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.
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.
A number card game for 2-6 players.
Gillian Hatch analyses what goes on when mathematical games are
used as a pedagogic device.
Totality game for an adult and child. Be the first to reach your agreed total.
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.
Try this version of Snap with a friend - do you know the order of
the days of the week?
Reasoning based on this Japanese activity.
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.
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 somewhat similar to 'noughts and crosses' on a much larger
A game for 2 players. This could be played outside with people instead of counters. Try to trap or escape from your opponent.
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.
Incey Wincey Spider game for an adult and child. Will Incey get to the top of the drainpipe?
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?
Advent Calendar 2010 - a mathematical game for every day during the run-up to Christmas.
Dicey Operations for an adult and child. Can you get close to 1000 than your partner?
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your oponent.
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
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
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. . . .
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
A complicated game played on a 9 x 9 checkered grid.
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
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.
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 fun puzzle with tantrix tiles.
Board Block Challenge game for an adult and child. Can you prevent your partner from being able to make a shape?
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?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
A fun game for two. You'll need some counters.
A game for two players. You'll need some counters and somewhere to draw a board.
Can you use the numbers on the dice to reach your end of the number line before your partner beats you?
A game played with a standard pack of cards.
Everthing you have always wanted to do with dominoes! Some of these
games are good for practising your mental calculation skills, and
some are good for your reasoning skills.
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?
Work out the fractions to match the cards with the same amount of
Match the halves.
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?
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.
Stop the Clock game for an adult and child. How can you make sure you always win this game?
Take turns to place a decimal number on the spiral. Can you get three consecutive numbers?
Shut the Box game for an adult and child. Can you turn over the cards which match the numbers on the dice?
Try to stop your opponent from being able to split the piles of counters into unequal numbers. Can you find a strategy?