A card game for 2-4 young mathematicians.
There are 52 cards, and 3 “wild” cards if you choose to use them. Shuffle the cards and deal each player 5 cards. Younger players may wish to lay their cards down on the table so that other players can see and assist. Place the remaining cards in a “draw” pile off to the side or in the center of the players.
The youngest player goes first. He tries to make 13 witches in any way possible. He might look for a combination to make 10 or 11 and then add a few more. If he spots a combination, he says, “9 + 1 + 3 is 13” and shows the other players. If they agree, he may put the cards in a discard pile and take three more cards to replenish his own hand. Discarded cards are never played again. (They form a coven and do terrible things. It’s best to leave them alone.) Play then continues around the circle with people trying to make 13. If a player cannot make 13, he can ask for help, or he can draw 1 card from the “draw” pile.
When all the cards have been played, the first player to play all cards is the winner. If no one is able to play every card, they all count how many witches they have left in their hands. The player with the fewest witches (because they are nasty, beastly creatures) is the winner.
Making 10 witches is easier for beginners. Teacher side-coaching to make 10 or 11, and then adding a few more is also helpful for beginners.