Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Extended Math Fact Jack & the Beanstalk Game

Fee Fi Foe Fum, let's have some math fun!!

My son's 3rd grade class has been working on extended facts (e.g. 3 x 3 is 9 so 3 x 30 is 90, 3 x 300 is 900, 30 x 30 is 900, etc.). They've also been writing their own fairy tales.

To expand on what he's been learning at school, I made a fun fairy tale-inspired math facts game for him.

Want to make this game too?

What you Need

  • 8 pages of white cardstock (or 6 pages of cardstock and 2 plain office paper)
  • Beanstalk game board and extended facts playing cards (download the free PDF from Google Drive here)
  • Paper trimmer or scissors
  • tape
  • small figure (aka "Jack") or bean to use as a game piece (we used a LEGO minifigure)

Print the PDF. I printed two copies of the playing cards on page 7. If your cardstock is in limited supply, use 6 sheets for the playing cards and print the beanstalk game board on plain office paper.

Tape the game board together and cut the cards apart. Voila! It's all ready for your child to play.

Before we played, my son watched a short online video that told the story of Jack & the Beanstalk.

How to Play
This is a 1-person game, but participation from an adult or older sibling is required to verify the answers are correct.

The objective is to see how fast the child can help Jack get to the top of the beanstalk. He or she will have to solve the extended fact math problems to help him advance up the tall vine.

Play is simple. The cards are shuffled and placed face down by the board. The child draws, answers, and if correct, "climbs" up the vine, by moving their game piece the number of zeroes in the answer. For example, if my son drew 30 x 30, he answered 900 and moved two spaces up the beanstalk. If the problem was 30 x 3, he answered 90 and only moved one space up.

Watch out, though! Jack can slip back down. If the player draws the "Oh no! Jack slipped back" card, they must retreat the number of spaces indicated inside the leaf on the card.

This is a simple game. Sometimes those are the best.

I kept the beanstalk generic so kids can use it to practice any number of skills. I'm planning to practice letter recognition with my preschooler using the same board. If you think of other clever ways to use it, please share!


  1. Super idea. My daughter has just graduated to division but it will be so useful to keep the multiplication skills tuned!!
    PS : Please do turn off word verification but enable comment moderation to prevent spam.
    Dr Sonia

  2. This is fun! I'll have to print it out for my kids.

  3. So cool! Thank you so much. :)

  4. It's an awesome idea, I've made addition and reading cards instead for my 5year old, THNAKS A LOT :)