Strategy games offer children opportunities to think mathematically, rather than produce specific mathematical results.   We know children learn through different modalities. Play experiences and games help them to relax long enough to understand, figure out the strategy and  respond to the challenge. Children gain and win at times when they might not otherwise feel they can succeed.  Of course, winning is not what’s most important.



Traffic Lights is a fun game that it easy to make.  Draw your game board and gather your colored counters.

3 x 3 squared board
Counters: your game needs about 6 red counters, 6 orange, and 6 green.


>Traffic Lights is for two players.

> At the start of the game the board is empty.

>The players take turns to play.

>When it is your turn to play, you have 3 choices: place a red counter in an empty square, or replace a red counter already on the board with an orange one, or replace an orange counter already on the board with a green one.

>You win by completing a line (row, column, or diagonal) of three counters all the same color.  It doesn’t matter who placed the first counter(s) in the line – it’s the third counter of the line which determines the winner.

After playing several times, the players may enjoy the challenge of Version 2.


 This game modifies your 3×3 board.  Add an additional 3×1 strip placed against one edge, and the board now becomes a 4×3 board.


A Game for Two Players

Make a game board like the one above.
Each player needs two distinctive game pieces.

To play:

Place two game pieces at the top and two at the bottom as shown below.

Take turns to slide one pebble along a line to an empty spot.
The first move will be to the middle.

TO WIN block your opponent so that they cannot move.

Next time you play, swap starting positions on the board with your opponent.