Looking for a way to get kids practicing math skills? You don’t have to have expensive commercial math games. For a fun math game that gets children to practice adding or times tables, just grab a deck of playing cards and you’re ready. Yes, believe it or not there are loads and loads of math games in that one pack of playing cards. Try these to get started and then have a go at inventing your own. Children can practice adding, multiplying, number order and many other math skills.
Multiplication Over and Under
This game is a simple way to practice times tables. Use a pack of cards with the colored cards removed. The Aces count as one. Deal all of the cards out to the two players. One player becomes the Under 30 player and the other is the Over 30 player. Each player turns over a card at the same time and the two numbers are multiplied together. If the answer is under 30, the Under 30 player gets the cards. If it is higher than 30, the Over 30 player keeps the cards. If the answer is exactly 30 each player takes back their card and returns it to their deck. When all of the cards have been played the person with the most cards is the champ.
Children love this fun math game that practices comparing numbers. You only need cards from Ace (which is valued at one) to 9 for this game. Next choose the number of digits to be used in the numbers for this game, e.g. 2 digit numbers like 24 and 79; 3 digit numbers like 713 or 921; 4, 5 or 6 digit numbers. All person is dealt that number of cards. Players arrange their cards to make the biggest possible number with the cards that they have been dealt, e.g. with cards 2, 5 and 8 a player could make 852. The player with the largest number in each round scores a point. The winner is the person who scores the most points.
First to Fifty Addition
Players take turns to deal 2 cards to each player. Each player then turns over the two cards they have been given, adds the two values and tells how much this is, e.g. 5 and 7 make 12. The player with the highest total keeps the two cards while the other cards are returned to the deck which is shuffled and dealt again. Players add the value of the cards they have won until a player gets to fifty and is the winner.
First to Fifty Multiplication
Play this game the same as First to Fifty Addition but instead of adding the two cards to get a total, multiply the two values on the cards, e.g. 7X6 is 42. Players then add the value of the cards that they win to get to fifty. These fun math games can be played by a parent and child at home or in the classroom with children playing in pairs, in small groups or with the whole class being divided into four or five teams. So why not find an old pack of playing cards and start playing.
Teresa Evans is a teacher and parent who uses fun math games to get kids excited about math. To receive your own seven part math games collection visit Making Math More Fun.