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Kanga-Ruler

Practice skip-counting by hopping along a winding number path, and become the Kanga-Ruler!

Ages: 3-8
Players: 2+
Time: 20+ Minutes
Type: physical activities
Location: outside
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Ages: 3-8
Players: 2+
Time: 20+ Minutes
Type: physical activities
Location: outside

Instructions

Use chalk to draw the numbers 0-to-30 (or higher) on the sidewalk in a fun path.

Numbers written in sidewalk chalk in a curvy path

Make sure your numbers aren't drawn too far apart, or little legs won't be able to hop from 0 to 5, 5 to 10, 10 to 15, all the way to the end of the path! Place the royal "scepter" on any number. (Any stick will do.)

A stick set on a number while a kid jumps

Players take turns rolling a die. If the die comes up 1-5 then, starting at 0, a player hops across the number path, skip-counting by the number they rolled. For example, if they rolled a 3, they would hop from 0 to 3, then to 6, 9, 12, and so on, saying the numbers out loud as they went.

If a player lands on the number with the scepter, they become the Kanga-Ruler! They pick up the scepter and make a new "rule" for all players to follow. If a player rolls a 6, they automatically become the Kanga-Ruler. Here are some ideas for rules:

  • hop on one foot
  • start at the end and hop backwards toward 0
  • hop with your feet apart
  • hop with your hands on your head
  • hop with your hands behind your back
  • say the numbers in pig latin
  • hop with your hand covering one eye
  • sing the numbers to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  • clap in the air as you hop
  • say a silly word like "banana" after every number

The sillier the rule, the better! After the Kanga-Ruler announces the new rule, they put the scepter on a new number and the next player rolls. Players keep obeying the rule until a new Kanga-Ruler gets the scepter. (New rules cancel out previous rules.)

Play until you're all hopped out!

Don't forget: it's Beast Academy Playground, not Beast Academy Study Hall. Change the rules, be silly, make mistakes, and try again. The Variations and Learning Notes are here for you if you want to dive deeper, but not all of them apply to learners of every age. The most important thing is to have fun.

Variations d

Kangaroo Court:

What if someone forgets to follow a rule? Whichever player first notices this violation of kangaroo law gets to be the new kanga-ruler!

Let Rules Accumulate:

For example, first hopping on one foot, then hopping on one foot and clapping, then hopping on one foot, clapping, and going backwards from 30. Good luck!

Joeys:

Open the game to anyone old enough to jump by pointing your toe to their next number and/or saying the number for them.

Classroom Tips d

Take the class outside for some Kanga-Ruler, and practice skip-counting, or learn to recognize prime and composite numbers. Let groups of 3-5 draw their own number paths.

Discussion Questions

  • After they roll, but before they hop: Do you think you'll land on the scepter?
  • What numbers are hopped on the most? The least? Why?
  • What is the probability you will hop on the 10 on your next turn? (see Learning Notes)
  • Can you roll different numbers than a classmate and still land on some of the same numbers?

Alignment with Beast Academy Curriculum

  • Level 2, Chapter 2: Comparing
  • Level 3, Chapter 2: Skip-Counting
  • Level 4, Chapter 7: Factors
  • Level 4: Chapter 12: Probability

See Variations and Learning Notes for more ideas on how to adapt this activity and incorporate it into your classroom.

Learning Notes d

Ask Questions:

After your child rolls their number, ask them if they think they'll land on the scepter. Or, when they reach the end of the path, ask them what number they'd hop on next if they kept going.

Prime and Composite Numbers:

Ask kids to think about which numbers they might place their scepter on in order to maximize the time their rule will be in effect. One way to think about this is to draw out a number line.

Number line from 0 to 30

For a few rounds, keep track of which numbers are hopped on each time by drawing a dot under the number. After a while, it will become clear that numbers like 12 get hopped on a lot, but numbers like 11 get hopped on less frequently.

This is because 1, 2, 3, and 4 are all factors of 12 (numbers that 12 can be divided by with no remainder). (6 and 12 are also factors of 12, but these don't matter in this game.) If you roll any of these numbers, you'll hop on 12. A number like 11, on the other hand, only has two factors: 1 and 11. Of course you can't roll an 11, so the only way to hop on 11 is to roll a 1.

Numbers like 11, with only two factors, are called prime. Prime numbers won't get hopped on as often. The other prime numbers on this number line are 2, 3, 5, 7, 13, 17, 19, 23, and 29. (1 isn't considered prime because it doesn't have two factors. It's only got a single factor: 1.)

Numbers like 12, with more factors, are called composite. They'll get hopped on more frequently, so placing the scepter here means it's more likely your rule will be overridden by the next Kanga-Ruler sooner!

Probability:

If the token is placed on 10, what is the probability the next player will become the Kanga-Ruler? What about 12? What about 17? Kids will need to consider that 6 automatically results in a new Kanga-Ruler.

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Materials
  • sidewalk chalk
Learning Goals
  • counting
  • skip-counting
  • multiples
  • probability
Common Core Standards
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Ready to level up?

Keep problem solving with Beast Academy’s full math curriculum for students ages 7–13. Check out our captivating comic book series and immersive online platform.

LEARN MORE

Bring problem-solving to your classroom

Keep your entire class engaged with a full book and online math curriculum, for students ages 7–13. 98% of teachers say they’re satisfied with Beast Academy.

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Image of a BA book