Is your child struggling in math? Is that making you an insomniac? Here are some cool math games for kids you can try at home. And for this, you don’t need to expose those delicate eyes to the screen. All you need is a little imagination, some time in your hand to make the games, and a bit of creativity.
Why is Math Important?
We all know how significant the role math plays in our life. It doesn’t matter what streams kids choose later in their careers. Math is a subject every kid must learn right from the time they are in kindergarten till upper primary level. Here are some reasons why a kid must learn math:
- It helps to develop analytical and reasoning skills in children.
- It enables children to measure, draw, build, notice patterns, compare, count, describe, and do much more.
- It creates a problem-solving attitude in children – a must in today’s times.
- Knowledge of math and a sound base in this subject help children also study other subjects.
- Even in art and craft, arithmetic helps in getting the desired results.
Have you ever seen a kid play PC games or mobile games? Have you noticed how engrossed they are while playing?
In the same way, if we can gamify math or any subject that they hate or are scared of, imagine the outcomes. Kids will be more focused on playing and winning. They will forget their fear of math. And in that process, they will start enjoying this joyful and brain-developing subject. So here are some of the cool math games for kids that they can enjoy with you on a holiday, school day, or any day and any place.
Are We Talking About Apps?
There are indeed plenty of apps containing cool math games for kids available these days – be it on Google Play Store or App Store. Most of the games on these apps are undoubtedly beneficial in developing knowledge of mathematics. But the more kids play on these apps, the more they get hooked. As a result, they get more exposed to the screen, which we all know is not good news for their eyes and brains.
So, we are not discussing apps or web-based games. We are talking about math games that
- can be played offline
- help in spending quality time as a family
- will also help in physical development
- work on life skills
- enhance various faculties of the brain
- will focus on many kinds of mathematical operations
And all this while having loads of fun and carefree laughter filling the air with joy.
So, are you ready to make math the best friend your kid can have?
Cool Math Games for Kids to be Played Indoor
First, we will list a few games that can be played at home. For this, you need not collect or create much. Just a few papers and a marker should do. You are a busy parent, and time is a constraint. So, these games are selected keeping those factors in mind:
Game 1. Salute
This is a classic math game where you need three players, some cards or sheets of paper, and a marker. Before you begin, write down numbers 1 – 10 or more on the cards – one number on one card.
Having done that, now you can start the game. Here is how to play:
- Two players select a card with numbers on it without looking at it.
- They face each other.
- They stick the cards on their forehead face up. This way, both their numbers are visible to each other.
- The third player gives a leading statement. It could be the sum of both the numbers for kids of 5 or 6 years. Or the difference between the two numbers. For KS2 kids, it could be the product of the two numbers multiplied.
- The two players calculate the number on their forehead following the leading statement. Whoever gets it correct and fast wins the game.
This method improves addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of numbers.
Game 2. Multiplication Bingo
Another fantastic multiplication game to play with kids is Multiplication Bingo. Whether you are 8 or 80, there is no age limit to enjoy Bingo. And when you connect it with mathematics, it converts boring math lessons into highly engaging topics.
What you need – some paper and some pens.
- All players have a piece of paper. Usually, a Bingo card has a 5 by 5 grid. But if playing with kids 6 – 8 years, the players can make a 3 by 3 grid (3 columns and 3 rows). In each square, they write a number.
- The numbers have to be multiples of a number. For instance, the number could be 2. So, players can write 4, 8, 10, 12, etc.
- We need one player to volunteer who will call out some numbers (multiples of the chosen number) or announce multiplication questions. Example: This number is 2 times 5. (It would be better if the volunteer could write these questions before starting to call out.)
- If the players have the answer on their Bingo grid, they strike it out.
- The first person to have all the numbers struck out wins the round.
If you do not have any volunteers who could call out the numbers or questions, no worries. You can go online and search for ‘multiplication Bingo generator online’. You will find many websites that can do the job for you.
Game 3. Bang Bang!
This is a hot favorite among kids as they can play ‘cowboy’ and have the thrills of using props like guns and hats. You may add props like red scarves to tie around the neck, belts, badges, pins, etc. Unleash the cowboy spirit and create that classic ‘Wild West’ aura.
Besides the fun props, you need nothing else to play this math game. Here is how to play the game:
- Make 2 cowpokes stand facing opposite to each other as in a cowboy gunfight shoot-out style.
- They start walking in opposite directions with a cowboy gait.
- Meanwhile, when they start walking, a volunteer can shout a question. For example, ‘What is 8 times 9?’
- The cowpoke, who calculates the answer first, spins around and says ‘Bang Bang!’ and the answer.
- If the answer is correct, the player wins the round and gets points.
You can make the game more interesting by giving badges for winning any of the following:
- 2 or 3 rounds
- 3 consecutive rounds
- Reaching 20 points first
Or the player can win more props as and when they win. The bottom line is – you can get as creative as you want with cool math games for kids like these.
Game 4. Yes or No
This one is a variation of the Salute game. But this has a twist that makes it more challenging. For this game, you can make a few cards with numbers, shapes, or time written on them. They can be made at home easily using paper and markers.
