How to play “Sticks” – A Finger Counting Game for Kids
Aidan is in school for the first time this semester, and he brought home this simple game that he learned from his friends and taught it to his brothers. At first, my husband and I didn’t really get it… But the boys all think it’s great! They have played rounds and rounds of this game, and the best part is that our 5 year old thinks it’s as fun as our 11 year old.
The rules of the game are very simple.
1. Everyone starts with one finger out on each hand.
2. The players take turns tapping hands. The number of fingers out on your hand is the number of fingers that the other player must put out on the hand that you tapped. So, if your opponent taps your hand with three fingers out on their hand and you have one finger out, you add three fingers for a total of four fingers out.
3. If after being tapped you have to add so many fingers that your total is now over 5, put out the number of fingers past 5.
Example: You have three fingers out. Your opponent taps that hand with three fingers. You now have 1 finger out. (3 + 3 = 6, 6 is 1 past 5.)
4. If you end up with exactly five fingers out on one hand, that hand is “out.”
5. You win by getting both of your opponent’s hands out!
Player 1 taps player 2’s right hand with one finger out. Player 2 now has two fingers out.
Player 2 taps Player 1’s right hand with two fingers out. Player 1 now has 3 fingers out on his right hand.
Player 1’s turn. He taps Player 2’s right hand with three fingers out. That makes five, and Player 2’s right hand is now OUT!
Play continues until one player loses both hands.
There is definitely a finite number of moves in this game, but the boys love it just the same! Have you heard of sticks? Is it popular where you live?