Math Games

  • Games to Develop Logical Reasoning:


    Your Choice Tic-Tac-Toe

    You need:  a partner

    Directions:  Play on a regular tic-tac-toe board.  In this version, you can put down either an X or an O, changing your mind on each turn if you wish.  The winner is the one who finishes a row with either all X’s or all O’s in it. 


    Guess My Word

    You need:  a partner

    Directions:  One player thinks of a three-letter word for the other to guess.  Whenever the person guesses, the player who thought of the word tells whether the guess comes before or after the word in the dictionary.


    Race for 20

    You need:  a partner

    Directions:  Take turns.  On your turn, you may count one or two numbers.  The first person says “1” or “1, 2.”  Their partner continues “3” or “3, 4.”  The player who says “20” wins.


    Digit Place

    You need:  a partner

    Directions:  Each person picks a three-digit number with no two digits the same.  They take turns guessing each other’s number.  Each time someone guesses, the other person tells how many digits (D) in the guess are correct and how many of the correct digits are in the correct place (P).  Use a chart, such as the one pictured below, to keep track of the information.  Do not tell which digits are correct or in the correct place, just how many.  Whoever guesses the other player’s number first wins that round.




















    Place Value Games:


    Race for $1.00

    You need:  a partner

                       baggie with dimes, pennies, and one dollar

                       two dice

    Directions:  Players take turns rolling the dice and taking that many pennies.  On any turn when a player has ten pennies, they can exchange them for one dime.  The game continues until one player collects 10 dimes and exchanges them for $1.00.  Record how much each player has at the end of the game. 


    101 and Out

    You need:  a partner or small group                                                     

                       one die or a 0-9 spinner                                                       


    1. Each player makes a recording sheet as shown below.

    2. Take turns rolling the die or spinning the spinner to generate six numbers.

    3. On each turn, all players write the number in either the tens column or ones column of their recording sheet.  Once a number is recorded, it cannot be changed.

    4. After six numbers, fill in any blank spaces in the ones column with zeros and add.

    5. The player closest to 100 without going over wins.

       101 and Out Recording Sheet

























    Fact Practice Games:

    These games can be used to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division facts!


    Go Fish

    You need:  index cards with problems (ex. 10-2) and answers

                       (ex. 8) written on them

                       a partner or small group of players


             You will need to make a deck of cards with the problems on them that need to be learned:  addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.  Each problem should have a matching answer. 

                A player shuffles the cards and each player is dealt five cards.  The rest of the deck is placed face down to form the “fish pond.”  Player 1 begins by looking at his/her cards.  For example, Player 1 might say “Do you have the answer to 4 + 4?”  If Player 2 does not have the matching card, he/she says “Go Fish.”  Player 1 must pick a card out of the fish pond and play passes to Player 2.  If Player 2 has the matching card, he/she must give it to Player 1.  Player 1 goes again until Player 2 does not have a match, and says “Go Fish.”  Matches are set aside and play continues until there are no more cards in the fish pond.  The player with the most sets of cards is the winner.


    Concentration (also called Memory)

    You need:  index cards with a problem or matching answer 

                       written on each one

                       a small group of players


    1. On one side of the table turn the problem cards face down and mix them up.

    2. On the other side, turn the answers to the problems face down and mix them up.

    3. Player 1 goes to the problem cards and turns on face up.  Then he/she goes to the answers on the other side of the table and flips one over to see if he/she finds the answer.  If the correct answer is flipped over, the player keeps the two cards and goes again.  If not, the two cards get flipped face down again and Player 2 goes next.

    4. Player 2 does the same as Player 1.

    5. The player who has the most matched cards when they’re all gone is the winner.

    be learned:  addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.  Each problem should have a matching answer. 


    War (may be used for addition, subtraction, or multiplication)

    You need:  a partner

                       a deck of playing cards with the Jokers removed


    Ace = 1, J = 10, Q = 11, K = 12.  You could also make all the face cards have a value of 10.

    Example for Multiplication War (same rules for other operations):

    1. Shuffle the cards and deal them out evenly, with each player stacking them face down in front of them.

    2. Both players turn over their top card at the same time.  They multiply the two cards and shout the answer.  The first player to call out the correct answer wins those two cards and places them in their “winning pile.”  The next player who gets the right answer would be able to take the other player’s winning pile, as well as the two cards.

    3. Play continues until one player has all the cards and they are the winner.



    The Factor Game

    You need:  a partner

                       markers in two different colors

                       a sheet of paper with the numbers 1 to 30

    Directions:  Each player uses a different color marker.  One player selects a number and circles it with his or her marker.  The other player finds all the factors of the number, circling each with his or her marker (of a different color).  The factors are the numbers you can multiply together to get that number.  For example, factors of 6 are 1, 6, 3, and 2.  The process alternates between the two players until there are no factors left for the remaining numbers.  Players add the numbers they circled.  The winner is the player with the larger score. 

    Caution:  Selecting a number with no factors left is an illegal move.  If you make an illegal move, you get to add the number to your score, but you lose your next turn to select a number.




    You need:  a partner

                       paper for recording

                       six 3-by-3 inch squares of construction paper

                       one die

                       fifteen counters (may use pennies, blocks, buttons,

                       candies, etc.)

    Directions:  The first player rolls the die and puts out that number of 3-by-3 inch paper squares.  Player 1 divides the 15 counters equally among the paper squares, and keeps any counters that remain.  Their partner records the mathematical sentence to show what happened.  For example, 15 divided by 4=3 R3 (Remainder 3). 

              Partners switch roles.  The second player removes the counters from the squares (there may be fewer than 15 if the first player had a remainder and therefore kept the extra counters), rolls the die, puts out the correct number of 3-by-3 inch squares, and divides the counters among them.  The first player records.  The game continues until there are no counters left to divide.  The winner is the one who has the most counters, or whose remainders add up to the highest number. 

    Sample Recording Sheet:  T 1. 15 divided by 4 = 3 R 3

                                                           B 2. 12 divided by 2 = 6 R 0

                                             T 3. 12 divided by 3 = 4 R 0

                                                           B 4. 12 divided by 5 = 2 R 2

                                                           T 5. 10 divided by 4 = 2 R 2

                                                           B 6. 8 divided by  3 = 2 R 2

                                                           T 7. 6 divided by 5 = 1 R 1

                                                           B 8. 5 divided by 6 = 0 R 5

                                                           Tom = 6 points, Bob = 9 points



    The Place Value Game

    You need:  a partner or small group

                        one die or 0-9 spinner

    Directions:  The goal of this game is to make the largest number possible.  Each player should draw a game board as shown:


    __  __  __  __  .  __  __


                Players take turns rolling the die or spinning the spinner.  Each time a number comes up, every player writes it in one space on his or her game board.  Once written, the number cannot be moved.  The winner has the largest number and must be able to read it.  Example:  4429.50 would be read as four thousand, four hundred and twenty-nine, and fifty hundredths (or five tenths). 


    Probability and Statistics:

     Fair Game 1

    You need:  a group of four

                        paper to tally scores

    Directions:  Play the paper, scissors, rock game with three players and one recorder.  All players make a fist and on the count of four, each player shows either:

                paper (by showing four fingers)

                scissors (by showing two fingers)

                rock (by showing a fist)

    Decide who is player A, B, and C and play 20 times with these rules:

                Player A gets a point if all players show the same sign.

                Player B gets a point if only two players show the same 


                Player C gets a point if all players show different signs.


    Tally the winning points, and the player with the most points wins!  Discuss the results:  “Is this game fair?  Which player would you rather be?  How could you make the game fairer?”