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How to Make a Board and Play the Math Game SHUT THE BOX by Mila Age 7 (Scroll down to see the video)

Updated: May 17, 2023



In the beginning of working with Maya, I thought it was going to be like having a regular math teacher, and I didn’t think it was going to be fun. But we ended up doing fun things. In the middle of the year, we started making a book with math in it, which was cool, and by the end of the year, I got more of an open mind about math and other things in life.

When I first learned the Shut the Box game, I thought, “Why don’t we make a harder version with a bigger board?” That’s when I made the 20 board and then the 40 board. I also got the idea to add other kinds of math like subtraction and multiplication. You can see the video we made here.


Instructions for My Version of Shut the Box Math Game



What you need:


20 board or less:

3 dice

Tiny weights to hold down the flaps

Shut the Box Board


40 board:

One 20-sided die and 2 6-sides dice


To prepare:

Fold the paper flaps open so all the numbers are showing.


To play:

Player 1 rolls 3 dice and adds up the numbers.


You can use addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division to make an equation to hit your target number. For example, if you roll 15, try to find an equation that equals to 15.


Once you hit your target number, cover the numbers up on your board that you used in your equation. You can use as many numbers as you want as long as the final answer equals your target number.


Keep a running record and write down the target number and equation you make.


Player 1 keeps taking turns until they can’t make an equation to get to the target number.


Then Player 2 plays at the same time and does the exact same thing.


Whoever covers the highest amount wins. To count your score, add the numbers that are showing. Whoever has the lowest number wins!





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