What is “Don’t Eat Pete?”

Pictured--Dinosaur Colors

If you look through my available products, you’ll notice that many are variations of a game called, “Don’t Eat Pete.”  I love this game because groups of children can play together while studying totally different things.

Here’s a video of Lu playing with the colors game.  (She is talking really loud for the purpose of the video.)  She and her sisters play together.  When it is Lu’s turn, she plays with the early math games.  When it is Boo or Bear’s turn, they play with addition, multiplication, or phonogram boards.

The following instructions are included with each download. (Instructions for non-math versions vary slightly.)

  • This game is meant as a tool for review and motivation.  Before playing the game, students should have already spent some time learning the facts on their game board.  (They don’t need to know them perfectly, but they should have at least been introduced to the facts previously.)
Materials Needed
  • Game board
  • Lots of small objects to use as markers (For classic, “Don’t Eat Pete,” use small candies like M&Ms or Skittles)
Object of the Game
  • To solve as many problems as you can without “EATING PETE!”
How to play
  • Send one player out of the room.
  • The remaining players cover all the pictures with markers and select one picture to be “Pete.”  They invite player back into the room.
  • One at a time, that player lifts a marker and tells the answer to the fact that was underneath.  If he answers correctly, he continues to pick up markers and complete the facts.  Play ends when he gets an answer wrong, or when he selects the marker that was covering “Pete.”  If he selects Pete, the other players yell “Don’t Eat Pete!”
  • The game continues as each player has a turn solving the problems on the game board that fits their *level.

Child Playing Don't Eat Pete

Scoring (Choose one option, or make up your own!)
  • If using candy, raisins, cheerios, etc., players can eat the treat as they play or wait until the end and count their points.
  • If using coins, players can keep track of the amount of money they earn with each game and turn their amount in for real spending money.
  • If you want to have a winner, then each player should keep track of the points they earn with each game.  The player with the most points after each player has had the same number of turns wins.

If you choose to use non-edible objects for markers, you may want to retitle your game, “Don’t Take Jake.”  At my house, however, my kids prefer to yell “Don’t Eat Pete!” regardless of whether or not they actually get to eat anything!

*One of my favorite things about this game is that all of my kids can play together, regardless of their age and what they are learning.  For example, my preschooler might choose to work on colors or numbers, my first grader subtraction facts, and my fourth grader division facts.  (The best part?  They might even learn something from their older sibling’s game board when it isn’t their turn!)

View more ways to play:

If you’d like to download my Don’t Eat Pete games, you’ll find all of my educational games and printables here.

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