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.
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 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.
Solve this Sudoku puzzle whose clues are in the form of sums of the
numbers which should appear in diagonal opposite cells.
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.
Try this interactive strategy game for 2
Help the bee to build a stack of blocks far enough to save his
friend trapped in the tower.
Can you identify the mathematicians?
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.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
A game that tests your understanding of remainders.
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
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.
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?
Can you beat Piggy in this simple dice game? Can you figure out
Piggy's strategy, and is there a better one?
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
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.
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. . . .
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
Work out the fractions to match the cards with the same amount of
Match the halves.
A game to make and play based on the number line.
Take it in turns to make a triangle on the pegboard. Can you block
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.
A complicated game played on a 9 x 9 checkered grid.
A train building game for 2 players.
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?
This challenge is a game for two players. Choose two numbers from the grid and multiply or divide, then mark your answer on the number line. Can you get four in a row before your partner?
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?
A fun game for two. You'll need some counters.
A game for 1 or 2 people. Use the interactive version, or play with friends. Try to round up as many counters as possible.
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 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 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.
How good are you at estimating angles?
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
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.
Can you use the numbers on the dice to reach your end of the number line before your partner beats you?
Here are a collection of games from around the world to try during the holidays or the last few weeks of term.
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?
Design your own scoring system and play Trumps with these Olympic Sport cards.