Here are a collection of games from around the world to try during the holidays or the last few weeks of term.
A number card game for 2-6 players.
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 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 fun game for two. You'll need some counters.
Advent Calendar 2010 - a mathematical game for every day during the run-up to Christmas.
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 square...
A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.
A complicated game played on a 9 x 9 checkered grid.
Can you spot the similarities between this game and other games you know? The aim is to choose 3 numbers that total 15.
A game for 2 players. Using 2 dice, some counters and a games board, can you form a line of counters from one side of the board to the other?
Board Block Challenge game for an adult and child. Can you prevent your partner from being able to make a shape?
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. . . .
Totality game for an adult and child. Be the first to reach your agreed total.
A simple game of patience which often comes out. Can you explain
A game for 2 players. This could be played outside with people instead of counters. Try to trap or escape from your opponent.
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 players. Draw a daisy with at least 5 petals. Shade 1 or 2 petals next to each other. The winner shades the last petal.
A game for 1 person to play on screen. Practise your number bonds
whilst improving your memory
This is a challenging game of strategy for two players with many interesting variations.
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.
Interactive game. Set your own level of challenge, practise your table skills and beat your previous best score.
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.
Collect as many diamonds as you can by drawing three straight lines.
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
Practise your diamond mining skills and your x,y coordination in this homage to Pacman.
This is a game for two players. You will need some small-square
grid paper, a die and two felt-tip pens or highlighters. Players
take turns to roll the die, then move that number of squares in. . . .
A game for 2 players. Given an arrangement of matchsticks, players
take it is turns to remove a matchstick, along with all of the
matchsticks that touch it.
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 1 or 2 people. Use the interactive version, or play with friends. Try to round up as many counters as possible.
A game for two or more players that uses a knowledge of measuring
tools. Spin the spinner and identify which jobs can be done with
the measuring tool shown.
A game in which players take it in turns to try to draw
quadrilaterals (or triangles) with particular properties. Is it
possible to fill the game grid?
A game for 2 players that can be played online. Players take it in turns to select a word from the 9 words given. The aim is to select all the occurrences of the same letter.
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.
A game for 2 players with similaritlies to NIM. Place one counter on each spot on the games board. Players take it is turns to remove 1 or 2 adjacent counters. The winner picks up the last counter.
A game to make and play based on the number line.
A game for 2 or more people, based on the traditional card game
Rummy. Players aim to make two `tricks', where each trick has to
consist of a picture of a shape, a name that describes that shape,
and. . . .
A game to be played against the computer, or in groups. Pick a 7-digit number. A random digit is generated. What must you subract to remove the digit from your number? the first to zero wins.
Dicey Operations for an adult and child. Can you get close to 1000 than your partner?
How good are you at estimating angles?
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
Take turns to place a decimal number on the spiral. Can you get three consecutive numbers?
A game for 2 players. Set out 16 counters in rows of 1,3,5 and 7. Players take turns to remove any number of counters from a row. The player left with the last counter looses.
A game for 2 people that everybody knows. You can play with a
friend or online. If you play correctly you never lose!
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.
Investigations based on an Indian game.
Spiralling Decimals game for an adult and child. Can you get three decimals next to each other on the spiral before your partner?
A game in which players take it in turns to turn up two cards. If
they can draw a triangle which satisfies both properties they win
the pair of cards. And a few challenging questions to follow...
A Sudoku with clues given as sums of entries.