This article supplies teachers with information that may be useful in better understanding the nature of games and their role in teaching and learning mathematics.
Not all of us a bursting with creative game ideas, but there are
several ways to go about creating a game that will assist even the
busiest and most reluctant game designer.
In this article for teachers, Liz Woodham describes the criteria she uses to choose mathematical games for the classroom and shares some examples from NRICH.
This article, the second in the series, looks at some different types of games and the sort of mathematical thinking they can develop.
Basic strategy games are particularly suitable as starting points
for investigations. Players instinctively try to discover a winning
strategy, and usually the best way to do this is to analyse. . . .
Gillian Hatch analyses what goes on when mathematical games are
used as a pedagogic device.
A number card game for 2-6 players.
Reasoning based on this Japanese activity.
A fun game for two. You'll need some counters.
Design your own scoring system and play Trumps with these Olympic Sport cards.
A game for 2 people that everybody knows. You can play with a
friend or online. If you play correctly you never lose!
A game for 2 players. This could be played outside with people instead of counters. Try to trap or escape from your opponent.
A complicated game played on a 9 x 9 checkered grid.
A variant on the game Alquerque
A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.
A game for 2 players. Draw a daisy with at least 5 petals. Shade 1 or 2 petals next to each other. The winner shades the last petal.
You'll need two dice to play this game against a partner. Will Incey Wincey make it to the top of the drain pipe or the bottom of the drain pipe first?
In this game you throw two dice and find their total, then move the appropriate counter to the right. Which counter reaches the purple box first? Is this what you would expect?
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
Can you spot the similarities between this game and other games you know? The aim is to choose 3 numbers that total 15.
Here are a collection of games from around the world to try during the holidays or the last few weeks of term.
Totality game for an adult and child. Be the first to reach your agreed total.
Board Block Challenge game for an adult and child. Can you prevent your partner from being able to make a shape?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.
The idea of this game is to add or subtract the two numbers on the dice and cover the result on the grid, trying to get a line of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?
A game for 2 players. Using 2 dice, some counters and a games board, can you form a line of counters from one side of the board to the other?
A game for 1 person to develop stategy and shape and space awareness. 12 counters are placed on a board. Counters are removed one at a time. The aim is to be left with only 1 counter.
First Connect Three game for an adult and child. Use the dice numbers and either addition or subtraction to get three numbers in a straight line.
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
The game uses a 3x3 square board. 2 players take turns to play,
either placing a red on an empty square, or changing a red to
orange, or orange to green. The player who forms 3 of 1 colour in a
line. . . .
A game for two players. You'll need some counters.
This is a game for 2 players. Each player has 4 counters each, and
wins by blocking their opponent's counters. A good follow-on from
Advent Calendar 2010 - a mathematical game for every day during the run-up to Christmas.
A game for 2 players that can be played online. Players take it in turns to select a word from the 9 words given. The aim is to select all the occurrences of the same letter.
A game for 2 people using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try
to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.
Work out the fractions to match the cards with the same amount of
Match the halves.
A game to make and play based on the number line.
A game for 1 or 2 people. Use the interactive version, or play with friends. Try to round up as many counters as possible.
A train building game for 2 players.
A game for 2 or more people. Starting with 100, subratct a number from 1 to 9 from the total. You score for making an odd number, a number ending in 0 or a multiple of 6.
Take it in turns to place a domino on the grid. One to be placed horizontally and the other vertically. Can you make it impossible for your opponent to play?
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
Train game for an adult and child. Who will be the first to make the train?
Dicey Operations for an adult and child. Can you get close to 1000 than your partner?
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
Four Go game for an adult and child. Will you be the first to have four numbers in a row on the number line?
Board Block game for two. Can you stop your partner from being able to make a shape on the board?
Spiralling Decimals game for an adult and child. Can you get three decimals next to each other on the spiral before your partner?