Which One Doesn’t Belong? Cards

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Ready for an addictively fun brain game for kids?! This critical thinking activity is an easy way to apply countless math skills including place value, shape recognition, comparison, addition, telling time, math vocabulary and so. much. more.

Which One Doesn’t Belong? is an awesome math challenge for first or second graders. Be careful! There’s not just one right answer.  For another fun activity that tests your brain, check out our Place Value Cover Up in our shop!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

addictively fun brain game

Getting Ready

To prepare this activity, I simply printed the cards onto cardstock and cut them apart.

Then, I laminated the cards to make them last.  I knew this activity would be a math workstation that my first grade students would want to use over and over again!

Which One Doesn’t Belong? Brain Game

To teach my students how to play, I gathered the group together on our classroom carpet.  I told them that Which One Doesn’t Belong? was an out-of-the-box brain game where a student points out the item she thinks doesn’t belong in a grouping.

I put up an example card with various shapes on it and explained that there were multiple correct answers.  An item could have a different color, size, shape or value that would make it not belong.

I randomly selected a few students and asked them which one they thought didn’t belong and WHY!


Next, I had my students partner up.  I passed out one card to each pairing and I gave them a few minutes to practice talking about what they noticed.

I walked around and loved what I was hearing!  Students caught on quickly and were able to give reasons for their opinions.

Lastly, I had some students share their thinking and then I put all of the cards into a math workstation.  I told my students they could continue to use the cards during math time by partnering up with a friend and asking each other “Which one doesn’t belong?” and “Why?”


I loved getting students thinking about math ideas and math vocabulary with ease.

Grab Your Copy

Ready to download the brain game for your kids?!  Just click the blue button below!  In the mood for another fun activity? Check out our Place Value Cover Up in our shop!

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    1. Hi Heidi,
      When you click the teal “Download Here” button, a pop-up should open. You can try checking to make sure your browser isn’t blocking pop-ups from the site or try using a different browser. Let me know if you’re not able to get the cards!
      Sarah // Playdough to Plato Team

        1. Hi Elizabeth,
          I recommend making sure your browser isn’t blocking the pop-up!
          Sarah // Playdough to Plato Team

          1. Hi there Elizabeth,
            You can try using a different browser like Chrome or Firefox. It’s also possible that if you’re trying to download at school, your district’s web filter is blocking it. If those don’t work, send us an email at hello@playdoughtoplato.com!

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