Let’s be honest. Among students, math is often the least favorite subject of all. Luckily, kids can improve their skills by playing a number of fun games that are designed to make math more interesting. If you want to introduce your child to the wonderful world of math – and not make the learning process feel like a chore – then check out these popular games.
1. The Rolling Dice Game
This game is all about addition. So, if your child needs a little practice in that area of their math skills, then this is a fun way to polish their skills.
You can print a game sheet to get started or create your own. In the left column, there are numbers ranging from 2 (or 6) going all the way up to 12.
The youngster then rolls two dice. Afterwards, they must add up the numbers that they have rolled. If the sum matches a number in the left column, well done! They can now write the sum of the dice numbers next to it. Keep playing until the entire card is filled out.
2. Math Baseball
Players learn to add and subtract with this fun game. Loosely based on baseball – complete with bases – this will seem more like a board game than a math lesson. Grab the instructions for this game and keep your kids busy on a rainy day!
3. Math Bingo
This game is similar to bingo in the sense that kids have to cover all numbers on their cards to win. The numbers on their cards are all solutions to problems. Once they solve a particular math problem (written on a different card), they can tick off the answer on their “bingo” sheet. This can really give them a visual way to see their own progress while they solve up to 10 math problems at a time.
4. Pass The Ball
If you are looking for math games for several kids, whether your own or students, then give this one a try. Moreover, it is a great way to teach youngsters to solve math problems with only their minds (as opposed to trying to work it out on a piece of paper).
Let the children stand in a circle and hand one of them a ball. Ask him or her about the math problem. If they answer correctly, they can choose the next child and hand them the ball. If they answer incorrectly, they must pass on the ball to the one standing next to them. Remember to keep the questions age-appropriate.
5. The 101 Game
You can play this game with your child or divide students into groups and let the competition begin! This is another dice game but also hand each child a pen and piece of paper. The rules of the game are very simple but it can get both addictive and very competitive (if there are several teams).
The goal is to reach 101 without going over. The child must roll the dice and then decide whether to multiply it by 10 or add it to the number of the next roll. The group that hit 101 or come the closest is the winner.
6. Math Tic-Tac-Toe
Everyone knows how to play Tic-Tac-Toe but before you start, make sure that your kid or students do know the rules of this simple game. It’s crucial for the math version!
You can create a small board that consists of three rows of squares that run both horizontally and vertically. In each square, write a math problem for the children to solve. When a kid gets the right answer, they can mark the box as their own. Then it becomes the other child’s turn to solve any problem on the board.
The winner is the one who manages to create an unbroken line with three answers – just like in Tic-Tac-Toe.
7. Simon Says
Most children learn geometry via boring lessons. But you can start teaching really young kids all about shapes and angles with the math version of Simon Says. The goal of the game is to let the kids act out what Simon says when “he” asks them to show different degrees or angles as well as parallel and perpendicular lines.
This game can just be a fun activity or a competition. If you want to hold a contest, you have to eliminate those who get it wrong until only one student remains.
8. Stand Up or Sit Down
This game is immensely flexible and can be used for all ages. You can make it simple or as complex as you want it to be. But at the end of the day, the only rule is also very simple. The students must stand up when they recognize a chosen outcome. For example, you choose the number 12 and then ask them to stand up the moment they hear the correct multiplication, addition or subtraction that ends with 12.
They can also stand up for outcomes that include even numbers, a multiple of 3 and so on.
9. Bean Bag Toss
Label three large plastic containers with “1s,” “10s,” and “100s.” Have the children stand a good distance away and hurl bean bags at the containers. They can choose to throw the bags into any box. But when all the bags are finished, the child must add up the numbers!
For example, if there are 5 bags in the “1s” bin, the answer is 5. The same number of bags in the “10s” bin will be 50 and of course, the answer is 500 for the “100” container.
10. Plot Graph Treasure Hunt
Take a sheet of graph paper and create a map of your home, garden or schoolyard. Use a plot graph on the sheet to direct the children to certain places. This is a very popular game and an exciting way to spend some time outdoors. But the best bonus is that children will quickly learn how to read a plot graph and how to use it.
11. Whack a Ball
This game is immensely fun and loved by younger children. Take roughly 10 ping pong balls and cut holes in a shoebox’s bottom. The holes need to be small enough to allow the balls to sit within the holes without falling through. But the holes must also be big enough to let the balls fall through quickly when whacked.
After all, that is the goal of the game! Give your student or child a card with a simple subtraction problem. For example: 10 – 4 = ? The youngster must whack 4 balls to get to the answer! They will love this game, guaranteed!
12. Throw Water Balloons
Why stop the fun at whacking ping pong balls? Children love throwing water balloons and yes, there is a way to use this splash-fest to get kids to learn math.
You can make the game simple. For example, help very young kids to learn their numbers by giving them a balloon with a number on it. They have to find the same number among several written on the ground (we suggest that you draw them in chalk outside). When they find the corresponding number, they can throw the balloon at it!
The game can also be more complex. Write a problem on the balloon and let the child splash the answer on the sidewalk. Keep some towels handy.
13. Math Bowling
This one is pretty simple but fun nonetheless. Take a couple of plastic bottles and write numbers on them. The child takes a ball and rolls it along the floor towards the bottles (seriously, think bowling). Afterwards, they have to add up all the numbers of the bottles that were knocked over!