SAIL: Structured Activities in Intelligent Learning

Richard R. Skemp

March 10, 1919 – June 22, 1995

Home Page | Books | Papers | SAIL | Videos

Crossing | Number Targets | Explorers | Match & Mix | Claim & Explain

Crossing [Num 3.2/4]

A board game for 2 or 3 children. Its purpose is to consolidate the ability to predict the results of actions which involve 'putting more,' by adding numbers mentally. Crossing requires several predictions to be made in order to choose the best action.

*This attractive improvement to the original version of the 'Crossing' game was suggested by Mrs. Mary Hamby of Leegomery County Infant School, Telford. Crossing also appears as NuSp 1.3/3 in 'The number track and the number line' network.


  • Crossing Game Board (provided in the photomasters, SAIL 1a; here reproduced following What they do and Variation).
  • 3 markers for each player, a different kind or colour for each player.
  • Die 1-6 and shaker.

What they do:

1. The blank squares on the board represent paving stones. Some of these have been removed to allow flowers to grow. The object is to get across the board from START to FINISH, treading only on the paving stones and not on the flowers.

2. Each player starts with all 3 markers off the board, at the START.

3. Players throw the die in turn. The number thrown shows how many steps they may take. This means that from START, they may put a marker on the board at the square with that number; and from a square on the board, they may move one of their markers forward that number of squares.

4. They may move whichever of their markers they like. When starting, they may choose any vacant track. After that, they must keep moving straight forward along the same track.

5. They may not land on a square marked with a flower. Players may move their markers over them normally, but if they make a move which stops on a square with a flower, that marker must go back to the start.

6. If they touch a marker they must move it if they can, or go back to the START if they cannot. This rule may be relaxed when learning.

7. The exact number must be thrown to finish. The first player to get all his markers to FINISH is the winner, but the others may continue playing until all are across.

Variation: Players learning the game may start with just 2 markers.




Crossing Game Board

© Richard R. Skemp, 1993. SAIL through Mathematics, Volume 1.