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.
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 players. Draw a daisy with at least 5 petals. Shade 1 or 2 petals next to each other. The winner shades the last petal.
Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.
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.
A game for 2 players. This could be played outside with people instead of counters. Try to trap or escape from your opponent.
A card pairing game involving knowledge of simple ratio.
A fun puzzle with tantrix tiles.
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?
An interactive activity for one to experiment with a tricky tessellation
An interactive game to be played on your own or with friends.
Imagine you are having a party. Each person takes it in turns to
stand behind the chair where they will get the most chocolate.
A game for 2 people that can be played on line or with pens and paper. Combine your knowledege of coordinates with your skills of strategic thinking.
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
Advent Calendar 2010 - a mathematical game for every day during the run-up to Christmas.
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.
Play this well-known game against the computer where each player is
equally likely to choose scissors, paper or rock. Why not try the
Reasoning based on this Japanese activity.
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
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?
Work out the fractions to match the cards with the same amount of
A train building game for 2 players.
Take it in turns to make a triangle on the pegboard. Can you block your opponent?
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
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.
Match the halves.
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
Design your own scoring system and play Trumps with these Olympic Sport cards.
A game for two players on a large squared space.
An interactive game for 1 person. You are given a rectangle with 50 squares on it. Roll the dice to get a percentage between 2 and 100. How many squares is this? Keep going until you get 100. . . .
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 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.
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. . . .
Here are a collection of games from around the world to try during the holidays or the last few weeks of term.
A game somewhat similar to 'noughts and crosses' on a much larger
A game for two players. You'll need some counters and somewhere to draw a board.
A game for two players. You'll need some counters.
A game to be played against the computer, or in groups. Pick a 7-digit number. A random digit is generated. What must you subract to remove the digit from your number? the first to zero wins.
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
A game for 2 people that everybody knows. You can play with a
friend or online. If you play correctly you never lose!
Choose the size of your pegboard and the shapes you can make. Can you work out the strategies needed to block your opponent?
Totality game for an adult and child. Be the first to reach your agreed total.
An odd version of tic tac toe
Incey Wincey Spider game for an adult and child. Will Incey get to the top of the drainpipe?