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.
This article, the second in the series, looks at some different types of games and the sort of mathematical thinking they can develop.
Gillian Hatch analyses what goes on when mathematical games are
used as a pedagogic device.
In this game for two players, the aim is to make a row of four coins which total one dollar.
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 or more players with a pack of cards. Practise your
skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to hit
the target score.
Match the halves.
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?
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.
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
Work out the fractions to match the cards with the same amount of
Incey Wincey Spider game for an adult and child. Will Incey get to the top of the drainpipe?
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?
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 card pairing game involving knowledge of simple ratio.
A game for 2 players. Practises subtraction or other maths
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 1 or 2 people. Use the interactive version, or play with friends. Try to round up as many counters as possible.
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.
Shut the Box game for an adult and child. Can you turn over the cards which match the numbers on the dice?
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. . . .
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
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
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
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 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.
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.
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Dicey Operations for an adult and child. Can you get close to 1000 than your partner?
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.
Board Block game for two. Can you stop your partner from being able to make a shape on the board?
Take turns to place a decimal number on the spiral. Can you get three consecutive numbers?
Advent Calendar 2010 - a mathematical game for every day during the run-up to Christmas.
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
An old game but lots of arithmetic!
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.
An interactive activity for one to experiment with a tricky tessellation
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Here are a collection of games from around the world to try during the holidays or the last few weeks of term.
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?