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.
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.
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.
Try this version of Snap with a friend - do you know the order of
the days of the week?
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 number card game for 2-6 players.
A game for two players. You'll need some counters and somewhere to draw a board.
A game somewhat similar to 'noughts and crosses' on a much larger
Reasoning based on this Japanese activity.
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. . . .
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.
A game for two players. You'll need some counters.
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
A game played with a standard pack of cards.
Can you use the numbers on the dice to reach your end of the number line before your partner beats you?
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
Take turns to place a decimal number on the spiral. Can you get three consecutive numbers?
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 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.
Match the halves.
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.
Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.
A card pairing game involving knowledge of simple ratio.
A game for 2 players. Practises subtraction or other maths
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.
Try to stop your opponent from being able to split the piles of counters into unequal numbers. Can you find a strategy?
The idea of this game is to add or subtract the two numbers on the dice and cover the result on the grid, trying to get a line of three. Are there some numbers that are good to aim for?
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 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 people using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try
to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.
A train building game for 2 players.
Advent Calendar 2010 - a mathematical game for every day during the run-up to Christmas.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
Advent Calendar 2010 - a mathematical game for every day during the
run-up to Christmas.
Here are a collection of games from around the world to try during the holidays or the last few weeks of term.
Design your own scoring system and play Trumps with these Olympic Sport cards.
The computer starts with all the lights off, but then clicks 3, 4
or 5 times at random, leaving some lights on. Can you switch them
In this game for two players, the aim is to make a row of four coins which total one dollar.
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
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
A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.