From   “Turn Unwanted Household Items Into Mathworks”-Margo’s Math and More

Activity 2     Sink the Ship multiplication game you can easily make at home.



                                                                              ©2013Margos Math and More


Materials : clothes hanger with 2 clips; 12-18”ruler,paint stick stirrer,or cardboard dowel from paper towels,wrapping paper,shelf paper,etc.; brad fastener, s-hook, or a large picture wall hook that will allow the clothes hanger to tilt freely; cardboard box about the size of a small shoebox, about 2-3” deep; sturdy paper such as oaktag or thin cardboard(less than 1 sheet);colored paper such as construction paper; tape (I like packing tape because it sticks really good), 3x5 index cards or cardstock, scissors, exacto knife or utility knife.

1.The box and hanger support.  If your box is more than 3” deep, trim the sides. Turn the box upside down. Cover the box with blue paper or paint it blue; you can cut out some waves and attach them to the front, as I did.

Depending on what “pole” you choose to support  the hangar from (ruler, paintstick, or cardboard dowel), make a slit or other opening (to fit the “pole”) in the middle of the box’s surface. For the sake of simplicity, we will use the example of the “ruler” as the support. Insert the ruler into the slit. If the ruler tends to shift toward the front or back, brace it with heavy paper triangular “buttresses”. I used a blue file folder, cut out 2 one by eight inch strips, folded them into 2 triangles, and attached one at the bottom front of the ruler and the surface of the box, and the other was attached to the bottom back of the ruler and the surface of the box. (see photo) I attached these triangles with clear mailing tape.

2. “Hook” for hanger to suspend from. Many rulers, such as the one I used, have pre-made holes in them. I inserted a large brad  fastener through the topmost hole and secured it. Be sure to leave enough space between the ruler and brad head so that the clothes hanger can swing freely. Other things that work to suspend the hanger from are S-hooks and picture wall hooks (see photo of shelf paper dowel with picture wall hook).

3. Playing cards.(the “ships”) I chose the 7x table, facts 0-9. Each fact can be written on a 3x5 index card. I used a Word program, printed out the facts, and taped them onto 3x5 index cards. There are 10 cards—each card has a red dot in the exact top middle of the card. This dot shows where to clip the card onto the hanger during play. Use only one times table at a time and maybe have some duplicates of the harder facts in this table. Keep the number of cards even---10,12,14,16.

4. Check Chart- The multiplication facts, with the answers, are written on a paper.Each player should write one out and refer to it during the game to check answers.Write only the facts that are being used in the game. Always keep face down except when checking answers.

5. You may want the student to make the multiplication cards or even construct the whole game! What better way to learn the facts than to make your own learning tool. They will take “ownership” for it.

How to Play: Untimed. 2 players. Each player chooses a side/clip of the hanger to be “theirs”. Place the index cards, fact side down, in a pile which can easily be reached by the players. The players take turns. During a turn, the player takes the top card, reads the multiplication fact, and gives the answer.Once the final answer is given, it is compared to the facts written in the Check Chart for accuracy. If the player said the fact correctly, he/she clips the card to their opponent’s side of the hanger. If the player’s answer was incorrect, he/she must must clip the card to their own side of the hanger. Continue playing this way until all cards have been used. Winner has the side of the hanger that is tilted up (afloat)with the least amount of cards on the clip. They have “sunken” their opponent’s ship which is the side of the hanger that is tilted down, with more cards clipped.

*Once the players start to get really familiar with these facts, you may want to time each turn to facilitate more rapid recall. 

*This game works well with spelling words as well.

©2013Margo’s Math and More

 For more practice with the multiplication facts, try this free game offered at my TpT store. Just click on the link below!!


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