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.
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.
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. . . .
A game for 2 or more players. Practise your addition and subtraction with the aid of a game board and some dried peas!
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. . . .
Try this interactive strategy game for 2
Try this matching game which will help you recognise different ways of saying the same time interval.
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?
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
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.
Can you make the birds from the egg tangram?
Throw the dice and decide whether to double or halve the number. Will you be the first to reach the target?
A game for 2 players. Practises subtraction or other maths
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?
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.
Here is a version of the game 'Happy Families' for you to make and
This is an adding game for two players.
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
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 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your opponent.
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?
Shut the Box game for an adult and child. Can you turn over the cards which match the numbers on the dice?
In this game for two players, the aim is to make a row of four coins which total one dollar.
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Can you spot the similarities between this game and other games you know? The aim is to choose 3 numbers that total 15.
Stop the Clock game for an adult and child. How can you make sure you always win this game?
Totality game for an adult and child. Be the first to reach your agreed total.
A train building game for 2 players.
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 complicated game played on a 9 x 9 checkered grid.
Board Block Challenge game for an adult and child. Can you prevent your partner from being able to make a shape?
Take it in turns to make a triangle on the pegboard. Can you block your opponent?
A shunting puzzle for 1 person. Swop the positions of the counters at the top and bottom of the board.
Work out the fractions to match the cards with the same amount of
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 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.
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 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
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.
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 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.
Match the halves.