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.
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.
This article, the second in the series, looks at some different types of games and the sort of mathematical thinking they can develop.
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. . . .
An old game but lots of arithmetic!
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 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?
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.
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
A game for 2 people that can be played on line or with pens and paper. Combine your knowledege of coordinates with your skills of strategic thinking.
Match the halves.
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.
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
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 played with a standard pack of cards.
An interactive activity for one to experiment with a tricky tessellation
A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
A fun puzzle with tantrix tiles.
A card pairing game involving knowledge of simple ratio.
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 train building game for 2 players.
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 interactive game to be played on your own or with friends.
Imagine you are having a party. Each person takes it in turns to
stand behind the chair where they will get the most chocolate.
A complicated game played on a 9 x 9 checkered grid.
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.
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 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.
In this game for two players, the aim is to make a row of four coins which total one dollar.
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
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?
Design your own scoring system and play Trumps with these Olympic Sport cards.
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
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 shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.
Reasoning based on this Japanese activity.
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.
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.
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
Take it in turns to make a triangle on the pegboard. Can you block your opponent?
A game for 2 players. Practises subtraction or other maths
Try this version of Snap with a friend - do you know the order of
the days of the week?
An odd version of tic tac toe