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23 Exciting Math Games for Kids to Skyrocket New Math Skills in the Classroom

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  • Game-Based Learning
  • Teaching Strategies

Playing math games in the classroom has emerged as a way to make math lessons or math reviews more engaging, especially for students who might find math problems daunting to solve.

Just like how there are many helpful math websites, there are also online and offline math activities suited for this job. Classroom math games can act as customizable entry and exit tickets, as well as mid-class activities. You can easily add them into your lesson plans and use them for math reviews.

If you’re a 1st to 8th grade math teacher, here are 20 classroom math games for kids you can play with and without computers:

1. Prodigy Math

Sign up for Prodigy Math — a curriculum-aligned math game — to engage your class as you reinforce lesson content and essential skills — at home or at school.

Free for schools and teachers, it borrows elements from role-playing games (RPGs), as players compete in math duels against in-game characters. To win, they must answer sets of math problems.

As a teacher, you can customize these questions to supplement class material. The game also uses adaptive learning and differentiated instruction principles to adjust content, addressing each student’s trouble spots.

Here’s an example of the math game in action. Let’s say you’ve just introduce your class to a math concept, like fractions at the 2nd grade level. Once you’ve set up an assignment for the whole class, you can ask your students to log in to Prodigy and start playing, either on their own or in small groups. As they have fun playing Prodigy Math, they’ll answer questions tailored to the assignment and their ability.

You’ll also have access to your teacher dashboard which gives you free reports and data on every students’ progress, helping you spot and address learning gaps in just a few clicks!

Grade level: 1st - 8th Grade

As a teacher, I love how interactive and fun Prodigy is! The questions are great for all learners and adjusts to their level of learning. The standards and organization inside the game is so impressive and easy to use. I would recommend it to any child, teacher or parent.
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2. Around the Block

Play Around the Block as a minds-on activity, using only a ball to practice almost any math skill. First, put together a list of questions related to a skill. Second, have students stand in a circle. Finally, give one student the ball and read aloud a question from your list.

Students must pass the ball clockwise around the circle, and the one who started with it must answer the question before receiving it again. If the student incorrectly answers, you can pass the ball to a classmate for the next question. If the student correctly answers, he or she chooses the next contestant.

Grade level: 3rd - 8th Grades

3. Math Baseball

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Divide your class into two teams to play math baseball — another activity that gives you full control over the questions that students answer. One team will start at bat, scoring runs by choosing questions worth one, two or three bases.

You’ll “pitch” the questions, which range in difficulty depending on how many bases they’re worth. If the at-bat team answers incorrectly, the defending team can respond correctly to earn an out. After three outs, switch sides. Play until one team hits 10 runs.

Grade level: 3rd - 8th Grades

4. Bouncing Sums

Give students a chance to move around class by playing Bouncing Sums, building mental math muscles. To prepare, use labels and a marker to put integers, decimals or fractions on a beach ball.

Hand the ball to one student, who will read aloud the label touching one of his or her thumbs. That student tosses the ball to a classmate, and so on. Each student must read the number on his or her label, adding it to — or multiplying it with — the sum or product which the previous student stated.

The challenge? Reach the highest number possible within a time limit.

Grade level: 3rd - 8th Grades

5. Math Facts Race

Keep combining math with physical activity in this fast-paced fact fluency drill. Divide students into teams at the back of the class, posting a grid sheet at the front for each group. One student from each team will run to the sheet, writing an answer in the appropriate grid.

To practice multiplication, for example, a student would have to write 12 in the grid where the third row and fourth column meet. The student returns to his or her team after answering, allowing a group member to run to the sheet. The group member can fill another grid or, if needed, correct a previous answer.

This process repeats itself until a team wins by correctly filling its sheet.

Grade level: 2nd - 5th Grades

6. Math Facts Bingo

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Make fact fluency drills engaging by playing this version of bingo. First, create bingo cards that contain answers to different multiplication tables. Second, hand them out to students and make sure they have a separate sheet for calculations. Finally, instead of calling numbers, state equations such as 8 × 7. After determining the product is 56, they can check off the number if it’s on their cards.

