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What Are The Games To Make Maths Fun For Kids?

Ways To Make Maths Fun For Elementary Kids

Make It Hands-On

Have you ever been in a workshop or meeting where the presenter talked on and on? Do you get fidgety, or does your mind wander somewhere else? Well, I have a secret to tell you. Kids feel the same way. Try turning a lesson that may normally include a lecture and a worksheet into an interactive one. For example, you may have your kids place numbers on an interactive number line or guess the number of objects in a mystery bag.

Use Picture Books

There are so many great picture books out there to use during your maths lesson. You can find topics that range from counting to multiplication. Read-aloud is ideal for drawing children into the maths skill you will teach.

Play Games

Who doesn't like to play games? Printable games or digital games are the perfect way for students to learn and have fun at the same time. There are various game types that you can use when teaching or reviewing maths concepts. Off the top of my head, I can think of BINGO, War, Concentration, and the list goes on…..

Encourage Maths Talk

I think we all would agree that kids like to talk. Model how to have meaningful conversations about maths. And then allow time for these conversations to occur during your maths block.

Ask Interesting Maths Questions

It goes back to the above statement. Kids like to talk! So let's ask them more open-ended questions. An example of this may be to ask, "Why did you use this strategy to solve the problem?" Also, try asking questions where there may be more than one answer. Kids will become motivated to find them all.

Implement Engaging Routines

Sometimes a little repetition is not a bad thing. In my teaching career, I have noticed one thing to be true. Kids love routines (even if they fight against them sometimes). Routines will help you maximise time because your students know the set expectations. As long as you keep the routines engaging, students will be tuned in and look forward to more.

Make It About The Kids.

Kids love when we make learning more authentic. For example, try substituting student names in your word problems or using a maths activity to introduce themselves to one another at the beginning of the year.

Go Online

There are many cool maths websites and apps that you can download to review maths skills. Some of my favourites are Kahoot! and Maths Game Time.

Bring In Real Objects

The lessons that I remember the most when I was in elementary school involved the teacher using real objects to teach a concept. You can be creative when teaching topics like geometry, measurement, graphing, addition, just about any maths topic. For example, try using a pumpkin to teach addition or real items to solve a word problem.

Get Up And Move

We know that children and adults have different learning styles, so mix things up a little bit and include activities where students have to get up and move. It can be a brief brain break that includes maths or a longer activity where students must sort themselves into groups. Either way, your kinesthetic learners will thank you.

Add Cheers

Creating an encouraging environment can help melt away some of our kids' fear about maths. Cheers are a great way to motivate students. It is even more effective when students give cheers to each other.

Draw Maths Models

Drawing can be fun and educational. However, I believe strongly in the CPA (Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract) model. When teaching a maths concept using the CPA model, kids first manipulate concrete objects, then move onto drawing models through picture representations and finally use only numbers and maths symbols (abstract for them). Give students multiple opportunities to draw picture representations. It is where you can see if students grasp the concept.

Use Maths Manipulatives

Maths is manipulative for everyone! Contrary to popular belief, maths manipulatives are not only for kindergarten students. They are beneficial in all elementary grade levels. Going back to the CPA model, I have noticed that teachers may skip this step many times. I was guilty too! However, this step is essential for conceptual learning. And if you don't have access to any of your schools, you can make your own.

Review With Maths Task Cards

Review doesn't have to be drill and kill. Maths task cards offer a variety of enjoyable ways for your students to review and practice maths skills. You can use them for partner practice, competition games or play SCOOT.

Integrate Science And Social Studies

I don't know about you, but I noticed that students are very attentive during science and social studies. Use their natural curiosity about these topics to tie into your math lessons. For example, if you teach about goods and services in social studies, money would be a perfect connecting topic. If you are studying plants, measure their length with a ruler. Be creative!

Encourage Cooperative Learning

Create an environment where it is common for students to work in pairs or small teams. As a result, they can solve maths problems and hold each other accountable. They will also enjoy working with their peers.

Include Parents

Yes! It is a MUST! Share ways to make maths fun with parents. You can even send home ideas for simple hands-on activities that parents can do with their kids. This way, kids are getting the message at home and school that maths is not scary.

