Math Activities, Math Games
Pasta With Pizzazz
Fill a plastic bowl with three or more different kinds of uncooked pasta
shapes. Attach a sample of each pasta shape to a board labeled with
each "pasta value." Each student places a scoop of pasta on a napkin
and uses the code to determine its total value.
Domino Addition and Multiplication
Use dominoes to find different sums. If the number 6 is after the equal
sign, the student(s) must find a domino that adds up to 6. (The same can
be done with multiplication. ) The dominos can also be used to find
missing addends. If 7 is the sum and only a 4 is shown as one side of
the domino, a domino must be found that matches the side of the domino
given as well as add up to 7. Students can also go on to find sums on
their own or with partners to challenge themselves.
Box Lid Math
Program a rectangle on the box lid with a grid of desired numbers for
adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing. A student sets two paper
clips atop the grid. Next he scoots the clips around the grid by
maneuvering the box lid When the clips come to rest, he copies the
numbers under the clip on his paper and performs the specified math
Mark each parking space of the garage with a single or double digit
number. Roll two dice to see what the two numbers add up to. Move a car
into the parking space with the matching number. When all of the parking
spaces are taken, the activity is over.
Begin play by calling out a math fact. One member from each team
calculates the answer, then attempts to locate and stand on that answer
in the playing area. Since only one student may occupy a number,
students who do not locate the appropriate number return to the
sidelines. If the student is standing on the correct number he receives
a construction-paper square. The team with the most squares wins.
To help with drill practice in multiplication, form a Bunny-Hop line
with your students.
State one multiplication problem and "Bunny-Hop" around the room saying
the problem over and over with rhythm.
On-Target Math Review
On a plastic tablecloth draw a dartboard. Label each section of the
dartboard with a two-digit number. To play, each student tosses a
beanbag on the dartboard twice. Add the number. The highest sum wins a
point for their team.
Give each student the same amount of goldfish crackers. By using your
hand as a
"whale", demonstrate how the whale "eats" the fish. Ask the children
different subtraction problems by having your "whale" eat different
amounts of fish. For addition practice, have the "whale" cough up some
fish again and add to the fish that were not eaten.
Salad Bowl Facts
Display a salad bowl, a pair of salad tongs, paper plates, pencils, and
blank paper at a center. A student uses the tongs to put a serving of
salad on a paper plate. Then, using the numbers on his salad
ingredients, he writes on his paper the problem and solves it.
To incorporate more than one math operation and add fun practice at the
same time, design a maze according to the skill level of those playing.
In these mazes, students do math along the way. However, the object is
to reach the END square with the correct answer. Mazes can consist of
simple subtraction and/or all operations. End results can also vary
depending on the number chosen for the outcome.
Create a simple "Draw A Monster" form that lists several monster
features. As the student draws his monster, he refers to the form to
find out how may arms, feet, noses, and so on his monster should have.
The object of this game is to place the numbers across, up/down, or
diagonally so that the numbers add up to ten. Players take turns filling
in the TIC-TAC-TEN board so that one row will add up to ten. This game
can be played in partners or against the teacher up at the board. The
game can also be made more complex for higher grade levels.
You're In the Hot Seat
Write approximately 20 fact problems (with answers) on the chalkboard.
Near one end of the chalkboard, draw a large star. Ask one volunteer to
sit in the hot seat with his back to the chalkboard and ask another
volunteer to be the recorder. In turn, students appointed by the
recorder ask the child in the hot seat to solve a math fact from the
chalkboard. If he can correctly answer five fact problems in a row, he
writes his name under the star on the chalkboard and becomes the
First to 500!
Students roll two dice at a time to see how may rolls it takes them to
get to 500. Simple one and two digit addition are used - gradually
increasing to double and triple digit addition. The 500 can be made
higher or lower depending on the grade.
Paper Punch Addition
A student selects a card, then, using the hole puncher, the student
punches a set of holes to match each addend. Next he counts the holes
and writes the fact answer on the back of each card.
Show the students the Mayan numbers. Compare these to our number system.
