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.
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.
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.
Gillian Hatch analyses what goes on when mathematical games are
used as a pedagogic device.
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 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.
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
A fun game for two. You'll need some counters.
In this game for two players, you throw two dice and find the product. How many shapes can you draw on the grid which have that area or perimeter?
Try this interactive strategy game for 2
Many natural systems appear to be in equilibrium until suddenly a critical point is reached, setting up a mudslide or an avalanche or an earthquake. In this project, students will use a simple. . . .
An old game but lots of arithmetic!
A game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Advent Calendar 2010 - a mathematical game for every day during the
run-up to Christmas.
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
We think this 3x3 version of the game is often harder than the 5x5 version. Do you agree? If so, why do you think that might be?
A game for 2 or more players. Practise your addition and subtraction with the aid of a game board and some dried peas!
In this game for two players, the aim is to make a row of four coins which total one dollar.
This is an adding game for two 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?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
Shut the Box game for an adult and child. Can you turn over the cards which match the numbers on the dice?
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. . . .
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be
removed. Click to remover them. The winner is the last one to
remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
A game for 2 people. Take turns placing a counter on the star. You
win when you have completed a line of 3 in your colour.
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
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.
Take it in turns to make a triangle on the pegboard. Can you block your opponent?
Players take it in turns to choose a dot on the grid. The winner is the first to have four dots that can be joined to form a square.
A game for 2 players. Can be played online. One player has 1 red
counter, the other has 4 blue. The red counter needs to reach the
other side, and the blue needs to trap the red.
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right
hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
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 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 to make and play based on the number line.
A complicated game played on a 9 x 9 checkered grid.
Work out the fractions to match the cards with the same amount of
A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.
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 people using a pack of cards Turn over 2 cards and try
to make an odd number or a multiple of 3.
Match the halves.
A train building game for 2 players.
Design your own scoring system and play Trumps with these Olympic Sport cards.
Square It game for an adult and child. Can you come up with a way of always winning this game?