NRICH: Pass the Peas, Please

Practise your addition and subtraction with the aid of a game board and some dried peas!

Age 5 to 7

A game for 2 or more players.

You will need:

  • A plastic cup
  • Some dried peas or counters (two for each player)
  • A game board
  • Paper and a pencil each for calculating and recording scores

To play:
Each player needs a copy of the game board below (you can download oneĀ here):

All players begin by writing 50 on their score sheets.
The first player puts two dried peas into a plastic cup.
They toss the peas onto the game board, and add the two numbers that the peas land on.
They then take this sum away from 50 and write down the answer on their score sheet.
The next player takes a turn.
After the first turn, the players start with the new number written on their score sheet and take the sum of the numbers away from that, rather than from 50.To win:
The first player to reach zero wins.

What if…?
Once you’ve played a few times, try changing the game!
Can you change the number of peas?
Can you change the starting number?
What could you do with the two numbers instead of adding them?
How could you change the board?

What happens when you change the rules?

Addition & Subtraction

What are you looking for?


NRICH (University of Cambridge)

Website URL

Type of Resource

Board/Card Game
Group Game
PDF File

Assigned Categories

Description of PDF

Game board.