08 Oct 2019

25 Fun Maths Activities And Games For Kids To Do At Home For Free!

  • By Emma Johnson  | 
  • 08 Oct 2019  | 
  • 17 min read
  •  |  Free download

In this blog school leader and parent Emma Johnson takes a look at a number of maths games for kids you can play at home. With the assistance of her daughter Amber she tells you all about 25 different maths games for KS2 children that you can play at home to help your support your child with their learning outside of school.  

Games are a fantastic way to bring the whole family together, and that is certainly the case when it comes to maths games for kids. 

As well as providing some family fun, maths games have the added advantage of presenting learning opportunities in a way that means that children may not even realise they’re learning! 

They are a fun way to practise a wide range of mathematical skills, such as counting, place value, times tables and much much more.

Fun Maths Activities And Games Worksheets

Get all the worksheets that accompany the activities in this blog in our FREE downloadable PDF! All you need to do is print them out, and your child will be having fun with maths in no time at all!

Time is scarce as a parent, but it’s important to make time for maths games & activities with your child!

We all know how rushed life can be and we can sometimes feel guilty we aren’t spending enough time supporting our children with their learning at home. 

The great thing about the games I’ll be sharing with you is that many can be played at any time of day – over breakfast, on the walk to school, driving to football etc.

Whilst some maths games do take time to set up and prepare resources for, others involve no setting up time or resources.

In this blog I’ll be sharing a wide range of games, from simple, short games to play when you have a quick few minutes, to longer games which everyone in the family can enjoy together.

So without further ado, lets have some maths fun! 


Further reading:


Indoor maths games and activities your child can play at home

On rainy days it can be hard to persuade children to practise their maths, but these activities should have your child enjoying maths at home in no time at all! 

Indoor maths game 1: Count Down!

This game is a simple at home version of the TV favourite and can be played with any number of players.

What you need to play:

  • 4 ‘large number’ cards with the numbers 25, 50, 75 and 100 on them
  • A set of cards with the digits 1-10 on them, with at least two cards for each number

 

How to play:

Step 1: Set out 4 large number cards (25, 50, 75 and 100) face down and mixed up.

Step 2: Do the same with the 1 – 10 cards, making sure you have at least 2 cards for each number.

Step 3: Players take it in turns to select one of the big number cards or one of the small number cards, until there are 6 cards laid out all together. 

Step 4: Someone who is playing the game needs to generate a 3-digit number. This can be by throwing a dice, or selecting cards from a pile of 0 to 9 cards. 

Step 5: Once the number has been generated, turn over the six cards and players have to try and get to that total using any of the six number cards and any of the four operations. 

Each card can only be used once and the winner is the first person to reach the total, or the player who is closest after a set length of time.

The game can be adapted for younger children, by choosing the numbers on the cards carefully and having them aiming to reach a 2-digit number, rather than a 3-digit number. 

Indoor maths game 2: Salute 

This simple game is all about bringing together verbalisation and maths. 

What you need to play:

  • Two willing participants
  • Cards numbered 1-10 (these can be made from a sheet of paper)

How to play:

Step 1: The game starts with the two players facing each other. Each person selects a numbered card and sticks it on their forehead, so the other player can see. 

Step 2: The person leading the game gives a statement, such as what the sum of the two numbers is, the difference between the two or the product of the two etc….. 

Step 3: Each player has to work out what number is on their own card, based on what is written on the other person’s head and the rule given. 

Salute - Fun maths game for children

Indoor maths game 3: Multiplication Bingo 

Bingo is something that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, and this version puts a mathematical twist on this classic game.

What you need to play:

  • Paper to write numbers down on

How to play:

Step 1:  In this mathematical version of the game, all players write down 5 numbers, which are multiples of a given times table. For example: if they were doing the 5 times table, they might write 10, 35, 45, 50 and 60.

Step 2: A third person can lead the game and call out multiplication questions from the chosen times table, or they can be written on cards, jumbled up in a pile for players to take turns picking and reading out.

Step 3: If the player has an answer to the question on their bingo board, they can cross it out. First person to cross out all their numbers is the winner. 

Multiplication Bingo Maths Game

The most fun maths games and activities to do at home 

One of the best ways to encourage a child to learn about anything is by making it fun, and that is exactly what these maths games are!

