| |

Homemade Pick-Up Sticks Math Game

This post may contain affiliate links.

I have always loved the game Pick-Up Sticks. I remember playing it as a kid many times. Today I have a fun twist on it: a Pick-Up Sticks Math game! <3  For the sticks, we used colored paper straws and my kids LOVED it. If you want to try making the sticks another way, check out my Gratitude Game post where we painted chopsticks to make another kind of pick-up sticks game.

Pick-up Sticks Math

We have a big pack  of these fun colored straws and I knew there was another fun thing we could do with them. As I was preparing to make this game, I was planning to paint some more chopsticks, but then I saw these little gems!  I realized it made my life 100x easier and they are so fun and colorful!  My daughter loved this idea even more than using the sticks!

math play- pick-up sticks math game

I assigned each color a point value, just like the original pick-up sticks game. I made a printable score sheet with each color of the rainbow and pink, too. We do not have orange straws, but I added them to the score sheet so you could use them if you want. Or, choose your own colors and point values! If you have the regular pick-up sticks game, you can play it the same way.

pick-up sticks math score sheet

How To Play the Pick-up Sticks Math Game:

Hold all of the sticks/straws in your hand and let them randomly fall down. These straws roll a lot, so I pick up the stray ones and add them back to the pile. Take turns picking one stick at a time. The object is to remove a stick without moving any of the other sticks around it. If you move it, you do not get the stick and pass your turn on to the next person. It teaches kids to be slow and steady!

pick-up sticks math game

The fun things about this game is that it is not as much about how many sticks you get as it is about getting the ones with higher point values. Once all of the sticks are gone, total up your point values. This is where the math comes in. If multiplication is too tricky for your littler ones, you can add the numbers up  instead.

Want to Download the Pick-up Sticks Math Score Sheet?

You can download the score sheet free now!



This is part of my 5-day series of Hands on Math Games and Activities. Yesterday I shared a Peek-a-Boo Math Game.  See the whole series here.







Similar Posts


  1. I did something like this in 2012. My sheet is in tournament form. Each person played in a group and when the game was over they rotated to another table. Each round the values of the stocks changed eventually the values were in double digits. The student had to compute their total score for the whole tournament. I gave awards based on accuracy.

Leave a Reply