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A resource center for teachers to enhance learning through integrating movement, exploration and mindfulness into classroom lessons. Many of the activities can be adapted to be used on a playground, at home, in the boardroom and beyond.

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Fast Hands

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Short description of the activity: Players race to count how many fingers are shown on their hands.
Type of activity: Content Connection; Energizer; Team Building
Minimum Time Needed for Activity: 5 Min
Grade Level: K – 12th
Subject Area: Math


  • None

Set up:

  1. Divide the group into pairs.


  1. Players in each pair face each other with hands behind their back.
  2. On the signal, each player puts one hand out between them with some, none or all fingers extended (play is visually similar to Rock-Paper-Scissors).
  3. First player who can add the shown fingers on both hands correctly wins that round


  • Use subtraction where the lower number is always subtracted from the higher.
  • Use multiplication rather than addition. 
  • Each player uses two hands.
  • Divide players into teams of two, where each person only shows one hand. Teams play against other teams of two (so that four hands are shown altogether).
    • The team that adds the total first wins that round.
    • Teams can strategize what they will put out so that they do not have to calculate how many fingers they are displaying, they only need to calculate the other team’s.
    • Team play using subtraction or multiplication. 
      • The sum of Team A’s hands are subtracted from/multiplied by the sum of Team B’s hands.
  • Team play where all eight hands are shown. Use addition or subtraction.
    • Use a white board for multiplication
  • Any variation used in Rock-Paper-Scissors games.
  • Use this to divide the group into two random, equal teams. Have Winners pair off and Did-not-winners Pair off and play again to divide into four random, equal groups.


Math > Operations & Algebraic Thinking > Add and Subtract within 20; Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction; Represent and solve problems involving multiplication and division.


P.E. Standards> Standard 4E/M: The physically literate individual exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others.

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