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.
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.
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.
A game for two players. You'll need some counters and somewhere to draw a board.
A game somewhat similar to 'noughts and crosses' on a much larger
Try this version of Snap with a friend - do you know the order of
the days of the week?
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. . . .
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?
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
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?
A number card game for 2-6 players.
Reasoning based on this Japanese activity.
Incey Wincey Spider game for an adult and child. Will Incey get to the top of the drainpipe?
Can you use the numbers on the dice to reach your end of the number line before your partner beats you?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
A fun puzzle with tantrix tiles.
A game played with a standard pack of cards.
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?
Board Block Challenge game for an adult and child. Can you prevent your partner from being able to make a shape?
A complicated game played on a 9 x 9 checkered grid.
Take it in turns to make a triangle on the pegboard. Can you block your opponent?
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.
A train building game for 2 players.
A game for 2 players. Practises subtraction or other maths
Match the halves.
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
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 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.
A card pairing game involving knowledge of simple ratio.
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
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 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.
Work out the fractions to match the cards with the same amount of
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your oponent.
Dicey Operations for an adult and child. Can you get close to 1000 than your partner?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
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.
Train game for an adult and child. Who will be the first to make the train?
Four Go game for an adult and child. Will you be the first to have four numbers in a row on the number line?
Stop the Clock game for an adult and child. How can you make sure you always win this game?
Shut the Box game for an adult and child. Can you turn over the cards which match the numbers on the dice?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
Board Block game for two. Can you stop your partner from being able to make a shape on the board?
In this game for two players, the aim is to make a row of four coins which total one dollar.
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
Totality game for an adult and child. Be the first to reach your agreed total.