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.
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.
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.
An old game but lots of arithmetic!
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?
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 using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try
to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.
A game for 2 or more players with a pack of cards. Practise your
skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to hit
the target score.
In this game, you can add, subtract, multiply or divide the numbers
on the dice. Which will you do so that you get to the end of the
number line first?
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
Have a go at this game which involves throwing two dice and adding
their totals. Where should you place your counters to be more
likely to win?
A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.
In this game for two players, the aim is to make a row of four coins which total one dollar.
Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.
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?
In this game for two players, the idea is to take it in turns to choose 1, 3, 5 or 7. The winner is the first to make the total 37.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
A game for 2 or more players. Practise your addition and subtraction with the aid of a game board and some dried peas!
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
A game for 2 players. Practises subtraction or other maths
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 is an adding game for two players.
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.
Can you use the numbers on the dice to reach your end of the number line before your partner beats you?
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 game played with a standard pack of cards.
A card pairing game involving knowledge of simple ratio.
A game for two players. You'll need some counters and somewhere to draw a board.
A game in which players take it in turns to choose a number. Can you block your opponent?
A fun puzzle with tantrix tiles.
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 train building game for 2 players.
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
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.
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.
A game for two players. You'll need some counters.
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 that tests your understanding of remainders.
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
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
Match the halves.
Work out the fractions to match the cards with the same amount of
An interactive activity for one to experiment with a tricky tessellation
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.
An odd version of tic tac toe