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 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. . . .
Reasoning based on this Japanese activity.
A fun game for two. You'll need some counters.
Incey Wincey Spider game for an adult and child. Will Incey get to the top of the drainpipe?
A game somewhat similar to 'noughts and crosses' on a much larger
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
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?
A game for two players. You'll need some counters and somewhere to draw a board.
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
A fun puzzle with tantrix tiles.
A game played with a standard pack of cards.
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
Can you use the numbers on the dice to reach your end of the number line before your partner beats you?
A number card game for 2-6 players.
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. . . .
Try this version of Snap with a friend - do you know the order of
the days of the week?
In this game, you can add, subtract, multiply or divide the numbers
on the dice. Which will you do so that you get to the end of the
number line first?
Take turns to place a decimal number on the spiral. Can you get three consecutive numbers?
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
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.
In this game for two players, the aim is to make a row of four coins which total one dollar.
Have a go at this game which involves throwing two dice and adding
their totals. Where should you place your counters to be more
likely to win?
A card pairing game involving knowledge of simple ratio.
A game for 2 players. Practises subtraction or other maths
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.
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.
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.
Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.
Match the halves.
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
An old game but lots of arithmetic!
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
Design your own scoring system and play Trumps with these Olympic Sport cards.
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
Advent Calendar 2010 - a mathematical game for every day during the
run-up to Christmas.
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
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.
A complicated game played on a 9 x 9 checkered grid.
A game to make and play based on the number line.
Here are a collection of games from around the world to try during the holidays or the last few weeks of term.