Fun maths game 1: Maths Problem Scavenger Hunt 

All children enjoy a scavenger hunt, so why not make one based around maths? 

What you need to play

  • Some creativity
  • A garden or home full of measurable objects!

How to play:

Step 1: Give children a grid with some pre-set weights and lengths on. It will then be a challenge for them to find something in the garden that is approximately 10cm long, or something in the house that weighs 300g (as an example). 

Step 2: Get your child to gather all of the items they think match the weights and lengths on the card, and check how well they have done with some kitchen scales and a tape measure!

Fun maths game 2:  The Yes/No Game

This is another simple game that is loved by children in classrooms across the country!

What you need to play:

  • A series of cards/pieces of paper

How to play:

Step 1: Both players put a card on their head. It could have a number on it, a shape etc…. 

Step 2: The first player asks a question which can only be answered with ‘yes’ or ‘no’. E.g. ‘Am I odd?’ ‘Am I under 20?’ ‘Do I have 4 sides?’ etc…..

Step 3: They keep asking questions until the get the answer correct, or they run out of turns (you can set the number of turns they get at the beginning of the game). Then it is time for the other player to have a go.

The yes & no maths game for kids

Fun maths game 3: Bang Bang

Bang bang is a great game for practising quick recall facts. 

What you need to play:

  • Two willing mathematicians!

How to play

Step 1: 2 players stand back to back, cowboy shootout style. 

Step 2: A question is called out, such as ‘what is 7 x 6?’ 

Step 3: The first player to turn, face their opponent, shout ‘bang bang’ and to give the answer wins the round.

Step 4: This is then repeated until a number of points, decided at the start of the game, is reached. That player is then the winner. 

Fun Maths Activities And Games Worksheets

Get all the worksheets that accompany the activities in this blog in our FREE downloadable PDF! All you need to do is print them out, and your child will be having fun with maths in no time at all!

The 3 best hands on maths games and activities to do at home

Doing some hands on maths activities with your child is a great way to capture their full attention when you are doing maths at home, and these games have been created to do just that.

Hands on maths game 1: Five To One 

This game not only tests children’s verbalisation and problem solving skills, but it also brings an element of competition into doing maths at home, and we all know how much children love to ‘win’!

What you need to play:

  • Cards with maths statements written on them
  • Two players

How to play:

Step 1: The first person picks a card containing five statements. Each of the five statements provide a clue to the final answer, starting with a vague clue for the first statement, through to an easy clue for the fifth statement. 

Step 2: Player one picks a card and reads out the first statement. E.g. ‘This shape has four sides’. 

Step 3: Player two can choose to give an answer and score the maximum five points, if they are correct, but risk scoring zero if they are wrong. Alternatively, they can choose to hear the four point question. They keep on going until they get a question wrong, or they choose to pass to hear the next question until they get to the final one point question. 

Hands on maths game 2: The 24 Game 

This is a very simple game that will help your child practice their arithmetic skills, and it is a game they can play with a group of friends.

What you need to play:

  • A pack of playing cards (The number cards only)

How to play:

Step 1: Each player picks 4 number cards at random from the pile. 

Step 2: They then need to find a way to manipulate the 4 digits using any of the 4 operations (+, -, x, ÷) so the end result is 24 For example, if they chose 4, 7, 8, 8, they could do (7 – (8÷8) x 4 = 24)

Step 3: If nobody is able to reach 24, you can make it closest wins! 

 

Hands on maths game 3: 5 Of A Kind

This is a tricky maths card game that will truly put your child’s (and maybe even your) skills and knowledge to the test.

What you need to play:

  • 5 sets of cards numbered 2-9

How to play: 

Step 1: The first player picks a card numbered from 2 – 9. 

Step 2: They then collect another 4 cards with the same number as the first, so they have 5 cards with the same number. 

Step 3: The aim of the game is to use one or more of the five cards to get an answer of each digit between one and ten. 

If for example, the player chose a 5. They would then need to use one or more of the cards to find the answer 1, 2, 3…… To make 1, they could do 5 ÷ 5, to make 2 they could do (5 ÷ 5) + (5 ÷ 5) etc…. 


