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.
A game somewhat similar to 'noughts and crosses' on a much larger
A game for two players. You'll need some counters and somewhere to draw a board.
Try this version of Snap with a friend - do you know the order of
the days of the week?
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
This is an adding game for two players.
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
A number card game for 2-6 players.
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.
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your oponent.
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.
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Can you use the numbers on the dice to reach your end of the number line before your partner beats you?
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
A game played with a standard pack of cards.
Dicey Operations for an adult and child. Can you get close to 1000 than your partner?
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?
Incey Wincey Spider game for an adult and child. Will Incey get to the top of the drainpipe?
A fun puzzle with tantrix tiles.
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?
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?
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 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.
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.
A card pairing game involving knowledge of simple ratio.
A game for 2 players. Practises subtraction or other maths
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 game for two players on a large squared space.
In this game for two players, the aim is to make a row of four coins which total one dollar.
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 2 or more players with a pack of cards. Practise your
skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to hit
the target score.
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?
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.
A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.
Design your own scoring system and play Trumps with these Olympic Sport cards.
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
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?
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
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.