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.
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.
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, the second in the series, looks at some different types of games and the sort of mathematical thinking they can develop.
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
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. . . .
Help the bee to build a stack of blocks far enough to save his
friend trapped in the tower.
Try this interactive strategy game for 2
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the
numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
Can you identify the mathematicians?
This article invites you to get familiar with a strategic game called "sprouts". The game is simple enough for younger children to understand, and has also provided experienced mathematicians with. . . .
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.
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
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?
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.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
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
Can you beat Piggy in this simple dice game? Can you figure out
Piggy's strategy, and is there a better one?
This article for teachers describes several games, found on the
site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to
develop the skills of strategic planning.
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you
go first or second?
A collection of games on the NIM theme
Can you use the numbers on the dice to reach your end of the number line before your partner beats you?
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 1 person to play on screen. Practise your number bonds
whilst improving your memory
A game to make and play based on the number line.
A train building game for 2 players.
A game played with a standard pack of cards.
Work out the fractions to match the cards with the same amount of
Match the halves.
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
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
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.
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.
All you need for this game is a pack of cards. While you play the
game, think about strategies that will increase your chances of
A game for 1 or 2 people. Use the interactive version, or play with friends. Try to round up as many counters as possible.
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 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 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.
A complicated game played on a 9 x 9 checkered grid.
Unmultiply is a game of quick estimation. You need to find two
numbers that multiply together to something close to the given
target - fast! 10 levels with a high scores table.
Use the tangram pieces to make our pictures, or to design some of
A game in which players take it in turns to choose a number. Can you block your opponent?
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?
A maths-based Football World Cup simulation for teachers and students to use.
Here are a collection of games from around the world to try during the holidays or the last few weeks of term.