Ideas for math board games

Updated February 21, 2017

Teaching math to kids can be challenging, but using games as an educational tool is an effective way to keep students engaged in the lesson. Math games allow kids to use their knowledge of math facts and apply what they know to a competitive game for entertainment. Teachers, and even parents, can make math board games for kids to play.

Tic-Tac-Toe Math

A tic-tac-toe math board game uses a regular tic-tac-toe game card with squares that each contain a math problem. The math problems must be appropriate for the math facts that the students are learning. Two students play against each other with 1 tic-tac-toe board to see who gets the Xs or Os in a row first. Every time a student answers the math fact correctly, he places his X or O on the square. If a student fails to answer the math problem right, he does not put anything on the square, and the turn goes to his competitor. The first kid to get his Xs or Os in a row wins the game.

Board Game Race

A board game race is a simple board game that contains spaces for the players' pieces to move on. Teachers and parents, and even students, can create a board game by drawing square spaces that move around the board in a snakelike motion, with a starting point and an end point. The concept of the game is for the players to reach the end of the game board before their opponent does. Dice can be used as your prop for this board game. Each player takes turns rolling the pair of dice and adding the two numbers together to determine how many spaces to move forward.

Number Bingo

Bingo board games are an effective way for kids to learn how to identify numbers, which is a basic math skill most appropriate for preschoolers and kindergartners. On a number bingo board, the squares contain numbers. As the teacher calls out a number, kids must look for the number on their bingo boards and place a token on the square when they find the right number. The student who has a column of tokens in a row wins the game.

Four in a Row Multiply

Four in a Row Multiply is a multiplication board game that requires a pair of dice, the board game and tokens in different colours for each player. The board game contains squares full of numbers. Players take turns throwing the dice and multiplying the numbers on the dice together. Then, the players must find the number on the game board. When the number is found, a token is placed on top of the square. The player who gets four squares in a row wins the game.

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About the Author

Kyra Sheahan has been a writer for various publications since 2008. Her work has been featured in "The Desert Leaf" and "Kentucky Doc Magazine," covering health and wellness, environmental conservatism and DIY crafts. Sheahan holds an M.B.A. with an emphasis in finance.