Grade level: 3rd - 6th Grades

7. Math Is Fun

Engage elementary school students by pointing them towards games and puzzles on the Math Is Fun website. Ideal as a learning station or for classes with one-to-one device use, the games range from challenging math classics — such as Sudoku — to counting exercises for younger students. The latter category uses concise sentences and cartoon characters, making content easier for these students to process.

Grade level: 1st - 5th Grades

8. 101 and Out

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Play a few rounds of 101 and Out as a fun way to end math class. As the name implies, the goal is to score as close to 101 points as possible without going over. You need to divide your class in half, giving each group a dice along with paper and a pencil.

Groups take turns rolling the dice, strategizing to count the number at face value or multiply it by 10. For example, students who roll a six can keep that number or turn it into 60. This game quickly grows competitive, boosting the excitement level in your math class.

Grade level: 2nd - 6th Grades

9. One-Meter Dash

Run this quick game to improve perception and understanding of measurement. Grouping students in small teams, give them metre sticks. They then look around the room for two to four items they think add up to one metre long.

In a few minutes, the groups measure the items and record how close their estimations were. Want more of a challenge? Give them a centimetre-mark instead of a metre, asking them to convert results to micrometres, millimetres and more.

Grade level: 3rd - 5th Grades

10. Back-to-Back

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Bring out your class’s competitive side. Just be sure to group students at a similar skill level. Back-to-Back involves a pair of classmates standing beside the blackboard with chalk in hand, facing away from one another.

A third student says “numbers up,” requiring each competitor to write a number on the board within a specified range. The third student then says the sum or product of the two numbers. Using this information, a competitor wins by stating the other’s number first.

Grade level: 2nd - 6th Grades

11. Math Tic-Tac-Toe

Pair students to compete against one another while practicing different math skills in this take on tic-tac-toe.

Prepare by dividing a sheet into squares — three vertical by three horizontal. Don’t leave them blank. Instead, fill the boxes with questions that test different abilities. The first one to link three Xs or Os — by correctly answering questions — wins.

You can use this game as a learning station, refreshing prerequisite skills in preparation for new content. Alternatively, you can try this out a whole class by putting the squares on your whiteboard and splitting the room into the two competing teams.

Grade level: 1st - 8th Grades

P.S. Tic-tac-toe can easily be modified to suit your class and lesson plans, check this version out below:

12. Get the Math

Visit Get the Math with your students to solve engaging challenges, each related to using math in different careers and real-world situations. It's primarily aimed at high school students or those finishing middle school.

The website contains videos with young professionals who explain how they use math in their fields, such as fashion design and video game development. You can assign challenges to your class after watching, which involve playing games.

For example, one is based on using materials with different price-points and measurements to design a shirt for less than $35.

Grade level: 6th Grade and Up

13. Simon Says: Geometry

Appeal to kinesthetic learners by playing this version of Simon Says and, in the process, improve their understanding of basic geometry.

As Simon, all your commands should require students to illustrate angles and shapes by moving their arms. For example, ask them to make angles of varying degrees as well as parallel and perpendicular lines. Continuously speed up your commands — and change if they come from Simon or not — until only one student remains and is the winner.

Grade level: 2nd - 3rd Grades

14. Math Goodies

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Try Math Goodies for engaging, interactive tasks and lessons online. The free website appeals to diverse learners by featuring puzzles, articles and word problems.

Playing through the site’s content, students can — for instance — read an example-filled walkthrough about how to order decimals. They can then test their skills by completing exercises and challenges.You can use the website to create custom worksheets, too. Fun for the class, useful for the teacher.

Grade level: 4th - 8th Grades

15. Initials

Add a game-like spin to content reviews by playing Initials. Hand out a unique sheet to each student with problems aligned to a common skill or topic. Instead of focusing on their own sheets, students walk around the room to solve questions on their classmates’.

But there’s catch. A student can only complete one question per sheet, signing his or her initials beside the answer. Working together to reach an individual yet joint goal, students should build trust and teamwork.

Grade level: 3rd - 8th Grades

16. Stand Up, Sit Down

Play Stand Up, Sit Down as a minds-on activity, adjusting the difficulty according to student age and skill level. The principle of the game is straightforward: You pick a number, and students must stand if the answer to an equation you read aloud matches that number. If it isn’t, they remain seated in a circle. You can modify requirements for standing as needed.

