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Speed

A variation on the classic game that'll have you and your opponent adding and subtracting 10.

Ages: 5+
Players: 2
Time: Under 10 Minutes
Type: number games
Location: tabletop
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Ages: 5+
Players: 2
Time: Under 10 Minutes
Type: number games
Location: tabletop

Instructions

This game uses your 0-20 Deck from the Number Deck activity. (Or see Variations below.) Start by shuffling your deck well. (The game works much better when the deck is really shuffled.) Place 6 cards face up between players. Then split the rest of the deck evenly, dealing each player a stack of face-down cards that will be their draw pile.

6 cards set out between players
Place 6 face-up cards in the middle. The rest of the deck is divided into two draw piles.

To start, each player draws 5 cards from their draw pile. Then players both play at the same time, placing cards from their hand face-up onto the 6 piles in the middle. Don't take turns. This game is about who is fastest!

Players putting down cards at the same time
Both players can put down cards at the same time.

To put down a card, it must be 1 more, 1 less, 10 more, or 10 less than the card you put it on top of. For example, if there is a 3 showing in one of the middle piles, you could place a 4 (1 more than 3), a 2 (1 less than 3), or a 13 (10 more than 3) on top of it. 10 less than 3 is a number less than 0 (a negative number), so unless you have a really special deck, you won't need to worry about that in this game.

One more example: If a 12 is in the middle pile, you could place a 13 (1 more than 12), an 11 (1 less than 12), or a 2 (10 less than 12). 10 more than 12 is 22, but the deck only goes to 20. You can see that for most cards in the middle pile, there are 3 possible cards that can be placed on top.

As you place cards in the middle piles, refill your hand of 5 cards from your draw pile. Make sure you never have more than 5 cards at a time (but it's okay to have fewer than 5 as you play).

The player who gets rid of all of the cards in their draw pile first wins.

Sometimes, both players will get "stuck" at the same time—not able to put down any of the cards in their hand. When this happens, both players put the 5 cards in their hand at the bottom of their draw pile, then draw a completely new 5-card hand from the top of their draw pile.

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

Slow:

A few variations are possible for younger players. Instead of playing simultaneously, take turns. This will result in a lot of skipped turns when a player is "stuck" and has no cards to put down, but it will give young players a chance to look carefully for any opportunities to put down a card. You can also play with both players leaving their hands face up, so you can help your child notice plays they missed.

Two Speedy:

Practice adding and subtracting 2 (instead of 10). In this version, players can put down cards that are 1 more, 1 less, 2 more, or 2 less than the card beneath (not 10 more or 10 less).

Deck Alternatives:

Instead of making a 0-20 Deck, you can print one (in color or in black and white), or you can buy this one we found. It's for classroom use, so it comes with 6 full decks of cards. Any one suit from a single deck would work for our games. The downside is it won't be your own one-of-a-kind creation. The upside is it'll be easier to shuffle.

Classroom Tips d

Play Speed to practice addition and subtraction or place value. (Be sure to see the option to purchase a class set of 0-20 decks in Variations below.)

Discussion Questions

  • Which card has the most options to play on top?
  • Which cards have the fewest options to play on top?
  • What do you notice about numbers that have a difference of 10?
  • What variations can you think of?

Alignment with Beast Academy Curriculum

  • Level 2, Chapter 1: Place Value
  • Level 2, Chapter 2: Comparing

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

Learning Notes d

Place Value:

Don't let all the fun fool you! This game helps young players practice adding and subtracting 10. This is a great opportunity to talk about place value (without necessarily using that term). Consider "17," for example. The "1" means "1 ten" and the "7" means "7 ones." So when helping a child think through 17-10, say something like: "Hmmm, 17 means 1 ten and 7 ones. So if we take away 1 ten from that, we'll have no tens and 7 ones. What would that leave us?" Similarly, a single-digit number like "4" means "no tens, and 4 ones." If we add 1 to that, we have "no tens, and 5 ones." Or, if we add 10, we have "1 ten and 4 ones," which we write as "14." The important thing isn't to be technical, but to emphasize groups of tens and ones.

Analyzing the Game:

As we saw in the examples in the instructions, above, most cards in the middle pile have 3 cards that can be put down on top of them. Ask kids if they can figure out which 2 cards in the deck have only 2 cards that can be put down on top of them. (The answer is 0, which can only take a 1 or 10, and 20, which can only take a 19 or 10.) Also ask which card can have 4 cards placed on top. (The answer is 10, which can take 11, 9, 20, and 0.)

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Materials
Learning Goals
  • addition
  • subtraction
  • place value
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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.

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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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