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.
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.
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.
Gillian Hatch analyses what goes on when mathematical games are
used as a pedagogic device.
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. . . .
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
Who said that adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing
couldn't be fun?
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
An old game but lots of arithmetic!
A game to be played against the computer, or in groups. Pick a 7-digit number. A random digit is generated. What must you subract to remove the digit from your number? the first to zero wins.
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
A game for 2 or more players. Practise your addition and subtraction with the aid of a game board and some dried peas!
Advent Calendar 2010 - a mathematical game for every day during the
run-up to Christmas.
In this game for two players, you throw two dice and find the product. How many shapes can you draw on the grid which have that area or perimeter?
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
In this game for two players, the aim is to make a row of four coins which total one dollar.
Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.
In this game for two players, the idea is to take it in turns to choose 1, 3, 5 or 7. The winner is the first to make the total 37.
We think this 3x3 version of the game is often harder than the 5x5 version. Do you agree? If so, why do you think that might be?
The computer starts with all the lights off, but then clicks 3, 4
or 5 times at random, leaving some lights on. Can you switch them
Many natural systems appear to be in equilibrium until suddenly a critical point is reached, setting up a mudslide or an avalanche or an earthquake. In this project, students will use a simple. . . .
A number card game for 2-6 players.
A game for 2 players. Practises subtraction or other maths
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be
removed. Click to remover them. The winner is the last one to
remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
This is an adding game for two players.
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.
A collection of games on the NIM theme
A train building game for 2 players.
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.
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?
Work out the fractions to match the cards with the same amount of
Take it in turns to make a triangle on the pegboard. Can you block your opponent?
A complicated game played on a 9 x 9 checkered grid.
A game for 2 players. Take turns to place a counter so that it
occupies one of the lowest possible positions in the grid. The
first player to complete a line of 4 wins.
An ordinary set of dominoes can be laid out as a 7 by 4 magic
rectangle in which all the spots in all the columns add to 24,
while those in the rows add to 42. Try it! Now try the magic
A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.
Match the halves.
A game to make and play based on the number line.
A game for two or more players that uses a knowledge of measuring
tools. Spin the spinner and identify which jobs can be done with
the measuring tool shown.
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
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
A game for 2 or more players with a pack of cards. Practise your
skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to hit
the target score.
A game for 1 person to play on screen. Practise your number bonds
whilst improving your memory
Players take it in turns to choose a dot on the grid. The winner is the first to have four dots that can be joined to form a square.
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right
hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of
A game for 2 players. Can be played online. One player has 1 red
counter, the other has 4 blue. The red counter needs to reach the
other side, and the blue needs to trap the red.