# Guest Post: 4 Awesome Kids’ Math Games

By | April 16, 2014

Photo Courtesy – Official U. S. Navy Page

If you’re a math teacher and are looking for fun ways to motivate your class or lighten the atmosphere, here are some great kids’ math games to help you along. Needless to say, the kids are definitely going to love them!

Fun Kids’ Math Games – Fun Classroom Ideas for Teachers

###### 1. Simple Mental Math Game

Skills – Number sense, computational fluency

Instructions:

• Ask the students to put away their notebooks and pens and pay close attention to what you’re saying.
• Give them grade-appropriate math problems and instruct them to solve them mentally.
• For instance, “Start with 3. Double it. Subtract 2. Add 7. Multiply by 4. Raise your hand if you know the answer.
• You can have several rounds of this game and increase the speed and complexity each time.
• The student who comes up with the most number of correct answers wins the game.
###### 2. Advanced Mental Math Game

Skills – Number sense, computational fluency

Instructions:

• Ask the students to put away their notebooks and pens and pay close attention to what you’re saying.
• In this game, YOU provide the answer and ask them to devise a problem that fits it. For instance, “The answer is 22. Give me two numbers. Raise your hand if you know the answer.”
• You can have several rounds of this game and increase the speed and complexity each time.
• The student who comes up with the most answers wins the game.
###### 3. Buzz!

Skills – Multiplication

Instructions:

• Ask everyone to stand up and count off, starting with 1.
• No one is allowed to say ‘6’ or any multiple of 6. Instead, they must say “Buzz!”
• Students who call out the wrong number or fail to say “Buzz” when they should, sit down and retire from the game.
• The last standing student wins!
###### 4. I Want to Get out of Here

Skills – Grade-appropriate math skills

Instructions:

• Play this game right before lunch or recess.
• Stand in the doorway and ask students to form a queue next to you.
• Have a set of flashcards with math problems on them.
• In order to get out of your classroom, each student must answer 2 questions correctly. If they can’t, they go back to the end of the queue and start again.
• Students who give correct answers can leave the classroom earlier than others.
###### 5. Around the World

Skills – Grade-appropriate math skills

Instructions:

• Instruct the students to remain seated at their desks.
• Choose a player to stand behind one of his seated classmates.
• Ask a math-related question that anyone can answer.
• If the standing student is the first one to answer correctly, he will move on and stand behind the next seated student.
• If a seated student manages to answer faster than a standing student, they will exchange positions.
• The goal of the game is to have one student who beats his classmates and goes “around the world.”

Simple but fun games like these will encourage students to brush up their math skills and make learning a whole lot more fun!

Catherine Ross is a full-time stay-at-home-mum who believes learning should be enjoyable for young minds. An erstwhile elementary school teacher, Catherine loves coming up with creative ways through which kids can grasp the seemingly difficult concepts of learning easily. She believes that a ‘fun factor’ can go a long way in enhancing kids’ understanding and blogs at http://kidslearninggames.weebly.com/

## 3 thoughts on “Guest Post: 4 Awesome Kids’ Math Games”

1. Jeff Gaynor

I like the activities, but not the competitive aspects of them, as they tend to have student label themselves as ‘smart’ or ‘dumb’ – or just ‘quick ‘ or ‘slow’, which is also not helpful.

Better to have students track their own progress – such as how many mental computations they can do in a given amount of time, and see if they get quicker, or more accurate.

I played ‘buzz’ with my family when I was a kid, and have my students do it in small groups; More interesting, if kids are up for it, is ‘bee-buzz’: say ‘bee’ when you land on a number that has a 5 in it or is a multiple of 5, and similarly, ‘buzz’ for 7. If anyone messed up, the group has to start over at 1, and everyone stays in the game. It does take a lot of focus: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – bee – 6 – buzz – 8 – 9 – bee – 11 – 12 – 13 – buzz – bee – 16 – buzz – …

You don’t want games where the kids who need the most practice end up ‘out’ and get the least.