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 supplies teachers with information that may be useful in better understanding the nature of games and their role in teaching and learning mathematics.
This article, the second in the series, looks at some different types of games and the sort of mathematical thinking they can develop.
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?
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. . . .
A game for two players. You'll need some counters and somewhere to draw a board.
Incey Wincey Spider game for an adult and child. Will Incey get to the top of the drainpipe?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Try this version of Snap with a friend - do you know the order of
the days of the week?
A game somewhat similar to 'noughts and crosses' on a much larger
A number card game for 2-6 players.
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?
Reasoning based on this Japanese activity.
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
Can you use the numbers on the dice to reach your end of the number line before your partner beats you?
A game played with a standard pack of cards.
A fun puzzle with tantrix tiles.
Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.
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?
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the
numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
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 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.
In this game for two players, the aim is to make a row of four coins which total one dollar.
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.
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 two players on a large squared space.
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
A card pairing game involving knowledge of simple ratio.
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 game for 2 players. Practises subtraction or other maths
Here are a collection of games from around the world to try during the holidays or the last few weeks of term.
Throw the dice and decide whether to double or halve the number. Will you be the first to reach the target?
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
Design your own scoring system and play Trumps with these Olympic Sport cards.
A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.
An old game but lots of arithmetic!
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Advent Calendar 2010 - a mathematical game for every day during the
run-up to Christmas.
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
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?
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.
Advent Calendar 2010 - a mathematical game for every day during the run-up to Christmas.
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.
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
Match the halves.