Math Counts

Roll a Bridge

Ideal for School-Age

Young girl playing with transparent plastic colored shapes that connect to make 3D shapes.

Building helps children learn about physics concepts such as weight and balance through problem-solving. Children also develop spatial awareness skills as they design bridges and try new strategies to improve them. Mathematics skills, such as addition and subtraction, are also built into the gameplay.

Materials Needed:

  • At least 24 blocks or other building materials, such as small boxes, building bricks (e.g. Legos®, Duplos®)
  • Pair of dice or small pieces of paper with the numbers 1-12 written on them

Directions: This activity can be played with multiple players or independently.

  1. Place the blocks or building materials on a flat surface with space for building such as the floor or a low table.
  2. Roll the dice and start building a bridge with that many blocks. If using numbered pieces of paper, shuffle them, and place them in a pile face down; pulling one and then building with that number of blocks.
  3. Continue playing until all of the blocks are used. (If playing with multiple players, take turns rolling a die/choosing a numbered paper and each adding to their bridge until all of the blocks are used.) What is the largest bridge you can build?
  4. Next, roll a die or pull a card and subtract that number of blocks, while still keeping a bridge structure. What is the smallest bridge you can build?

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