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.
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.
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.
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 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?
Can you spot the similarities between this game and other games you know? The aim is to choose 3 numbers that total 15.
An old game but lots of arithmetic!
Throw the dice and decide whether to double or halve the number. Will you be the first to reach the target?
A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.
A complicated game played on a 9 x 9 checkered grid.
Take it in turns to make a triangle on the pegboard. Can you block your opponent?
Match the halves.
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 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.
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 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.
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 make the birds from the egg tangram?
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.
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
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
Work out the fractions to match the cards with the same amount of
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
Board Block game for two. Can you stop your partner from being able to make a shape on the board?
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?
Incey Wincey Spider game for an adult and child. Will Incey get to the top of the drainpipe?
Shut the Box game for an adult and child. Can you turn over the cards which match the numbers on the dice?
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
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?
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your opponent.
Dicey Operations for an adult and child. Can you get close to 1000 than your partner?
Here are a collection of games from around the world to try during the holidays or the last few weeks of term.
Advent Calendar 2010 - a mathematical game for every day during the run-up to Christmas.
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?
Design your own scoring system and play Trumps with these Olympic Sport cards.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
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.
Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.