Ask them to do addition and subtraction practice using Mayan numbers
only. Game board can be used to supplement this activity.
Write a fraction on the board. Have each student divide their plate into
the correct amount of equal parts. Then the students place a bean on the
appropriate amount of spaces.
Light Bulb Fractions
Match fraction pictures with their partners by connecting wires to make
a light bulb shine. If the light bulb shines, the answer is correct. If
it does not shine, the answer is incorrect.
Give each student eight candy pieces in a variety of colors. Have each
child determine what fractional part of his set each color represents.
"Move Along"-Recognizing Fractions
There is a game board consisting of many pictures of fractions. By
taking turns, move
along the game board until a fraction has been completed. See how many
fractions each player can complete.
Instruct each student to draw each of her group's dominoes on a sheet of
paper. Below each domino, a student writes the two fractions that
describe the dominoes' dot arrangement.
This game is used to compare fractions with unlike denominators. Label
24 index cards with fractions. Each player receives twelve cards.
Shuffle the cards. Each of the two players then turn over their top
card. The card with the higher fraction, is the winner. (Game can also
be adjusted to lowest fraction.) Continue play until all cards are
flipped over. Whoever has the pile with more cards in the end is the
winner. This game can also be played with the teacher using the
Students work independently to add fractions as they move along through
a maze. The object is to find the route with the lowest sum.
ONE - Many Ways
Find out different ways to make ONE using different fractions. This will
be your only
way out of the maze.
Place 3x5 cards with multiplication problems on either chairs or on the
floor. As the music plays, the students circle around the problems. When
the music stops, the student must call out the correct answer to the
problem. If the wrong answer is called, the student has to step aside.
There may be more than one person who has to step out of the game at one
time. If all students respond correctly, there will still be one student
who has to step aside because there will be one card short when the
Picture A Product
To make a fact bag, label the outside of a plastic bag with the
appropriate fact. Then use a hole puncher to punch each of 10 to 12
cards with the appropriate number.
This game is played just as the regular game of checkers is played.
Place single digit
numbers on the checker pieces. Play as you would normally. However,
points can be
gained when a person is "jumped". For instance, if your seven jumps your
number eight, you have 56 points. The game continues in this fashion
until one color has dominated over the other color. Whoever has the most
points will win.
How Long? How Many?
In this game, children experience multiplication in a geometric context.
rectangular arrays with Cuisenaire Rods and place them on grids until no
more space is available.
Circle and Stars
This is a two-person game in which children first roll a die to find out
how many circles to draw and then roll again to find out how many stars
to draw in each circle. The winner is the child who draws the most stars
after seven rounds. Students write the correct multiplication sentence
under each drawing.
Have children hold out their hands, palms down. Each finger is given a
number from 1 to 10, starting from the left. Suppose students wish to
multiply 9x4. They simply tuck under finger number 4. That leaves three
fingers to the left of it and six fingers to the right of it, which
stands for 36.
Using the book, Grandfather Tang's Story , as an example, ask the
children to create
animals using the seven tangram pieces.
Students use specific pieces or a specific number of pieces to cover the
inside of a
geometric shape outlined on the page. By doing this students will
experience ways various shapes can be formed.
Graph points on a grid by sticking objects to Velcro lines on poster
board. Can also be
used as a cut worksheet.
Place a container, a ruler a supply of paper, and pencils at a center. A
student numbers his paper from 1 to 15. Then he removes each snake,
measures it, and records his answer.
First, graph "Runts" (foods pieces) according to color on one sheet or
Second, tally the "Runts" to see which shape appears most. Sort each
runt on paper
according to shape. Third, use the "Runts" to complete "more than"
sentences. Example: I had 4 more orange "Runts" than green runts.
Magnificent Money Toss
One student sits by the bowl and is designated to be the counter. The
remaining students are the coin tossers. A student randomly picks a coin
and tries to toss the coin in the bowl. The counter begins to count the
coin value only if it goes in the bowl. Students try to reach $1.00.
Area/Perimeter - "Stuck on You"
Detach and reattach units to the poster paper with Velcro. Problems can
be changed many times over for practice. Area and perimeter can both be