#MathArtChallenge Day 43: Sprouts!

A completed game of sprouts.

The Challenge Game: This one really isn’t a challenge – it’s a sweet game, you should play with whomever you’re sequestered at home with. Or by yourself. I clearly played myself.

Materials Needed: writing utensil, writing surface
Math concepts you could explore with this challenge: graph theory, proportions/ratios, vertices/intersections


  1. Put some dots on the paper.
  2. Draw a line connecting any 2 dots (it can be curvy).
  3. On that line, draw another dot.
  4. It’s now the next person’s turn. They get to do the same.
  5. FYI – You can draw a loop. That’s okay.
  6. NOT okay is having more than 3 lines coming off of any 1 dot.
  7. Last person to draw a line wins.

Depending on how you use this activity, you may engage with different mathematical standards. I’ve listed possible connected math content above. Here are a few suggestions for how you might integrate the 8 mathematical practices. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments! 

2.) Reason abstractly and quantitatively. What is the best strategy for winning this game? Does the first player have an advantage or not?

8.) Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. Does it matter how many dots start the game? What’s the best number to start with if you play first? If you play second?

Author: Ms. P

Math Teacher in Minneapolis, MN.

5 thoughts on “#MathArtChallenge Day 43: Sprouts!”

  1. So many memories of waiting at the bus station with my dad, playing sprouts until it was time to get on the bus back to my mom’s house.


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