Games of Chance and Brains

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In this activity, learners build and play three math games. In the first game, called "Switcheroo," learners place marbles in holes 1 through 4 and 7 through 10. The goal is to change the marbles' places (right four to the left, left four to the right), with only restricted options (hints are included). Next, learners create two spinners to use in addition to the marble board for the games "Gambler" and "Finish Line." In "Gambler," learners spin the spinners, add the numbers, and place marbles in any two holes that add up to that number. In "Finish Line," learners compete against each other by flicking both spinners and trying to make a particular value by adding, subtract, multiplying, or dividing the numbers on the spinners. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Game, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • Wood base for spinner
  • 1 x 2 wood for marbles, at least 10" long
  • 2 Popsicle sticks
  • 2 Washers, #6
  • 2 Pushpins
  • Cups for circles
  • Template for holes
  • 8 Marbles, cat eye
  • 4 Marbles, solid
  • Small bags for marbles
  • Drill
  • Drill platform
  • Large drill bit, around 1/2"
  • Nail bit, small
  • Clamps
  • Wood saws
  • Markers


  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Equations and Inequalities
      • Patterns
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Probability
    • Number and Operations
      • Multiples and Factors
      • Operations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving

Informal Categories

  • Games
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop


  • All rights reserved, Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop, 2011