Talking probability with kids

My younger son has made up an elaborate dice game involving battling armies of eraser heads. He tried to explain it to me, but . . . .


I used his enthusiasm for his gave as motivation for a short project tonight. Instead of his game, though, I thought up a game that I could understand 🙂 The game works likes this:

You have 6 players in 6 slots. During each turn you roll a single 6 sided die. A player is removed if the number in their slot comes up.

Question 1: How many rolls do you think it will take until every player has been removed?

Question 2: Are any of the spots more or less likely to contain the last player standing?

Here are his thoughts on the two questions – it is fun to hear what a 4th grader thinks about probability:


Next we played the game twice to see what would happen. His guess of 12 turns wasn’t too bad 🙂


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