Friday, March 18, 2016

Oh Nuts! - a game for any skill

OH NUTS! is an exciting way to play and learn at the same time.

First a gameboard is needed. We have used several different versions of this. In the classroom, I drew two paths along the blackboard. They each had the same number of spaces. At home, we have made a cute board on a file folder, with only one path. We have also played this outdoors with spaces drawn on the blacktop and children used as playing pieces.

A deck of cards is the next thing that is needed. After deciding what skill is to be drilled, make a deck of about 50 or more cards asking questions, or showing the skill (clocks to tell the time, math facts to give the answer, coins to count, etc....) The deck of cards also needs OH NUTS! Cards. I usually have about 1/3 of the cards be OH NUTS! Cards. For these I have drawn a peanut and written the words OH NUTS! below it.

To Play:

A player draws a card and answers the question or solves the problem. If correct, he moves his game piece one space. Then he can decide if he wishes to go again. A player may keep moving one space for each correct response he gives. However, if he gives an incorrect answer or draws an OH NUTS! Card he must return to the place where this turn began (which we indicate with a penny on a file folder or a stone on the blacktop). Play continues until one player or team gets their game piece to the end of the path.


This was a favorite way to drill things in our classroom. I had OH NUTS! Cards for numerous skills. One day I announced that we would play Capitalization OH NUTS! after recess. I drew the path on the blackboard as soon as the children left the room for their break. I knew that the children would probably choose to play girls against the boys. After I took a short break, I went to call the children in. They were all extra excited about coming in and could not wait to begin the game.

While I had a great group of kids and they were usually cooperative, I should have expected something was up as they were TOO cooperative this day. They came in and immediately began lining up for the game, obviously having already decided it would be girls against the boys. Then they girls said, "the boys can go first." NOW I should really have gotten suspicious, but I didn't YET.

Matthew was first in line on the boys team, so I read the sentence on the first card, after Matt drew it. He decided that it needed three capitals to be correct. I said he was right, so one of the boys moved their game piece ahead three spaces. I asked Matt if he wished to go again and he did. Right, again and more spaces moved. He kept choosing to go again, even though I reminded him of the danger and chance that the next card could be an OH NUTS! Card. But he continued. By this time, I was getting suspicious, especially as all the class seemed to be trying to keep from laughing, and I had also noticed that Matt's mom, the principal of our little school, was watching the game from the doorway.

Matt continued until he had completed the path and the whole class exploded in seems the joke was on ME. With the help of Matt's mom, they had sneaked in during recess, and removed all the OH NUTS! Cards from the deck. While I had caught on to what was going on, I gave no clue that I had.

We all had a good laugh and often in the following years they would remind me of the good joke they had pulled on me. 

 Check out A Cooperative Version of OH NUTS!

and OH NUTS! Deluxe

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