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Blending Maths with Your Child’s Favourite Games

In my classes, I always play warm-up games related to Maths and logic to inspire my students to engage more with the subject. As mentioned in Boosting Basic Mental Maths Skills, playing games is a great way to stimulate a child’s motivation to learn Maths – it encourages them to apply Maths concepts to fun, real-world problems. Take a look at the examples below to see how to bring Maths to life through games:

Estimating games

Children are full of curiosity, and they love puzzles. Estimating games are a fun, easy way to use this curiosity on a daily basis. These games can be as simple or as complex as you like: estimate how many pages a book has, see who can open the book closest to page 50, select small things from around the kitchen and try to reach 1kg exactly, try to count exactly 20 seconds with your eyes shut, etc. These are all good ways to help children develop number sense and to bring Maths into the real world. A big benefit of estimating games is that they teach children about trial and error, instead of a blind guessing.

Board games and card games related to numbers and trading

Board games and card games have been popular for years. There are many around which are related to numbers and trading, and these are great tools for practising Mathematics skills. Take Monopoly for example – younger learners can practise mental Maths and learn the concept of money through real-world acts such as paying and giving change.

Due to the growing tend towards electronic payments, primary school students these days have a comparatively weak grasp of the concept of money. Therefore, games related to trading fill up this gap and allow them to blend Maths with entertainment. Card games like UNO, Rummikub and 6 Nimmt are all great games as their rules and calculations are not complex, and players can develop strong number sense while playing.

Strategic games and trading card games

Parents can be understandably worried about encouraging children to play video games. However, there are many games which develop important Maths skills, and time playing these can be very well spent. Take Pokémon for example – since resources in the game are limited, players need to carefully allocate them while they play, trying to get the most benefit for the least cost. Why not look online for Pokémon Maths resources like this presentation on catch statistics. When calculating becomes a tool to win a game instead of assignment, you’ll be surprised by how much children want to learn!


You can not only apply Maths in daily life, but also enjoy the fun of tackling all kinds of problems if you use the right method to learn Maths. Join our Numeracy and Problem Solving class to study Maths with Mr Michael!