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.
This is an adding game for two players.
A number card game for 2-6 players.
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. . . .
Reasoning based on this Japanese activity.
A game somewhat similar to 'noughts and crosses' on a much larger
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
A game to be played against the computer, or in groups. Pick a 7-digit number. A random digit is generated. What must you subract to remove the digit from your number? the first to zero wins.
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
Try this version of Snap with a friend - do you know the order of
the days of the week?
Dicey Operations for an adult and child. Can you get close to 1000 than your partner?
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 players. You'll need some counters and somewhere to draw a board.
Incey Wincey Spider game for an adult and child. Will Incey get to the top of the drainpipe?
Can you use the numbers on the dice to reach your end of the number line before your partner beats you?
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your opponent.
A fun puzzle with tantrix tiles.
A game played with a standard pack of cards.
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
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 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?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
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 spot the similarities between this game and other games you know? The aim is to choose 3 numbers that total 15.
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 2 or more players with a pack of cards. Practise your
skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to hit
the target score.
Throw the dice and decide whether to double or halve the number. Will you be the first to reach the target?
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
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!
Work out the fractions to match the cards with the same amount of
A train building game for 2 players.
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?
Match the halves.
Take it in turns to make a triangle on the pegboard. Can you block your opponent?
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.
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.
Advent Calendar 2010 - a mathematical game for every day during the
run-up to Christmas.
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?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
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.
Board Block game for two. Can you stop your partner from being able to make a shape on the board?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?