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Emergency Maths Arcade (Or, suggestions of pen and paper mathematical games)

Last week we had a crisis at work — we misplaced the key to the Maths Arcade cupboard, in which we store the games (don’t ask!). So I was on the look out for something to do without opening the cupboard — i.e. on pen and paper — and I turned to Twitter for help. What suggestions did I get? What did we do in our Emergency Maths Arcade? Read on.

Maths Arcade cupboard

First, @JamesMoosh suggested challenging the students to open the cupboard, saying this would provide “problem solving, logical/lateral thinking, teamwork” and be a good Maths Arcade activity. One student suggested this too, but backed down when I asked for a guarantee that he could pick the lock shut again afterwards!

Suggestions of games:

All good suggestions, but I needed activities that I was confident running with an uncertain number of attendees. So, what did I take? I took Sprouts, Hex, Chomp and Dots (the latter two from my memory of Nottingham MathsJam and my hasty Wikipedia-ing, respectively). I also took a bag of puzzle bits that are used at open days. It went well, and we had a good time. Next time we hope to open the cupboard, but it’s nice to know that we can pull off an Emergency Maths Arcade if the need arises!

table of pen and paper puzzles

2 Responses to “Emergency Maths Arcade (Or, suggestions of pen and paper mathematical games)”

  1. MrB

    3D Noughts and Crosses, at least on a 3x3x3 board, suffers from a similar problem as the regular version. If played perfectly the person that goes first will always win.


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