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Problem solving. Addition & subtraction. Visualising. Mathematical Thinking. Interactivities. Rich Tasks. Enrichment. Games. Learning mathematics. Pedagogy.

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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Games

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Learning Mathematics Through Games: 3. Creating Your Own Games

Stage: 1

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.

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Going for Games

Stage: 1 and 2

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.

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Learning Mathematics Through Games Series: 1. Why Games?

Stage: 1, 2 and 3

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.

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Using Games in the Classroom

Stage: 2, 3 and 4

Gillian Hatch analyses what goes on when mathematical games are used as a pedagogic device.

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Learning Mathematics Through Games Series: 2.types of Games

Stage: 1, 2 and 3

This article, the second in the series, looks at some different types of games and the sort of mathematical thinking they can develop.

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Learning Mathematics Through Games Series: 4. from Strategy Games

Stage: 1, 2 and 3

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. . . .

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Nim-7

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?

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Line of Four

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A game somewhat similar to 'noughts and crosses' on a much larger space.

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Scissors, Paper, Rock

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Play this well-known game against the computer where each player is equally likely to choose scissors, paper or rock. Why not try the variations too?

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Sumo

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Reasoning based on this Japanese activity.

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Chocolate Bars

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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.

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Coordinate Cunning

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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Daisy

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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.

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Gotcha

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A game for 2 players. This could be played outside with people instead of counters. Try to trap or escape from your opponent.

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Snap

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Try this version of Snap with a friend - do you know the order of the days of the week?

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Roundabout

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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 two stones.

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Stop the Clock

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

This is a game for two players. Can you find out how to be the first to get to 12 o'clock?

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Calculator Bingo

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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100 Percent

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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. . . .

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Train

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A train building game for 2 players.

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Got It

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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Tantrix Discovery

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A fun puzzle with tantrix tiles.

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Poker Bingo

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A game played with a standard pack of cards.

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Ratio Pairs 2

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A card pairing game involving knowledge of simple ratio.

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Jumping Reindeer

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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Domino Magic Rectangle

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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 square...

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Low Go

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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SHOO

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A complicated game played on a 9 x 9 checkered grid.

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Making Maths: Birds from an Egg

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?

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Traffic Lights

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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. . . .

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Building Stars

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

An interactive activity for one to experiment with a tricky tessellation

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Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...

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Board Block

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Take it in turns to make a triangle on the pegboard. Can you block your opponent?

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Making Maths: Happy Families

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and play.

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Sliding Game

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.

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Horizontal Vertical

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Part the Piles

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Try to stop your opponent from being able to split the piles of counters into unequal numbers. Can you find a strategy?

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Counters

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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?

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Dominoes

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Everthing you have always wanted to do with dominoes! Some of these games are good for practising your mental calculation skills, and some are good for your reasoning skills.

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Dicey Perimeter, Dicey Area

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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Dragons and Swans

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A game for two players. You'll need some counters.

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Matching Time

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.

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Four Go

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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?

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How Long Does it Take?

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.

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Tug of War

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you use the numbers on the dice to reach your end of the number line before your partner beats you?

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First Connect Three

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Subtraction Squares

Stage: 1 and 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Twinkle Twinkle

Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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Crocogator

Stage: 1 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A game for two players. You'll need some counters and somewhere to draw a board.