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How to Play the Kaboom Game

My favorite thing about 1st-3rd grade students is that they get so excited about the smallest things. They absolutely love to play games and simply explore with manipulatives. As students grow in their academic journey, one of the best ways to keep them actively engaged is incorporating games into the classroom. Today, I’m sharing all about my favorite Kaboom game. This is THE game that every classroom needs!

This post contains affiliate links. You can see my disclosure here.

Benefits of the Kaboom Game

The best part of the Kaboom game for teachers is how simple it is to set up! All you need to create this game is a set of popsicle sticks, a permanent marker, and a cup.

Another thing I love about this game is that it can be used for multiple subject areas and to practice many concepts for any grade level.

You can use Kaboom to practice math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), doubles/doubles +1 math facts, math facts to 10, math facts to 20, place value, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade sight words, contractions, compound words, prefixes and suffixes, vocabulary, and the list goes on! You can even create differentiated sets to meet the various needs in your classroom.

How to Set Up the Kaboom Game

You’ll need:


  1. Use your marker to color one tip of 20 popsicle sticks.
  2. On the other end of the popsicle stick, write a math fact (sight word, etc). When I make several different sets, I use a different color for each one so they don’t get mixed up.
  3. On 5 sticks, write the word Kaboom!
  4. Place the popsicle sticks in the cup with the colored tip facing up, that way the kids can’t see the math fact or word.
Kaboom popsicle sticks with sight words

How to Play the Kaboom Game

  1. To play Kaboom, first put your students into partners or small groups of 2-3 students.
  2. Have your students play rock, paper, scissors to see who goes first.
  3. The students take turns drawing a stick out of the cup.
  4. They must solve the math fact (read the sight word, etc) shown. Depending on the time of the year and level of the group, students can solve mentally or with manipulatives. If they can solve the math fact (read the sight word, etc) correctly, then they get to keep the stick. If they miss the math fact or word, they have to put it back in the cup. If they draw a Kaboom! stick, they have to put ALL of their sticks back into the cup!
  5. When time is up, the player with the most sticks is the winner!

I love seeing students get so excited about their learning and have fun while they play. There’s nothing quite like the buzz of students in the classroom, laughing and having a blast with their classmates while they learn!

Kids playing Kaboom classroom game

Kaboom is a great time filler game, small group game, or partner game that you can use during your math stations, literacy stations, or word work.

My students always asked to play Kaboom during free time, which was a great way for them to get extra practice on concepts, without even realizing they were learning!

If you’re looking for more fun ways to help your students build math fact fluency, fill out the form below to have 5 FREE math fact games delivered straight to your inbox!

You can check out this blog post to learn more about the importance of building math fact fluency along with some tips for incorporating it into your day.

Learn more about using games like Kaboom in the classroom in my YouTube video below.

I hope your students enjoy playing the Kaboom game as they practice their skills this year!

Be sure to pin the image below so you can come back to this post later.

Kaboom classroom game
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