Making Math Fun For Kids – Part 3: Battleship

Last time, I talked about using a classic board game to reignite the passion for math in your kids. Now I shall offer you yet another example. It’s a household name for generations, one that you might know as…. Battleship!

Battleship Math


Aside from teaching your kids geography and the basic foundation of coordinate-reading on a map, Battleship is yet another classic board game that could be utilized for math education purposes.

I’ve included an image sample of a printable Battleship 10×10 grid above, but if you would like a larger-sized grid, you could find the original copy at Mistral Spirit: https://mistralspirit.com/2018/04/05/printable-battleship-math-game-for-learning-multiplication/) Ideally, you would also need two pieces of plastic sheet protectors to insert the printable grids so you could draw the ships on the plastic sheet instead and reuse the grids in the future. Naturally, two whiteboard markers would also be needed for said drawing.

But once again, if you don’t own a printer or would like to save up on those printer inks, then simply draw a 10×10 grid on two pieces of paper with a pencil, write a numerical sequence (from 1 to 10) along the top and left side of the grid and sketch out the ships on both grids. Cheap and easy once again!

How to Play

The goal of the game is to sink all the opponent’s ships before he does the same to you. After drawing out five ships of various sizes on both grids (placing them either in a horizontal or vertical direction), each player takes turns to call out different grid coordinates (i.e.: 5-10). If a ship Player A has drawn is at the coordinates that Player B has called out, then Player A must reply with “Hit” and mark an X on the square the ship is on; if there are no ships located at the coordinates, Player A simply replies with “Miss”. Player B will then proceed to take his turn and call out another set of coordinates. If any of the player’s ship has been entirely marked with X, then the player must say, “You sunk my battleship!”

To add a mathematical aspect to the game is easy. Each player simply has to multiply the two numbers in the coordinates they want to call out. In addition to calling out the coordinates, they have to also call out the multiplication answer. For example, if I want to call out 5-10, I’ll have to multiply 5 by 10, which is 50. And rather than just saying “5-10”, I’ll have to say, “5-10, 50” instead.

Using such a method to play Battleship would not only spark a further interest in math for your child, but also increase the challenge of the game. Such an increased challenge would surely fire up your child’s competitive spirit as well, making him even more enthusiastic in playing and winning more matches of Battleship Math!

Next time, I shall touch on a variation of a well-known math game, Sudoku. Until then, have fun sinking battleships!

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