How Matr Makes Maths Fun For Your Child On A Weekly Basis

Here at Matr we know just how important it is to ensure that when a child is learning about maths, that they are also having fun too! 

The best learning happens when children enjoy their lessons, and our fun online tuition platform has been designed to make sure that every lesson is fun as well as being full of maths! 

Sign up for a free trial of our online maths programmes, or find out more about how a primary school maths tutor can help your child to achieve success. 

Learning about maths doesn’t have to be dull when Matr is involved!


The top 3 outdoor maths games and activities to do at home

Whether you realise it or not, the great outdoors and maths go hand in hand, and these outdoor maths games and activities should serve as inspiration about how you can help your child learn maths whilst outdoors!

Outdoor maths game 1: Life Size Board Games

Board games are a fun way to spend time with the family, but have you ever thought about actually becoming part of the board game? 

To help your child learn maths outside, you can easily make a life size board game and become the characters in the game.

What you need to play:

  • Paper plates (or even just sheets of paper will do)
  • A large dice (or a cube shaped box which can be made into a dice)
  • A dose of creativity!

How to play: 

Step 1: Use paper plates as an easy way to make the board game squares, and if you don’t have access to a large dice, a cube shaped box can be made into one instead. 

Step 2: The board games you play can vary depending on the age of your child. With younger children, the plates can be numbered to encourage counting, whilst older kids could have times tables or other maths facts to answer as they go round the board. 

Outdoor maths game 2: Multiplication Hopscotch

Everyone knows how to play hopscotch, but by introducing maths into the mix you can take this traditional playground game to the next level. 

What you need to play:

  • Chalk

How to play: 

Step 1: Using chalk, draw out hopscotch squares on the ground and in each square, write either multiples of a number or multiplication facts.

Step 2: Each person then hop, skips and counts at the same time, which is a really good way of helping those multiplication facts stick. 

The other great thing about this game is this can be done with one person, or if friends are visiting everyone can join in and have a go. 

Outdoor maths game 3: Telling The Time Activity 

Time is one of those things many children find tricky, but this game will help your child tackle this topic.

What you need to play:

  • Chalk

How to play:

Step 1: Try drawing a clock on the ground with chalk. 

Step 2: Then, get your child to use their body to make the hands of the clock. They could show just the hour or minute hands by lying straight, or they could use their body to make the hour and the minute hands, with their legs (the longer part) being the minute hand and their torso (the shorter part) the hour hand.  

Some simple but fun maths dice games you can play at home

Whilst some classroom resources may be a little hard to come by at home, most family homes have a dice or two lying around. With most board games coming prepackaged with a dice, dig them out of the cupboard and re-purpose them for these fun maths dice games.  

Dice maths game 1: Skunk

This is the perfect game to teach your child all about probability, and whilst it seems like it would be easy to win, your child will soon find out that this isn’t the case…

What you need to play: 

  • Two dice
  • A sheet of paper

How to play

Step 1: Write the word skunk and separate each letter into a different column on a sheet of paper. Each letter of the word ‘skunk’ represents a different round of the game. 

Step 2:  The first player rolls a pair of dice and works out the total of the two dice. The score is written in the S column. If they roll a one they score zero. 

Step 3: Once they have their first score under the letter ‘S’, they have to make the decision to either stop and take that score as their score for the game, or roll again and hope they score even more to add to the first round score. 

Step 4: If they roll a one in the second round, play stops and the player takes the score from the first round as their total for the game. The risk a player takes in moving on and throwing again, is if two ones are thrown, all the points for the game are wiped and the player scores zero. 

Dice maths game  2: The Pig Dice Game 

This game is similar to the skunk game, but there only needs to be one player and one dice. However, even with only one dice things will still get tense! 

What you need to play: 

  • One die 
  • A sheet of paper

How to play:

Step 1: Throw the die and the player records the number that they roll. As long as a one isn’t thrown, the player can roll again and add the number to their total. 

Step 2: After each throw, the player has to decide whether to throw again or keep the points they’ve scored. If a one is thrown at any point, the player loses all the points scored so far. 

Step 3: The first player to score 100 is the winner.

Dice maths game 3: Triangle Tower

This game is a great way to test your child’s times tables skills, and it only takes two minutes to set up!