- Just like in Salute, two players stand facing each other.
- They pick a card. Without seeing what is on it, they place it on their forehead for the other one to see.
- Now here comes the twist. The first player asks a question about the card on his forehead. The other player can only answer with ‘yes’ or ‘no’. For example, ‘Do I have more than three sides?’ ‘Is it when I wake up in the morning?’ ‘Am I divisible by 2?’
- This way both players keep asking questions till they get the correct answer about their respective cards. However, they only get to ask a pre-decided number of questions. If they do get the answer in as many numbers of questions, they get to win points.
- Also, the point system can vary. If the player gets the answer in the first turn, she wins 50 points. As and when the player uses the turns, the points reduce accordingly.
Playing such cool math games for kids, one also learns how to ask the right questions. This is a must-have life skill, which will help in studies and other activities.
Cool Math Games for Kids to be Played Outdoor
Who says math games can be played indoors only. A subject so expansive with its presence everywhere around us can be enjoyed outdoors as much as indoors.
Be it your backyard, a park in the neighborhood, an open field, or a camping trip in the wild outdoors, we can play math games just about anywhere.
Here are some ideas that make the outdoors your partner in educating your child:
Game 5. Math Treasure Hunt
There are many variations of the game called Treasure Hunt. Also, this game gives you so much flexibility that you can design it for one or two kids, and also turn it into a group activity.
Benefits of Math Treasure Hunt
The beauty of this game is:
- it enhances reading skills
- develops the concept of rhymes and rhythms
- solving puzzles is a great way to improve mental development
- makes kids more active
- encourages them to explore
- and finding the treasure at the end is like winning a prize. This can be very satisfying and boosts their confidence.
Now, imagine what would happen if you gave it a mathematical twist. Perhaps it would be one of the most loved cool math games for kids.
How to Plan Math Treasure Hunt
What you need for this game is some cards, a pen, a treasure that has to be found, and a bit of rhyming skills (optional). Here are the steps:
- Plan the hunt. You could work backward by first hiding the treasure. Or you could start with the first step.
- Each step will have a clue that will lead to another spot. That spot will have the next clue. This way, you can make as many stops and an equal number of clues. The goal is to help the child reach the final step, where the treasure is hidden.
- The only difference is that your clues will have mathematical questions, such as
1 pillow + 1 pillow = ?
For very young kids, who cannot read words yet, you can place pictures which can be hand drawn also. If you can’t draw, don’t worry. It could be a rough sketch to give sufficient clues.
So, the child sees the pictures. Gets the clue that she has to head to where the pillows are kept. Remove two pillows to reveal the next clue.
This way, the child can enjoy this fascinating game. Also, keep solving math sums without feeling bored or scared. Finding treasure at the end would act like a reinforcement of the benefits of doing math.
Game 6. Step Up to Add and Step down to Subtract
This is an ideal game for a preschooler who has just learned numbers and can do basic-level additions and subtractions. What you need to play this game is a flight of stairs and a piece of chalk.
- Write numbers 1 to 10 on the stairs – one number on each step. The lowest step will have 1 and as you go up the numbers will increase in the proper serial order.
- As you might have guessed from the name of the game, a child has to step up to add and step down to subtract.
- You can read out a card that reads ‘Now add 2 steps’ or ‘Subtract 3 steps’, etc.
- So, the child can go up and down according to the instructions given and announce the new number where she reached.
- For each correct answer, the child will get points.
If the game is played between 2 or 3 players, you can add up the points to declare the winner.
This game flexes the brain muscles while making the leg muscles stronger. Also, when played between 2 or 3 players, the child can learn how to stick to her decision and not succumb to peer pressure when they are wrong.
Game 7. Scavenger Hunt
Another engaging outdoor game is Scavenger Hunt. Now, let’s do a fun equation:
Scavenger Hunt + Math = Delighted kids + Elated Parents
That is a wonderful equation, right? And you get the point.
- You need a list of things that the teams are supposed to find. This you can create yourself. Look for a few things. Measure their length and width, weight, or height.
- Now make a note of these things and place them randomly around the play area, albeit discreetly.
- Make a list of these objects by just writing their weights or lengths as clues. For example, something around the bushes is 5 centimeters long. Or something near the palm trees that weighs 500 grams.
- Create two or more teams and give them the above list to hunt for the things that match the description.
- Once the teams have gathered all the things on the list, use a measuring tape or a weighing scale to check if the objects they brought match the descriptions.
- The team that gets all correct and collects them fastest gets to win.
It is needless to highlight the effectiveness of this game in building their sense of height, length, and weight of things. This will prove helpful not only in many topics in math but also in life skills.
After reading all the above, do you still believe math could be scary? Or boring? I hope not. Math is a beautiful subject. It adds much sense and joy to our life. But at times, math is introduced in the wrong way, which leads to mental blocks. You can remove such mental blocks with cool math games for kids. This way, you can remove the obstacles to great learning and a bright future, and make way for many wonderful math concepts.