My 12 year old and I have found another game to play together. We’re playing ultimate tic tac toe. There’s probably lots of variations on the rules out there, but the way we are playing it we have three layers of tic tac toe boards, buried within each other.

Once you get the hang of playing with 9 boards you can move to an even larger set up. As in the medium sized game, where you place your mark determines on which board your opponent places his or her mark. However this time you continue to play on one of the nine medium sized boards until someone obtains a line there. Then you pick which medium sized board to play in next based on which small size board the line was in, and you pick the small sized board the person has to play on by looking at where the last mark was played.  So for example, if X had a line as shown in the board below and the blue X was the last X marked, then O would have to make an O somewhere in the area circled, because that is on the bottom middle medium-sized board, and it is the bottom left-hand corner of that medium-sized board.

In the ultimate board you need to win three small games in a line to claim a square of the medium board, and then you need three medium squares in a line to claim a square in the larger board.

The game is super fun. It is great for spatial reasoning and strategy. It is almost a dance, as you send your opponent somewhere in the hopes of forcing him to send you where you want to go.

Try it and see! You can use my pdf if want, or draw up the board on a big piece of graph paper.

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