Make It Relatable

Try infusing maths topics into whatever is going on during that time of year. It can be seasonal. Or is a special holiday right around the corner? You can easily take the same maths topic (ex. addition) and make it fresh by using different materials (ex. apples, spiders, pumpkins, etc.)

Go Outside

Fresh air is good for everyone. So go outside and do the same maths lesson. Instead of paper and pencil, grab some chalk. Your kids will thank you.

Celebrate Special Maths Events

Make a BIG deal out of those special maths times of the year. Namely, the 100th Day of School and Pi Day. Although these are the Big 2, you can develop creative ways to celebrate student maths accomplishments (i.e. knowing their multiplication facts).

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Conclusion

We hope that these games have helped you find some ways to make maths fun for your kids. Remember, never underestimate the power of a game! It can be an excellent way to help children learn without realising it. Whatever strategy you decide on to make maths more enjoyable for your child, we wish you luck and hope that this article has been helpful. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Maths games. 
  • Visual aids and picture books. 
  • Using modern technology. 
  • Take a hands-on approach. 
  • Encourage communication with students and parents. 
  • Focus on your students. 
  • Stick to fixed routines. 
  • Use real objects.
  • Create Hands-On Experiences.
  • Diversify Your Maths Lessons.
  • Extend Maths Past Maths Class.
  • Make Maths Personal.
  • Encourage Questions.
  • Pair Maths and Movement with GoNoodle.
  • Make it Fun with Maths vs. 
  • See Long-Term Progress with Prodigy.
  • Maths Bingo. Maths Bingo is an interesting twist to the original game. 
  • Hopscotch Maths. 
  • Prodigy.
  • Prodigy.
  • Around the Block. 
  • Maths Baseball. 
  • Bouncing Sums. 
  • Maths Facts Race. 
  • Maths Facts Bingo. 
  • Maths Is Fun. 
  • 101 and Out.

Maths Games are free online games that help you simultaneously practice and learn new skills. Dive into an engaging game experience tailored to your skill level.

Maths can be one of the more challenging subjects for kids to learn, but it doesn't have to be boring! There are several fun games that kids can play to make learning maths a breeze. This blog post will explore some of the best games that can help make maths fun for kids. So keep reading to learn more!

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Maths Games In 15 Minutes Or Less

5 Minutes

Simon Says, "Geometry!"

Ramp up this traditional game by having kids illustrate the following geometric terms using only their arms: parallel and perpendicular lines; acute, right, and obtuse angles; and 0-, 90-, and 180-degree angles.

Challenge: Increase the pace of the commands and see if your students can keep up!

Round The Block

Have students stand in a square. Please give one of them a ball and a math challenge requiring a list of responses, such as counting by twos or naming shapes with right angles. Before the student answers, he passes the ball to the person next to him. Children pass the ball around the square as quickly as possible, and the student must answer before the ball comes back to him.

Challenge: When the correct answer is given, the child with the ball must respond to the next challenge, sending the ball back around the circle in the opposite direction.

Bouncing Sums

Cover a beach ball with numbers (use a permanent marker or sticky labels). Toss the ball to one student and have her call out the number that her right thumb touches. Next, she tosses it to the next student, who does the same and then adds his number to the first. Continue for five minutes and record the sum. Each time you play the game, add the sum to a graph. On which day did you reach the highest sum? The lowest?

Challenge: Use fractions, decimals, or a mix of negative and positive integers.

Straw Poll

Ask a question and let students vote by placing a straw in one of several plastic cups, each labelled with a different answer. Later, younger students can graph the results, while older kids calculate the ratio and percentage for each response.

Challenge: If you polled the entire school body, assuming each response got the same percentage of votes, how many votes would there be in each cup? What if your town was polled? Your state?

Shaving Equations

Place a dollop of shaving cream on each student's desk, and them solve equations by "writing" in the cream.

Challenge:

  1. Ask students to set up a problem.
  2. Have them rotate to the desk adjacent to theirs and solve that problem on your signal.
  3. Have kids check answers at their desks before starting a new round.  

10 Minutes

Even 10 minutes of fun maths games can jump-start learning.

