One of the essential mathematical problem-solving skills that we want to help children to develop is that of logical thinking: ‘if this … then that’. Strategy games are a great way for our children to develop this skill in a stimulating environment.

Strategy games are low threshold high ceiling tasks where all children can easily access the game at its basic level and play randomly.  The high ceiling is developing a winning strategy.



Age 5 to 7 

You will need a sheet of squared paper or ‘grid’ paper. One hundred squares (10 by 10) makes a good size game board, but you can use a smaller or larger grid if you prefer.

Two players, using two different colors, take turns to mark a ‘cross-road’ on the grid.  The aim is to make a line of four, across, down or diagonally.

1.  Each ‘cross-road’ can only be used once.
2.  Try to block the other player’s path.
3.  Each time you make a line-of-four draw a line through it so it can be counted as a point.
4.  When all the ‘cross-roads’ have been used, the player with the most points wins.

In the example below, each player has had 10 turns so far. The red player has already scored 2 points, and the blue player has one point.

10 x 10 Grid pdf





You will need some counters or coins for the crocodiles and alligators in this game.

CROCODILES – One player has 9 crocodiles on the spots and crocodiles can move one square at a time in any direction, including horizontally or vertically through the corners of the squares.

ALLIGATORS – The other player has 9 alligators on the stars.  Alligators can move 1 or 2 squares at a time but only parallel to the sides of the squares and not horizontally or vertically through the corners of the squares.



1.  Players take turns moving their pieces and the object of the game is for a player to be the first to get one of his pieces on each of the three islands.

2.  Only one piece is allowed in any square. If one piece lands on another, then the piece landed on is removed.

3.  There is no jumping. These rules apply in the green squares as well.