Engaging games for primary maths

Sian Evans
07th July 2017
primary students engaging in maths games

Keep classes smiling as they consolidate their understanding and develop key skills using these fun activities

Fun might not usually be a word you'd associate with maths, but why shouldn’t it be? Whether students need a new way to practise fundamental topics or a fresh approach to a concept they're struggling with, we’ve got it covered with this hand-picked a collection of games, designed to both educate and entertain. Let the games begin!

Games for younger learners

There are countless ways to jazz up the consolidation of even the most basic skills. For example, this animal-themed counting game, with its magical, self-checking cards, is ideal for numerical recognition, while this two-player activity makes use of the a classic paper game of dots and boxes in the practising of single-digit addition.

Inspired by the well-known playground game What’s the time, Mr Wolf?, this colourful presentation challenges your class to tell the time in order to avoid being eaten at dinner time. Alternatively, in this Connect Four-style game, players compete to connect numbers based on times tables questions.

Self checking counting games

pupils love the fact that these 'magic' cards are self checking - good for one to one counting and numeral recognition
By nic8yoghurt

Addition - 'Boxes' game adding single digits

This game is like a game I played when I was little. Two players take it in turn to join two dots together and then gradually as the grid gets full with lines boxes can be formed. The one who completes a box gets that score and another go. The winner is the one with the largest scores at the end.
By Labrown20

What's the Time Mr Wolf? Multiple choice game


Now includes hyperlinks to return to any questions incorrectly answered.

A 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' style game with embedded sound.

If you like this and would like to make your own version you can either edit this one or look up my blank version.

By Pygmy_squid

Connect 5! Times table game

In the style of connect 4 the children must connect 5 numbers to win. They 'win&' a number by stating the correct times table calculation with that answer. Full instructions are included in the file. Works best when game boards can be printed and laminated for reuse - good as a lesson starter. Numbers can be adjusted to suit different times tables and abilities.
By mrspomme

Games for older learners

Tackle the notoriously difficult skill of converting between percentages, decimals and fractions using this interactive matching game, which works best with two teams competing against each other. Or for students who are frazzled by equivalent fractions, this light-hearted game is perfect for giving the topic a positive spin while practising the process of simplifying.

Rather than giving negative numbers the cold shoulder, why not explore this Arctic-themed board game to help consolidate understanding? And, as every class need times table practice, give this table splat game a try! Warning: likely to lead to a very noisy classroom…

Percentages to Decimals Matching Pairs Game

A fun competitive interactive whiteboard game in which two teams take it in turns to match percentages, decimals and fractions. The game keeps score and has a built in timer in the event of a draw. This game won a Microsoft innovation award.

A creator version is available to buy to make your own games
By John Hudson

Equivalent Fractions Game

Pupils roll dice and simplify the fractions they get on the grid, with the person with the biggest fraction getting a point. I usually play 10 rounds and then pupils move round and play someone else. They can also discuss at the end whether the game was fair and how to determine whether it was or wasn't. Sometimes if the class is small I record results on the board (like football scores) and get them to draw a up a league table! If you like this resource then please check out my other stuff on here! :)
By Owen134866

Negative Numbers Board Game

This is a board game i created to consolidate learning after a few lessons on negative numbers. When used with the children they seemed to enjoy this and liked a challenge. Because of this challenge aspect i then told the children if they got an answer right they got a point and whoever had the most points at the end won. For middle ability children i gave them a mixture of the two sets of children. Enjoy!
By ellen1208

Table Splat! (Times Tables Game)

A game that can be played in pairs, threes or independently. Please note that this game focuses on times tables facts from 2 to 10 to ensure children are confident in these tables before progressing to the 11s and 12s, which will need to be taught subsequently.

Children need a 'Table Splat' mat and counters (different coloured counters for each child). Children take turns to turn over a card, revealing a times tables question. The child who is the first to place their counter on the correct answer (whilst shouting 'SPLAT!') can leave their counter on the board. The winner is the player with the most counters on the board once all of the times table cards have been used.

Differentiate by choosing the multiplication cards relevant for that child, depending on which times table they are currently working on.

*Update: 6s and 9s have been underlined, to avoid confusion.*

Save money when bought as part of a bundle. Click the button on the right for more information.
By Miss-Becky

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