One game that children seem to love is Trouble. Maybe it’s the sound of the popper dome or the idea of sending your sibling back to their homebase, whatever the reason, it has always been a big hit. Being the creative genius of a homeschool mom that I am (shameless self promoting here), I hear my children playing this classic game and start to wonder “how can I turn this into an educational moment?” After all, that’s what we are supposed to do right?

The lesson that occurred to me was one of probabilities. Sure we can play through an entire game and enjoy ourselves doing it, but in an effort to make every moment count, we are going to learn something other than sportsmanship.

To accomplish this, I walked up to my unsuspecting children and handed them a sheet of paper and told them to write down the number that each player pops. Using this information, we discuss various scenarios and probabilities based on the game as it is in progress. Questions like:

1) What is the probability that you will roll a “6” on your next turn?

2) What is the probability of rolling an even number?

3) What are the odds of you rolling an odd number?

Once the game is over, we discuss ratios and fractions with the data we’ve collected and create graphs and tables.

Of course this course of lesson can be tailored to your child’s age and potential but all in all, it’s a great way to teach without your children realizing it and making that lesson stick that much more. Also creates great photo opps and memories!

~ Khan Academy lesson on Probability