What you need to play: 

  • Two dice
  • A sheet of paper
  • Counter or coins

How to play:

Step 1: Draw out a triangle made from squares, with four on the bottom up to one at the top. 

Step 2: Each player chooses 10 number from the products table (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 16, 18, 20, 24, 25, 30, 36). This is simply all of the possible options you can get when multiplying the numbers between 1 and 6 together.

Step 3: Write one number in each of the ten triangles from the product table results above.

Step 4: The first player then rolls 2 dice and multiplies the two numbers together. If they have the product of the two numbers written on their tower, they can then cover it with a counter.

Step 5: The winner is the first player to cover all their numbers in the tower. 

Fun maths game for kids - times tables bingo

Game extension idea

The game can include more challenging multiplication calculations by changing the numbers on the dice. 

If one has the numbers 1-6 and the second has the number 7-12, the numbers each player has to choose from are (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 27, 28, 30, 32, 33, 35, 36, 40, 42, 44, 45, 48, 50, 54, 55, 60, 66 and 72) 

Alternatively, both dice marked with the numbers 7 – 12 would give the products 49, 56, 63, 64, 70, 72, 77, 80, 81, 84, 88, 90, 96, 99, 100, 108, 110, 120, 121, 132 and 144. 

Fun Maths Activities And Games Worksheets

Get all the worksheets that accompany the activities in this blog in our FREE downloadable PDF! All you need to do is print them out, and your child will be having fun with maths in no time at all!

Fun maths card games you can play at home with your child

Along with dice, playing cards are one of the most versatile and underused maths resources that can be found in most family homes. Fortunately, these games are here to put an end to that!

Card maths game 1: The Biggest Number

Place value is a crucial skill for children to grasp during primary school, and this simple card game will help them to do that in visual and fun way. 

What you need to play:

  • One place value grid (drawn onto a piece of paper)
  • A deck of playing cards

How to play:

Step 1: Each player draws a place value grid, with an agreed number of places. E.g. Thousands, hundreds, tens and ones. 

Step 2: Using a deck of cards 2-10, Ace and picture cards, with 2-10 being worth their digit, Aces being worth 1 and picture cards being worth 0.

Step 3: Players take turns to draw a card from the pile, and each player chooses which column to record the number in. The winner is the person to have the biggest number recorded at the end of the game.

Card maths game 2: First To 100

This simple game is perfect for car journeys or the 10 minutes before dinner, and it will get your children practising their maths skills in a fun and exciting way!

What you need to play:

  • A deck of playing cards
  • A sheet of paper

How to play:

Step 1: Shuffle a pack of cards and place face down. Each player takes one card and turns it over in front of them. 

Step 2: Record the number on the card (Ace is worth 1 and picture cards are worth 10). 

Step 3: Each player then takes a second card and adds the number to the first number, recording it on the paper. 

Step 4: Keep taking cards until the first person reaches 100. They are the winner.

Game extension idea

A variation on this game can be to start at 100 and keep subtracting until someone gets down to zero. 

For older children, instead of adding the cards together, they can be multiplied each time, with the winner being the first to reach 1000.

Card maths game 3: Wild Jack

This is a fast paced maths card game for two or more players, where all eyes will be on the Jacks in the pack…

What you need to play:

  • A deck of cards 

How to play:

Step 1: Other than the Jacks, remove all of the picture cards from a deck. Jacks are ‘wild cards’ and can be used at any time to represent any number from 1 – 10.

Step 2: The aim of the game is to reach the target number. To make the target number, shuffle the pack and turn over the top two cards. If either are a 10 or joker, put them to the bottom. The 2 cards turned over make the target number. For example, if you turn over the 5 of hearts then the 2 of diamonds, your target number is 52.

Step 3: Each player is dealt 5 cards, which are set out face up. Players then can add, subtract, multiply and divide to try to reach the target number. If the target number is reached using all 5 cards, 10 points is scored, if it is made using less than 5 cards, 8 points is scored.

Pen and paper maths games and activities you can do at home

There is no need for fancy equipment when it comes to these maths game. A pen/pencil and a few sheets of paper are all you need to make maths fun at home!

Pen and paper maths game 1: Battleships

This is a game that most people will be familiar with, but it just so happens to be fantastic practice for KS2 coordinates.

