Check Out Our List of Cool Math Games and Activities
Hands-on activities improve math skills.
Our Addition Games
We have a list of over 20 ADDITION GAMES AND ACTIVITIES
from simplest to more complex. Use hands-on objects and manipulatives to boost addition skills.
Our Subtraction Games
Here are over a dozen SUBTRACTION GAMES AND ACTIVITIES
from simplest to more complex. Subtraction makes more sense when different problems can be seen with different manipulatives.
Our Multiplication Games
Here are over a dozen MULTIPLICATION GAMES AND ACTIVITIES
from simplest to more complex. A variety of hands-on activities and manipulatives demonstrate different aspects of multiplication.
Check back for activities with division.
Using Math Activities As A Game
On these pages I have listed numerous hands-on activities to demonstrate math concepts. All of these can be done as non-competitive activites to visualize the concept. They can also be modified as a competitive game.
What is the value of competition?
- Some children find it motivates them to "study" their math facts so they can win.
- Competitive games are fun for many students.
- They provide a change of pace.
- Allows two or more students to work together.
Some children seem to be inherently more competitive than others. Be aware that some students find competition de-motivating and intimidating. Obviously, for these students you would want to do the activities in a non-competitive manner.
How to Make A Game
There are several variations, but the basic strategy is a right answer earns a "point." At the end, the player with the most points wins.
- Time the game. For each point, mark a tally mark on a sheet of paper. At the end of the time, the one with the most points wins.
- Or, whoever gets to five or ten points first wins.
- You can give tokens instead of tally marks. Tokens can include: pennies, beads, build a tower with blocks, etc.
- You can make a game board, and each correct answer allows you to move your marker one space.
I like to use Math Stations (below) as a non-competitive way of reviewing old math concepts and learning new ones with hands-on manipulatives.
Math Stations: The Best Way To Use Cool Math Games and Activities
We recommend using math stations as a hands-on way to learn and reinforce math. It takes a little time to set up, and about 10 - 20 minutes a day for the student to complete. But the investment in time is worth it.
Why Math Stations?
Elementary aged children are learning multiple concepts at one time. For instance, a 1st grade child may be at the following level:
- Counting by 5's
- Learning to add two digit numbers without regrouping (ie 12 + 3; 24 + 5 etc.)
- Subtacting one digit numbers (9 - 5; 8 - 3; etc)
- Telling time on the hour and half hour
Math stations provides hands-on practice introducing new concepts and reinforcing old ones in only a few minutes a day.
How Does It Work?
Picture a kitchen table with a set of math manipulatives and activities at five different places.
The child goes to the first station, does a simple activity that introduces or reinforces a concept. They will repeat the activity a few times. Then they move to the next activity.
The stations may contain commercially prepared manipulatives and games. Most of them you can make yourself.
How many games and activities are there for each child?
You may have 10 to 20 different activities in your current repertoire for your child. On a given day, you may use only three to five of these.
Variety is the spice of life. Using multiple cool math games will increase comprehension and retention of facts.