I enjoy using games in my ABC123 Tutoring program that help students reinforce things that they have been learning and practicing. Since many students are visual and kinesthetic learners I have a set of go-to activities that I incorporate in their program. With summer approaching, I’ve decided to include a list of games that can be used at home over the break to keep math interesting and to keep kid’s engaged. This list is great for parents who are looking for ideas to enrich their child’s summer and for teacher’s getting ready to teach summer enrichment camps.
In this activity, students play with a partner(s) and answer math questions. Once they have checked their answer they can add their game piece to the tower. I have one side labelled with addition questions and the opposite side with multiplication so there are two levels of play. Once the tower has been constructed students can play Jenga.
I have a cup, 5 dice and a Yahtzee game sheet downloaded from the internet. Students play take turns rolling dice and playing Yahtzee. This game is great because students get to practice their time tables and their addition facts. They also need to use strategy to come out on top.
This game is the best game for teaching coordinates. Student’s take turns trying to sink each other’s ships by calling out coordinates. I’ve had a few student’s tell me after “Wow – now I understand coordinates!” It’s a fun game and no one realizes that they are practicing their math!
Card Games – Greater/Less Than/Addition War/Multiplication War
I have playing this one with my own son since he was 4 years old. We started off as playing greater than-less than war and progressed to addition war. You split a deck, decide what your Jack, Queen, King and Ace will be worth and each player then places a card on the table. If playing greater–than war; the person with higher card wins. If playing addition war I have students take turns answering the math problem in order to remove the competitiveness and allow for extra time to process the answer. I always have counting cubes on hand close by to help as well. This game can be played as a multiplication game as well for more advanced students. If both players draw the same card it’s time for war!
Dice games are versatile. You can play war much like with cards or you can play multiplication or addition games. Vary the amount of dice to change the degree of difficulty. My student’s love dice play – it’s a great way to practice their math.
Dominoes are great for teaching math. You can use them for war like cards and dice or you can play “What’s Missing”. I take two dominoes and place one right side up and one side down. I give the student the total and they need to solve how many dots are on the domino. This makes for a fun subtraction game.
We all played Monopoly as kids and you’d be surprised how much kid’s today enjoy playing this game too. A lot of strategy is used as well as number sense to play the game. Activities like rolling a die and moving the game piece on the board as well as counting out money help with addition practice. I play this game with my son and my nieces on rainy summer days. It keeps them interested and I love that they are practicing their math.
These are a few of my favourite activities that my student’s enjoy – there are so many more out there. Math practice doesn’t have to be about math worksheets or computer games. Children love playing games and I cannot think of a better way to have them practice their math skills this summer! What are some of your favourite math games?