Finders Keepers

Type of Activity:  Problem Solving

Source:  Playing With A Full Deck, by Michelle Cummings

Props Needed:  Playing cards

Group Size:  5 or more

Aim of the Game:  The object of the game Finders Keepers is that players take in cards that total a predetermined sum.

Point Value of Cards:

Ace= 1 point

Two through ten equal their face value.

Jack= 11 points

Queen= 12 points

King= 13 points

For younger children, all face cards can equal 10 points.

Setting up the cards:  Lay out all of the cards facedown in 6 rows of 8, with a 7th row of 4 cards.  Establish a starting line about 20 feet away from the cards and ask the group to stand behind the line.

Playing the Game:  Randomly decide who will go first and establish a sequence order of who will follow that will be maintained throughout the game.  The first player names a number between 2 and 26 and then turns up any two cards.  If the cards total that number, he takes in both cards.  If not, he leaves one card faceup and turns the other over again in its original place.

The next player then turns up two cards and sees if he can make the predetermined sum with two or more of the faceup cards.  If he is successful, he takes in the cards.  If not, he leaves one faceup and turns over the other(s).

When a player succeeds in making the total, he chooses the next number that will be the sum the players try to make.  The activity is finished when all the cards are turned up.

Tips for Good Play:  Try to remember the value and location of some of the cards that have been turned over and replaced.  Knowing where a particular number is located allows a player to go directly to the card needed to complete a total.  Before returning to the group, participants should think carefully about which card they will leave faceup.  They may be able to make it easier for the next player to get the cards that will equal the total he is after.

Learning Skills:  Addition, visual-spatial concepts.

Debriefing Topics:

  • How did your group strategize before sending a member out to the cards?
  • What was difficult about this activity for you?
  • How did the group communicate?
  • Were all of the ideas heard?

Learning styles utilized from the 7 Kinds of Smart:  ~logic smart, picture smart, body smart

Purchase from the Training Wheels store:  Playing With a Full Deck, Jumbo Playing Cards, Colossal Playing Cards, Mini Playing Cards, Round Playing Cards

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