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.
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?
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 2 players. Practises subtraction or other maths
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Design your own scoring system and play Trumps with these Olympic Sport cards.
A card pairing game involving knowledge of simple ratio.
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.
There are nasty versions of this dice game but we'll start with the nice ones...
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?
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 game for 2 people. Use your skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to blast the asteroids.
A game for 2 players. Draw a daisy with at least 5 petals. Shade 1 or 2 petals next to each other. The winner shades the last petal.
Play this well-known game against the computer where each player is
equally likely to choose scissors, paper or rock. Why not try the
Reasoning based on this Japanese activity.
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.
Here are a collection of games from around the world to try during the holidays or the last few weeks of term.
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 1 or 2 people. Use the interactive version, or play with friends. Try to round up as many counters as possible.
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 train building game for 2 players.
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
An old game but lots of arithmetic!
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.
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?
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 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. This could be played outside with people instead of counters. Try to trap or escape from your opponent.
Work out the fractions to match the cards with the same amount of
Match the halves.
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
An interactive activity for one to experiment with a tricky tessellation
This challenge is a game for two players. Choose two numbers from the grid and multiply or divide, then mark your answer on the number line. Can you get four in a row before your partner?
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?
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
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 or more players. Practise your addition and subtraction with the aid of a game board and some dried peas!
Exchange the positions of the two sets of counters in the least possible number of moves
Try to stop your opponent from being able to split the piles of counters into unequal numbers. Can you find a strategy?
A fun game for two. You'll need some counters.