Home Activities: Moving the Tower


April 13, 2020 · Family Today ·

Home Activities: Moving the Tower

Today’s Family continues to support our families. Home Activities is a new blog series where we share activities and games to keep bodies and brains active while we all practice safe Social Distancing. Just as we’re sharing these thoughts with you, please share these ideas with your family and friends through social media. 

Today’s Home Activity: Moving the Tower

Ages: 7 and up

This activity is based on an old mathematical problem from the 1800’s. Start with three pieces of paper spread out on the ground (if you don’t have paper, just make sure the three areas are clearly defined). Make a pile of objects on one paper, sorted by size, with the largest on the bottom and the smallest on the top. Books are perfect for this activity, as they come in many sizes and also stack really well.

The goal is to move the pile from one area to another, with a couple rules:

  • You can only move one object at a time
  • Only the top object can be moved – no slipping out middle pieces!
  • Objects can only be put onto an empty space and can only be put on top of objects that are bigger than they are. No piling things on top of the smallest piece!

Start with an easy pile of four objects. Then, after that puzzle has been solved, add more pieces so you have a pile of five, six, or seven objects! This puzzle does get exponentially more difficult with each extra piece added, so work your way up, or challenge your child to solve the problem in fewer moves, if possible.

We warn you: this one can be a pretty difficult puzzle to solve. If you’re having trouble finding a solution, try googling the “Tower of Hanoi” for answers and strategies.

Why we love it: Like all puzzles, this activity is great at teaching the ideas of patience and persistence. Encourage your child to not give up and to stick with the challenge until they have an answer.


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