Count 10 Read 10: Random Number Game

Learning math isn’t just about being taught math. It’s about fun, discovery and experimentation. In the Count 10, Read 10! program, parents get to spend 10 minutes a night playing math with their children.

Like many games you’ll find here, this is a version of Calvinball (from Bill Watterson’s Calving & Hobbes cartoon). You and your children make up the rules as you go along or as you see fit.

This is merely a guideline or starting point.

Random Adding


Have fun with numbers, counting and quantities.

Breakable rules:

  1. The leader starts by saying a number.
  2. The next player says “plus” and another number. Then adds them and says the result.
  3. The next player says “plus” and another number. She adds that to the previous result and says the new result.
  4. Play continues until a winner is determined.


Leader: Five!

Player 2: Plus three is eight!

Leader: Plus one is nine!

Player 2: Plus two is eleven!

Leader: WINNER!

End game, and how to choose a winner.

The round ends when the youngest child reaches their limit of counting or adding. The winner is determined by a rule or random choosing. The older the children, the more “real rules” you’ll need to follow.

Possible winning rules:

  • The first person to add up to 10 – or a number designated by the leader at the beginning of the game.
  • The person who noticies that another player is wrong in their calculations (this is perfect for the parent to “test” the kid).
  • At the whim of child or parent.


The point is to have fun with counting and math. As your children grow, you’ll have to adjust the rules to give them more challenge and to fit the “real game” model. Here are some options for variations:

  • Each player can only add a multiple of their age (grownups use one of the digits from their age).
  • Each player can only add a multiple of a roll of a die (get foam dice for bedtime).
  • Subtraction – instead of adding up, start with a higher number and add down.
  • Multiplication – instead of adding, multiply each new number. This one could get “fun” really quick!

Will it work?

All games created at are tested or will be tested on Daughter. The rub is that Daughter is almost 2 – we’ll have to wait a while to do this one. So your input is important.

Will it work? Did it work? Try it and let me know how it goes in the comments, please. Also share your own variations.

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2 Responses to Count 10 Read 10: Random Number Game

  1. I wish I’d thought to have math games with my children when they were little! Oh well, I can experiment on my grandkids when they come along 😉
    Thanks for sharing, Bonnie.

    • They don’t have to be little. Make some crazy adjustments and play with them now. (How old are they?)

      Maybe I should try that out with Husband before recommending it, eh?

      Thanks, Peter!

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