When I wrote about how I teach math in our homeschool, several readers were interested in knowing which board games we use that help with math. Those questions led me to creating this list.
I find that board games are particularly effective for teaching my special needs kids but many children learn best by doing and all kids can benefit from playing board games. Playing board games also involves building memories and spending quality time together as a family.
Math Board Games
Here are just some of the math board games for kids that can be used to help them learn or improve their math skills. Games are fun, hands-on and a great way to help your child remember new or old concepts.
Dave Ramsey’s ACT Your Wage! [Hardcover]  (Author) Dave RamseyCASHFLOW for KidsMoneywise KidsLearning Resources Pop For Addition & Subtraction GameLearning Resources Head Full Of NumbersThinkFun Zingo 1-2-3Learning Resources Snap It Up! Math: Add/Sub Card GameSnap! AdditionLearning Resources Snap It Up! Multiplication Card GameTrend Enterprises Zoom! Learning Game (100 Piece)Uno Card GameNinety-Nine or Bust GameDutch BlitzPhase 10 Card Game Styles May VarySKIP BO Card Game7 ATE 9Assorted Colorful Dice in White, Red, Green for Board Games,Koplow Games Operators Dice Classroom AccessoriesThinkFun Math Dice Junior GameThink Fun Math DiceYahtzee GameTenzi Game dice color may vary .Learning Resources Pizza Fraction Fun Jr. GameSumokuLearning Resources Buy It Right Shopping GameBicycle Playing Card Deck, 2-PackCrib Wars Board GameCardinal Double 12 Color Dot Dominoes in Collectors Tin (StylesFive Crowns Card GameSequence NumbersSmath GameLearning Resources Dino Math Tracks GameThe Game of Life – Amazon ExclusiveLearning Resources Sum Swamp Game, 8 PiecesLakeshore Allowance GameLearning Resources Money Bags Coin Value GamePaydayMonopoly Board Game The Classic EditionTrouble GameEdupress Math Noodlers Game, Grades 2-3 (EP62350)Addition and Subtraction BingoAddition Bingo GameSubtraction Bingo GameTelling Time Bingo GameMultiplication Bingo GameMultiplication & Division Bingo GameFractions Bingo GameFractions, Decimals, & Percents Bingo GameConceptual Bingo // Convert: Fraction-Decimal-PercentTelling Time: How to Tell Time on Digital and AnalogLEARNING WELL GAMES Multiplication Division Math DashEdupress LRN2347 Math Dash Equivalent FractionsLEARNING WELL GAMES Addition Subtraction Math DashCool MathRush Hour Jr Board GameRush Hour Logic GameAlcatraz Prison Break Logic Game by SmartGamesNo Stress ChessMancala Game
We haven’t played all of the games on this list but have played over half of them. Some are very obviously for specific math concepts while others teach overall skills such as patterning, sequencing, planning, logic, spacial concepts, and problem solving. Based on those skills, almost any board game can be used for math learning!
I have been using the math Bingo games since my oldest boys were young. They are very easy to figure out and a direct way to practise addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. There is even a Bingo game for fractions, decimal points and percentages.
For logic and spacial concepts, I like games such as Alcatraz and Rush Hour as they can be played anywhere and keep kids entertained while secretly improving their brains!
Monopoly, PayDay and the Game of Life are wonderful introductions to money, not to mention advanced concepts such as real estate purchasing, budgeting, income and expenses, and the curve balls life can throw your way! For older children, these concepts and discussions about financial life skills can be made through two other games that I love, Cashflow for Kids, which is based on the Rich Dad, Poor Dad books and the idea of getting out of the rat race, and Act Your Wage, a Dave Ramsey game about living within your means that the whole family (adults included) can benefit from playing. Financial skills are something that many kids don’t learn about until it is too late and these board games are a great way to broach the topics and introduce important concepts without it being too intimidating.
There are many fractions games out there but Fractions Supreme is my favourite. It’s another game that we’ve had since our oldest kids were young. It makes fractions less intimidating through pizza!
We play A LOT of dice and card games here. We play games with regular dice as well as specific math dice. Our go-to game is called The Dice Game (we are very creative in naming things!). It uses 6 dice. I tried to type out the rules of the game to explain it to you but managed to confuse myself so I found the basic rules to send you to! Our family plays a few slight variations of what is explained there but it’s the same general idea. We rotate who the scorekeeper is each game to give everyone another chance to practise their math skills. Another dice game we love to play is the classic Yahtzee.
The card games we play most often are Nines (read instructions by clicking that link), Go Fish, War, Speed, and Canasta. We also play card games that require different cards such as Dutch Blitz and Uno. I always have a deck of some type of cards in my purse so that if we are stuck in a waiting room, we have entertainment that also has learning value.
This picture is actually just one day of game playing in our family! We also really enjoy strategy games which probably also could be counted as math games too but I will save that list for another day!
Math board games for kids are just one more way to make learning fun! What games are your family’s favourites?
When I was a kid I struggled with Math. It was like learning another language to me. Flashcards didn’t help, which is what I think the teacher suggested but I just could not get it. My dad started playing cribbage with me. As I got better at playing the game, he would take the cards away and make me tell him what I had and score my points. I learned how to add quickly in my head and count by twos. My mom also played yahtzee with me. learning multiplication was pretty fun with that game for me!
I’m so glad your parents were able to help you with math in such a fun way! I have fond memories of playing crib with my grandma when I was younger and working hard at counting the points.
While we play many of these games, there are so many new ones here that I’ve never even heard of. Thank you!
A game that I loved to play with the kids in Math Lab is SETS!
Here is the website that explains the game of SETS but you can buy it cheaper through Mejiers, etc http://www.setgame.com/set
Thanks for the suggestion Brenda!
Adelien Tan says
It is a great list that would be very helpful. Kids love games a lot and thinking through games will get them more interested a lot. Thank you very much for sharing.
We play a lot of Settlers of Catan. It’s not incredibly math heavy, but one of the interesting things it has is that it points out to children the likelihood of rolling different numbers when rolling two dice. 7 is the most common number, and 2 and 12 the least. But then the kids can also see that likihood doesn’t guarantee anything.
We also make a lot of games of our own.
We really like Settlers of Catan too. Lots of strategy games like that are good for math skills in a more subtle way.
Natalie PlanetSmartyPants says
I love your selection of games! UNO is very popular here as well, and Yatzee too. Thanks for sharing in my STEM Tuesday!