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.
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?
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 for 2 or more players. Practise your addition and subtraction with the aid of a game board and some dried peas!
A game for 2 players. Practises subtraction or other maths
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.
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
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. . . .
Can you use the numbers on the dice to reach your end of the number line before your partner beats you?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
An old game but lots of arithmetic!
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
A card pairing game involving knowledge of simple ratio.
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 fun puzzle with tantrix tiles.
Design your own scoring system and play Trumps with these Olympic Sport cards.
Reasoning based on this Japanese activity.
Play this well-known game against the computer where each player is
equally likely to choose scissors, paper or rock. Why not try the
Here are a collection of games from around the world to try during the holidays or the last few weeks of term.
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.
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.
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?
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.
A game for two players on a large squared space.
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 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?
Take it in turns to make a triangle on the pegboard. Can you block
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.
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.
Work out the fractions to match the cards with the same amount of
Match the halves.
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. . . .
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
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
A game somewhat similar to 'noughts and crosses' on a much larger
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.
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
An interactive activity for one to experiment with a tricky tessellation
A fun game for two. You'll need some counters.
Choose the size of your pegboard and the shapes you can make. Can
you work out the strategies needed to block your opponent?
An odd version of tic tac toe