Shut the Box: Today's STEM Play of the Day

May 06, 2020

In today’s STEM Play of the Day  from the Ripken Playbook, you will learn how to play Shut the Box -- a fun and easy math game to help you sharpen your addition skills!

Check out this video to learn how to play Shut the Box!

Objective: To flip over every card. Or, if this is not possible, to have the lowest remaining score.


  • Playing cards 1-9 or pieces of paper labeled 1-9
  • A pair of dice (you can find dice on an app/online, too )


  • Set-up the game by arranging the cards numerically, 1-9, in a line, face up(suits do not matter).
  • Roll both dice and add the two, face-up values.  
  • Now, flip over the card or cards, which when added together, equal the sum of both dice.
    • For example, if you roll a total of 9, you could flip over any of the following cards:
      • 5 and 4
      • 6 and 3
      • 7 and 2
      • 8 and 1
      • 9
    • You can only flip over one combination per roll.
  • Continue rolling until no cards remain which equal the sum of the dice.
  • Your final score is the sum of the remaining cards showing.

If you’re playing against someone, players will play one at a time. After each player has played, the player with the lowest remaining score wins!

If you’re playing solo, keep playing until you are able to flip over all your cards!

Share with us your most interesting moves!

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