5 Favorite Math Games

I love using math games in the classroom, especially those that are simple to use, quick to learn and effective. Below I have 5 of my favorites. These have also been favorites with many students over the years.
These math game ideas are also available in a convenient FREE download at Teachers Pay Teachers
  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Games-1842203  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Games-1842203

Higher or Lower

This is a simple game that helps to develop number sense.
It is a ‘Guess my number game’.
First decide the upper and lower limit for the number, i.e. is it between 0 and 100 or 100 and 1000.
One person is IT. This might be the teacher or a student.
IT thinks of a number and writes it down without telling or showing the others.
The other players take turns guessing the number and listening to the clues given by IT.
These clues will only be ‘Higher’ or ‘Lower’.
IT says ‘Higher’ if their number is higher than the guessed number or ‘lower’ if their number is lower than the guessed number. The winner is the person who guesses the number.

Variation - Higher or Lower - Decimals
Played as above but with a decimal number instead.
Decide how many decimal places the number will have before starting, i.e. 1, 2 or 3 decimal places, e.g. Players could be told that the number is between 2 and 4 and has 2 decimal places. (2.56)

Math Hangman

This is a challenging mathematical version of the word game. If you don’t want to use a Hangman, use another simple drawing instead, e.g. a flowerpot or a race car with about 8 parts to the drawing.
This game is played like the word version but uses a numerical equation instead. Draw one dash for every digit and symbol in the equation. The equations can be chosen according to the ability level of the students.
e.g. _ _ _ _ _ _ (5+6=15) or _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (87-25=62)
or more complex equations, e.g. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Players take turns to say a digit or a symbol while the recorder places any correct digits or symbols in the equation. Only one space can be filled in the equation on one turn, e.g. if the equation contains two 7’s only one can be placed in the equation on a turn. The recorder is the winner if the drawing is completed or the player who gives the final digit or symbol is the winner.

Jumbled Operation

Players are shown the digits and signs from an equation in jumbled form, e.g. 1, 3, 6, 7, +, =.
For more complex equations the format of the equation could be shown to them,
e.g. Complete this operation using 1, 3, 5, 5, 6, 8 for _ _ + _ _ = _ _ (86-35=51)
Or use 0, 2, 3, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9 for _ _ _ x _ = _ _ _ _ (782 X 9 = 7,038).
Sometimes there will be several possible answers. The first to solve the equation wins.

Make 20

This is a game for a small group or the whole class can be broken into teams to play. You will need a pack of playing cards with the picture cards removed. Aces are to be 1.

Shuffle the cards and place them in a pile in the center or spread out cards face down. One player chooses three cards and shows them to the other players. Each player tries to use the numbers on the cards to create an equation that equals 20, e.g. 7+8+5=20, 2x8+4=20, 5x5-5=20, (1+3)x5=20.
For each equation that the player creates, they score one point.
Choose another 3 cards for the next round. Play as many rounds as time allows.
For a more complex version play the game using a higher number, e.g. 50 and use 5 cards for each round. Players may use all 5 numbers in their equation or some of the numbers.

Around the World

This old favorite has been used for many years, but students always love the challenge.
Players sit in a circle. (In the classroom students can remain in their seats.)
A player attempts to move all the way around the circle (or classroom) without having to sit down.
One player stands behind another player.
The caller says a fact, e.g. 3X4.
The first player of the pair to say the correct answer then stands behind the next player while the other one sits.
Play for as long as time allows or see if a student can move Around the World (around the circle or around the classroom).
Use this game to review addition, subtraction, multiplication or division facts or other math questions or skills.

Remember you can download the 5 Fun Math Games on printable cards at
I really hope that you enjoy using these games as much as I have!

1 comment:

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