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.
This article, the second in the series, looks at some different types of games and the sort of mathematical thinking they can develop.
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.
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. . . .
A game for two players. You'll need some counters.
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?
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
A number card game for 2-6 players.
Reasoning based on this Japanese activity.
Can you use the numbers on the dice to reach your end of the number line before your partner beats you?
Incey Wincey Spider game for an adult and child. Will Incey get to the top of the drainpipe?
A game played with a standard pack of cards.
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 complicated game played on a 9 x 9 checkered grid.
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?
An old game but lots of arithmetic!
A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.
Can you spot the similarities between this game and other games you know? The aim is to choose 3 numbers that total 15.
Take it in turns to make a triangle on the pegboard. Can you block your opponent?
Throw the dice and decide whether to double or halve the number. Will you be the first to reach the target?
A card pairing game involving knowledge of simple ratio.
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.
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.
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
A train building game for 2 players.
Advent Calendar 2010 - a mathematical game for every day during the
run-up to Christmas.
Train game for an adult and child. Who will be the first to make the train?
Four Go game for an adult and child. Will you be the first to have four numbers in a row on the number line?
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your opponent.
Dicey Operations for an adult and child. Can you get close to 1000 than your partner?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
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?
Board Block Challenge game for an adult and child. Can you prevent your partner from being able to make a shape?
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
Totality game for an adult and child. Be the first to reach your agreed total.
Stop the Clock game for an adult and child. How can you make sure you always win this game?
Shut the Box game for an adult and child. Can you turn over the cards which match the numbers on the dice?