For example, you can tell students to stand if the answer is:

  • Greater than 10
  • An even number
  • A multiple of three

You can also alternate from addition to subtraction, and from multiplication to division.

Grade level: 1st - 5th Grades

17. 100s

Gather your class in a circle to play 100s as a quick warm up before your lesson. You’ll give students a set of numbers to choose from — such as multiples of five to a maximum of 20 — as they take turns adding out loud in a clockwise direction. The student who says or passes 100 is out. You’ll start again, until only one participant is left.

Although the game is simple, you can change how it’s played to suit the skills of your students. For example, they may have to multiply by fours instead of adding by fives.

Grade level: 2nd - 8th Grades

18. War

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Give students a mathematical twist on a traditional card game by playing this version of War. To start, pair students together and give them each a deck of cards. Then, assign the following values:

  • Ace — 1
  • Two to 10 — Face value
  • Jack — 11
  • Queen — 12
  • King — 13

The rules of the game will depend on the grade you teach and the skills you’re building. For example, students in lower grades will play two cards, subtracting the lower number from the higher. Students in higher grades can multiply the numbers, designating a certain suit as having negative integers. Whoever has the highest hand wins all four cards.

Grade level: 2nd - 8th Grades

19. National Library of Virtual Manipulatives

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Have students visit the online National Library of Virtual Manipulatives to access activities that involve digital math manipulatives such as coins and blocks. Created by Utah State University, the online library’s goal is to engage students. It does so by giving teachers activities to provide, as there are manipulation tasks targeted to students at every grade level, including middle school.

For example, a 6th grade geometry activity involves using geo-boards to illustrate area, perimeter and rational number concepts. Ideal for classes with one-to-one device use, you can also use the website as its own learning station.

Grade level: 1st Grade and Up

20. Jeopardy

Transform this famous game show to focus on your latest skill or unit, preparing students for a quiz or test. Setup involves attaching pockets to a bristol board, dividing them into columns and rows. Each column should focus on a specific topic, whereas each row should have a point value -- 200, 400, 600, 800 and 1,000.

A team can ask for a question from any pocket, but other teams can answer first by solving the problem and raising their hands. Once the class answers all questions, the team with highest point total claims the prize you provide. But each student wins in terms of engagement and practicing peer support. This is a great game for competitive students who might not engage with traditional worksheets.

Grade level: 3rd to 8th Grades

21. Dice Wars

Dice games are an easy and affordable option for making math lessons more engaging. In this dice game, students can work in pairs or small groups. They will each take turns to roll two dice and carry out a math operation based on the numbers they get.

You can easily scale the difficulty up by grade level. For example, for first grade students, you could ask them to roll two dice and add both of them together. For higher grade levels, you might ask them to multiply or roll up to 4 dice.

Grade level: 1st to 8th Grades

22. Roll & Place

This is another dice game that helps make learning math concepts more engaging, in this case, place value. In this game, students roll two dice. They must then add up all the numbers they get and write then numbers down in a place value chart. Here’s a printable place value chart to help!

To make this more challenging, you can ask your students to roll an extra dice or ask them to round their number to the nearest ten.

Grade level: 1st to 3rd Grades

23. Line Up!

If your students are getting used to working with number lines, this active and engaging game is a great way to get them on their feet. Try it out as a math review or warm-up activity!

Give each of your students a card or piece of paper with a different number on it. As a group, they have 5 minutes to order themselves in a line. If your class needs extra help, you can set two students to be the highest and lowest number in the set. This game encourages students to communicate clearly, explain their reasoning and build their number sense.

You can make this math activity more challenging by introducing negative numbers, selecting a wider range of numbers or giving them a math operation students must solve to know their number.

Grade level: 1st to 3rd Grades

Final thoughts about these 23 free math games for kids

These fun math games for kids will not only help you engage students, but also develop their skills and fact fluency while supplementing lessons.

Although the recommended age ranges fall between grades 1 and 8, you can certainly modify the content for different skill levels and use them for struggling students in higher grades. And, if you’re unsure about the benefits, try a few games to see the results yourself.

Get started with Prodigy Math today — a curriculum-aligned math game that adapts content based on players' individual learning needs and speeds.

Create your free teacher account