Hopscotch Maths

Set up a hopscotch grid with a calculator layout. You can include the square root symbol and negative integer sign with older kids. Students first hop on one number, then an operation, another number, the equal sign, and finally the answer. For double-digit answers, students can split their last hop so that their left foot lands on the digit in the 10s place and their right foot lands on the digit in the one's place.

Challenge: The student taking turns tosses a stone onto a number and must avoid that number in the equation.

Global Probability

Seventy per cent of Earth is covered with water. Test this statistic by having students stand in a circle and toss an inflatable globe to one another when a student catches the globe, record whether the student's left thumb is touching land or water. Next, that student tosses the ball to a classmate and then sits down. Once everyone is seated, determine the ratio of the number of times students' thumbs touched water to the number of times they touched land. Record the ratio and repeat the activity on other days. (Over time, the ratio should be fairly close to 7 to 3, or 70 per cent.)

Challenge: Predict the probability that someone's thumb will land on any of the continents based on the ratio of the area of each continent's landmass to that of the planet as a whole.

Sweet Maths

Model this activity with one package of Skittles or M&Ms and a document camera, or let each student have their package. Younger students can graph the contents of their packages by colour. Older students can calculate the ratio of each colour compared with the total number of pieces of candy in their packages.

Challenge: Compile the class results into one graph, then have each student compare their ratio to the ratio for the entire class.

It's In The Cards

For a twist on the traditional card game War, assign values of 1 to the ace, 11 to the jack, 12 to the queen, and 13 to the king, and face value for the cards two through 10 (for younger children, limit the game to number cards only). Playing in pairs, each student lays two cards face up, then subtracts the lower number from the higher. Whoever has the higher answer wins all four cards. If the totals are the same, the players flip over two more cards and repeat until there is a winner.

Challenge: Use the two cards to form a fraction and compare to see who has the larger fraction. Suppose they are equivalent; repeat until someone wins the round.

Priceless Verse

Give each group of four or five students some play money — a one-dollar bill, two quarters, three dimes, four nickels, and five pennies. Read the poem "Smart" by Shel Silverstein, and have students exchange money according to each stanza. ("My dad gave me a one-dollar bill/’Cause I'm his smartest son/And I swapped it for two shiny quarters/’Cause two is more than one!") Ask younger students if the person who started with a dollar got a good deal or not. Older students can calculate how much the child in the poem lost with each exchange.

Challenge: Use a calculator to determine the percentage lost with each exchange.

 

15 Minutes

Teach quick maths concepts with fruit, dice, even Twister!

Weighing In

Line up various fruits and veggies, such as oranges, bananas, cucumbers, kiwis, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Ask students to predict the order of the foods from lightest to heaviest. Use a balance scale to test their predictions, then rearrange the foods according to their actual weights.

Challenge: Slice each fruit in half. Invite students to analyse how the density of the fruit or vegetable affects its weight. 

String Them Up

Which is greater — arm span or height? Ask students to stand in groups according to their predictions: those who think their arm span is greater than, less than, or equal to their height. Give pairs a piece of string to test and measure, then regroup according to their results.

Challenge: Estimate the ratio of the length of an arm or leg to body height, then measure to check the estimate's accuracy.

Twister Maths

Stick labels with numbers, shapes, or images of coins onto the circles of a Twister mat. Give each student, in turn, an equation, a description of a shape, or an amount of money, then have the student place their hand or foot on the answer.

Challenge: Label the mat with numbers ending in zero, then call out numbers and tell kids they must round up or down to the nearest answer.

One-Metre Dash

Hand groups of students a metre stick, a pencil, and a sheet of paper each. Allow them a few minutes to jot down three items in the room whose length they predict will add up to one metre. Then give them five minutes to measure the items, record their lengths, and add them together. Have groups report their results. Which group came closest to one meter?

Challenge: Students measure to the nearest 1/8 inch, then convert their measurements to decimals.

Number Builders

Give each pair of students a die with six to nine sides. Have them set up blanks for the digits in a number. (Their numbers should be the same length, from four to nine digits long.) Before playing, decide if the highest or lowest number will win. Students take turns rolling the die and filling in blanks. Once a number has been written, you cannot change it. Roll until all blanks are filled, and then compare the numbers. If time permits, have students subtract to find the difference between their numbers.

Challenge: Instead of building an integer, build a fraction or decimal. 

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