasing the number of colours to add challenge
  • Alter the size of spoon to vary the difficulty
  • Use different shapes of dried pasta and take a handful instead of a scoop
  • Use values that are powers of 10 (1, 10, 100, 1000 etc) to practise recombining numbers
  • Use 2, 5 and 10 to practise the key times tables and addition
  • Assign each colour a number whose times table you want to practice
  • Assign a letter to each colour (red=r, blue=b etc) and record an algebraic expression for your scoop, then roll a dice to assign a number to each letter and find the total value
  • Follow us on Facebook or Instagram for other maths ideas, games and activities.