Inexpensive Family Math Games

Jan 25, 2019 | Highland Park

 

Fun, Easy, Inexpensive

Family Math Games

for All Ages

 

The Mathnasium Mission…

"Help every child to reach his or her

potential in math by teaching the way it

makes sense to them."

 

 

 

Fun, Easy, Inexpensive Family Math Games

 

Mathnasium of Davis County recommends the following games as a low-cost way for

families to have fun together while increasing child math skill and confidence. They also make

great icebreakers for social events and serve as educational entertainment for family road trips.

They can be played individually or in groups.

Playing games enhances critical thinking skills, creativity, teamwork, and good

sportsmanship. With these games, you can also be a part of developing your child’s math

fluency skills!

 

Table of Contents

 

Games for all Ages

Number Heads 

The Guessing Game 

Mathematical Chairs 

Inequality Icebreakers 

Circle Count 

Finger Sums/Subtraction/Products 

Games for Younger Kids (Pre-K – 2d Grade)

Digit Dice 

Big Money 

War! 

Evens and Odds 

Games for Older Kids (3d Grade and Up)

Digit Dice

Big Money 

Snap! 

 

Games for All Ages

Scale the difficulty of the round according to the age of the

players. Have fun!

 

Number Heads

Each player draws a card without looking at it and holds it up to

their forehead facing others.

The players take turns asking Yes/No questions about their

number.

E.g., Am I an even number? Am I larger than 100? Do I

have 3 digits?

The surrounding group will either respond with a “Yes” or “No”

response. When a player receives a no answer, the next player

starts their turn.

The winner is the first player to guess their number correctly.

This game can be easily modified to be played in a car. Just

have one of the players think of a number while the other

players ask yes or no questions about that number. The first

player to guess the number correctly starts the next round by

thinking of a number.

 

The Guessing Game

One player starts the game by thinking of a number.

The other players take turns guessing the number. The leader

guides their guesses by saying “higher” or “lower.”

The first player to correctly guess the number gets to think of a

new number.

This game takes a little strategy and it works well for computing

averages.

 

Mathematical Chairs

This game is a lot like Simon Says, only with a mathematical

twist.

If the volunteer gives the number 10, students stand up.

Any other number, they sit down.

After the students catch on, the volunteer can say things like

“7+3” and “14 - 5”.

Students that make a mistake are out. To make the game more

engaging, have players take turns calling out their own number

facts.

You can make more challenging versions of this game very

easily.

For example: Stand when the number is larger than 100; sit if it

is 100 or below

Stand when the number is a whole number; sit

when it is a fraction.

 

Inequality Icebreakers

Start with a group of people, standing arm’s length apart.

If volunteer says a number greater than 10, students expand

their bodies to take up as much space as they can.

If the volunteer says a number less than 10, students shrink

their bodies to take up the least space they can.

If the volunteer gives the number 10 exactly, students hold

their body neutrally and make an equals sign with their

arms.

If any of the students mess up, they are out.

You can make more challenging versions of this game very

easily.

For example: Compare fractions that are greater or less than ó.

Compare numbers greater or less than 0.

 

Circle Count

All players get in a circle. Have students place their left hand on

top of their neighbor’s right hand, palm facing up.

Subsequently, their right hand will be placed under their other

neighbors left hand.

The group agrees to count from __ to __ counting by ___’s .

For example, Count from 100 - 300 counting by 5’s.

One person starts by saying the first number while

simultaneously clapping their neighbor’s left hand with their

own left hand.

 

The neighbor on their right counts up (or down) from their

number while clapping the next person’s hand.

Continue counting and clapping in a clockwise direction until

you reach the final number. Play another round by choosing a

new rule to count by.

 

Finger Sums/Subtraction/Products

Opposing players will face each other.

Each player will place their choice of 0-10 fingers behind their

back.

On the count of three, the players will reveal their fingers to

their opposing player.

Whoever says the total sum first wins that round. Best two out

of three wins.

This game works great if you want to set up a tournament.

For more challenging rounds, try using subtraction or

multiplication.

 

Games for Younger Kids (Pre-K – 2d Grade)

 

Digit Dice

Each player is given three dice. Roll the three dice and set aside

the highest number.

Roll the remaining dice and again set aside the highest.

Roll the last die and add up your total. Write down your score.

The player with the highest total wins the round. The player

who wins the most rounds also wins the game.

 

Big Money

Each player randomly draws 5 coins from a change jar.

Have the students sort out the quarters, dimes, nickels, and

pennies.

The player(s) with the most nickels scores 1 point.

The players put their money back into the jar before playing

another round. The first player to reach 3 points is the winner!

 

War!

This is a two-player game. Each player is initially dealt 26 cards

from a normal 52-card deck.

Each player places a card down at the same time (next to each

other).

 

The person with the greater value on their card gets to keep the

cards. If there is a tie, each player keeps their own card.

Continue playing until all the cards are gone. The winner is the

player with the most cards at the end.

You can change up the game by making the player with the

lower value win the set of cards.

 

Evens and Odds

Players sit around a large pile of dominoes facing up.

The group works together to organize their dominos into 3 bins:

Both sides even One side odd/one side even Both sides odd

You can turn this game into a competition by having kids race

each other.

 

Games for Older Kids (3d Grade and Up)

 

Digit Dice

Each player rolls 2 dice and makes a 2-digit number from these

2 numbers

e.g. roll 3 and 5 and students can record 35 or 53.

Once the number is recorded, it can’t be changed.

Repeat 2 more times or until three numbers are recorded.

Each player adds their three numbers together. The player who

is closest to 100 is the winner!

Challenge Rounds:

5 Rolls to Make 200: Roll 2 dice five times to create 5,

2-digit numbers.

Aim to get as close to 200 as possible.

3 Rolls to Make 1000: Roll 3 dice three times to create

3, 3-digit numbers.

Aim to get as close to 1000 as possible.

2 Rolls to Make 7000: Roll 4 dice two times to create

2, 4-digit numbers.

Aim to get as close to 7000 as possible.

 

Big Money

Each player randomly chooses 5 coins from a coin jar. Have the

students count the total sum of their half dollars, quarters, dimes,

nickels, and pennies.

The player with the amount closest to $1 scores 2 points. In a

tie, each player gets 1 point.

The players put their money back into the jar before playing

another round. The first player to reach 6 points is the winner!

 

Snap!

This is a two-player game. Each player is initially dealt 26 cards

from a normal 52-card deck.

Each player places a card down at the same time (next to each

other). The first person to call out the sum of the two cards gets

to keep them.

Aces = 1 Jacks = 11 Queens = 12 Kings = 13

Continue playing until all the cards are gone. The winner is the

player with the most cards at the end.

For more challenging rounds players can call out subtraction or

multiplication facts instead.

 

The Mathnasium Mission…

"Help every child to reach his or her

potential in math by teaching the way it

makes sense to them."

 

 

 

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