Tumbling Monkeys in the Classroom


Have you ever played kerplunk? It’s a great game where the object of the game is to skillfully remove the sticks from the tube while dropping the fewest marbles possible. The translucent tube stands upright on a base that contains four separate numbered trays. The winner has the fewest marbles fall. Tumbling Monkeys is very similar, but the monkeys have small tails that can hook on the various sticks and who is having the fewest monkeys to win can change very quickly. Both games teach strategy but they also can teach much, much more.

  1. img_6272The game comes with 30 monkeys, a great way to teach some great math skills is to set up a normal game of three or four. From there play the game like normal, once it’s over, have your students see what difference is between all players. How more or less does one have compared to the other? For older students, this is a great way to teach fractions. If a player has eight monkeys, what is the fraction of that? You can even teach basic reduction this way as a player with 8/30 can reduce to 4/15 of the total monkeys.
  2. img_6276You can use the colored sticks as number frames. Green can represent addition, orange can be subtraction and pink can be multiplication. You can even do different groupings with the various color sticks for counting with younger and older students. It’s a great way to gamify your classroom with math skills.
  3. img_6271Final way is just use the color di. Every time a player rolls a color, they have to pull a stick with that color. If they roll a color and that color stick is out, then their turn is skipped. You can create a ratio using the color di for Tumbling monkeys. How many times did green come up? How many times did pink come up when they were all used up. What sticks were left over when all the monkeys fell?

This is just a few ways you can use gamification with a game like Tumbling Monkeys or Kerplunk in your classroom. Give it a try today.


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