What you need to play:

  • Some sheets of paper
  • Pens or pencils

How to play:

Step 1: Each player draws out a grid with A – J along the bottom and 1 – 10 up the side.

Step 2: They then plot ships of various sizes on the grid by colouring in the squares:

–       One ship five squares long (the aircraft carrier)

–       One ship four squares long (the battleship)

–       Two ships three squares long (the cruiser and submarine)

–       One ship two squares long (the destroyer)

Step 3: The first player ‘shoots’ by calling out a grid reference, e.g. B3. If it hits an empty square, the other player shouts, ‘miss!’ whilst the first player draws a cross, but if it hits a square with a ship in it, they have to shout ‘hit’ and the other player draws a dot. Each player keeps track of their hits and misses on a separate grid.

Step 4: Once all the squares for a ship have been hit, that ship then ‘sinks’. The winner is the one to sink all the other person’s ships first.

Pen and paper maths game 2: Multiplication 4 In A Row

This game does the impossible, and manages to make learning multiplication facts fun. 

What you need to play:

  • Sheets of paper
  • Counters or coins

How to play:

Step 1: Each player needs a set of coloured counters or different coins (2ps vs 10ps as an example). 

Step 2: Make a grid containing the answers to the times tables being worked on (you can choose which times table you want your child to tackle) and a set of cards with the multiplication questions.

Step 3: Each player takes it in turns to pick a card, work out the answer and cover the answer with their counter. The first player to cover four in a row is the winner.

Multiplication 4 in a row maths game for kids

Pen and paper maths game 3: Dots And Boxes 

This maths game is a classic, and the chances are high that some parents out there would have played this themselves when they were at school. 

Please note, this game can be played by drawing dots on a page, but it is easier to download square dot paper and print it out.

What you need to play: 

  • A sheet of dotted paper
  • A pen or pencil

How to play:

Step 1: The first player draws a line to join one of the dots to another of the dots, the next player then does the same. 

Step 2: This continues until one player manages to join the lines to make a box. They write their initial in the box and get to take another go. Once they are no longer able to complete a full box, it goes back to the other player.

Step 3: The winner is the person who has their initial in the most boxes at the end of the game.

Car games for kids: Fun road trip maths games for kids

You can put all shouts of “Are we there yettttt…..” to bed with these four simple and fun maths games your children can play in the car. 

Perfect for those long drives to far flung summer holiday destinations, these games have been designed to be very simple so they don’t need quite as much detail as the other games in the blog!

Road trip maths game 1: Creative Counting

Simple counting games are great for younger children, with lots of opportunities for counting things they see – lorries, red cares, blue signs etc… 

This could be made more challenging by changing how many points each is worth, so children could count up in twos or threes etc… 

Creative Counting Road Trip Maths Game

Road trip maths game 2: Guess My Number 

This game can be easily adapted for any age.

Think of a number for the children to guess. Players have to ask questions with a yes or no answer in order to identify the number. 

For younger children they could be given a range within which the number falls, they call out a number and are given ‘higher’ or ‘lower until they reach it.

A more challenging version of the game would be to give players a range of clues, e.g. If the number was 50, they could give the clues ‘It’s an even number’. ‘it’s divisible by 2, 5, 10 and 25’, ‘it’s equal to two quarters’. 

Road trip maths game 3: Guess My Rule

An alternative to guessing the number, in this game players have to try and guess the rule.

Players give a number whilst the person leading the game applies a mystery rule and tells the players what the new number is. 

For example: If the rule is multiply by 10, one player would give the number, e.g. 37 and they would be given the answer once the rule has been applied, so in this instance they would be given the answer of 370. 

Road trip maths game 4: The 21 Game

This is a fun strategy game, played with two or more players, who take it in turns to count up from 1. 

Each player can call out one, two or three consecutive numbers, before it moves to the next player to carry on counting up. 

The player who ends up saying ‘21’ is out of the game. The game then continues, counting back up from 1 to 21, until there is only one person left. They are the winner.

Maths games are all around us!

There are of course many more simple maths games which can be enjoyed at home, and they are only limited by your creativity. 

Hopefully these ideas will give you a starting point, but why not get really creative and create some games of your own!


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