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.
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. . . .
Take it in turns to make a triangle on the pegboard. Can you block your opponent?
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
Match the halves.
Work out the fractions to match the cards with the same amount of
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 complicated game played on a 9 x 9 checkered grid.
A train building game for 2 players.
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?
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.
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.
Reasoning based on this Japanese activity.
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.
An interactive activity for one to experiment with a tricky tessellation
A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.
A card pairing game involving knowledge of simple ratio.
A fun puzzle with tantrix tiles.
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. . . .
Can you spot the similarities between this game and other games you know? The aim is to choose 3 numbers that total 15.
Four Go game for an adult and child. Will you be the first to have four numbers in a row on the number line?
Train game for an adult and child. Who will be the first to make the train?
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your oponent.
Dicey Operations for an adult and child. Can you get close to 1000 than your partner?
Board Block game for two. Can you stop your partner from being able to make a shape on the board?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Board Block Challenge game for an adult and child. Can you prevent your partner from being able to make a shape?
Totality game for an adult and child. Be the first to reach your agreed total.
Stop the Clock game for an adult and child. How can you make sure you always win this game?
Incey Wincey Spider game for an adult and child. Will Incey get to the top of the drainpipe?
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.
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
Design your own scoring system and play Trumps with these Olympic Sport cards.
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
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 are a collection of games from around the world to try during the holidays or the last few weeks of term.
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?
Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.
Advent Calendar 2010 - a mathematical game for every day during the run-up to Christmas.
Play this well-known game against the computer where each player is
equally likely to choose scissors, paper or rock. Why not try the
A game for two players on a large squared space.
In this game you throw two dice and find their total, then move the appropriate counter to the right. Which counter reaches the purple box first? Is this what you would expect?
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?