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. . . .
In this game for two players, the aim is to make a row of four coins which total one dollar.
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?
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 two players on a large squared space.
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.
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.
Throw the dice and decide whether to double or halve the number. Will you be the first to reach the target?
A card pairing game involving knowledge of simple ratio.
A game for 2 players. Practises subtraction or other maths
Reasoning based on this Japanese activity.
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.
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 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
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.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Train game for an adult and child. Who will be the first to make the train?
Incey Wincey Spider game for an adult and child. Will Incey get to the top of the drainpipe?
Take it in turns to make a triangle on the pegboard. Can you block your opponent?
A train building game for 2 players.
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.
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 complicated game played on a 9 x 9 checkered grid.
A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.
An old game but lots of arithmetic!
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
Work out the fractions to match the cards with the same amount of
Match the halves.
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
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
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.
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
Board Block game for two. Can you stop your partner from being able to make a shape on the board?
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.
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. . . .
Design your own scoring system and play Trumps with these Olympic Sport cards.
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
Board Block Challenge game for an adult and child. Can you prevent your partner from being able to make a shape?
Try to stop your opponent from being able to split the piles of counters into unequal numbers. Can you find a strategy?
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?
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?