Homelife, Homeschooling, Math, Periscope

Math Games – Adding Enchantment to Math

So many homeschool moms struggle with when it comes to teaching math. So many kids struggle to enjoy math “class”. It can be a never ending cycle of frustration for both the parent and the child.

I have been there. I am still there at times. And I often turn to math games to break up the monotony of worksheets and math lessons.

(While these games help break up the monotony of homeschooling, they are perfect games to support your child’s education in their classroom, regardless of where that is!)

Teach with Math games. Here is a list of the games we love to use when it is time for a break from the workbooks!

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Our Favorite Math Games

Sum Swamp. This is a must have for all homes with elementary school children. The game covers basic addition and subtraction with every roll. Odd and even numbers are also part of the game. Every single one of my kids has enjoyed this game!

Gobblet Gobblers.  This is a twist on the traditional Tic-Tac-Toe games.  Each person receives six gobblers in three sizes: 2 large, 2 medium and 2 small.  With each turn, you place your color on the board.  You can place a piece normally or you can use a larger piece to gobble up your opponent’s smaller piece.  This is a quick game with a bit more strategy than regular Tic-Tac-Toe.

Blokus. This one is a visual/spacial reasoning game.  LOVE this.  It is like Tetris designed as a board game.  Each player begins in their own corner of the board and places on piece, which must touch the corner.  Players rotate placing a piece on the board, touching only corners of any of their other pieces.  The game continues until no more pieces can be placed.  The only downside for our family is that the maximum numbers of players is only four.  At this point, we are all old enough to enjoy the game so I only wish more of us could play it at a time.

Yahtzee.  A classic game.  Addition.  Probability.  Chance.  This is a fun one and it is easy to learn and play with upper elementary kids and above.

This classic game has been my oldest daughter’s favorite for years.  We drove to Michigan one year and I think she played it 9-10 times straight with my mom in the backseat.  She never did get bored of it.  It is a good thing her Grandmom likes it too.


24 game.  This is a classic number manipulation game using all four operations.  Each card has four numbers on it.  Players must add, subtract, multiply, and/or divide the numbers to get a total of 24.  The cards have three levels designated by 1, 2 or 3 dots on the card.  This is an easy one to scatter and see who can “win” the most cards.

Mastermind.  Oh my goodness.  I love this logic game from my childhood and now my kids enjoy it too!  This is a two player game.  One player creates a secret code and the other player tries to guess the code.  Codes are created by selecting 4 pegs and lining them up in a specific order, hidden from the code breaker.  There are only 6 colors in the pile of pegs, so the code-breakers selects 4 pegs (colors in the code can repeat) and make their first guess.  The code-maker scores each guess by letting the code-breaker know how many pegs are the right color and how many are the right color AND in the right place.  The code-breaker has to use their deductive reasoning skills to crack the code!

Laser Maze.  This logic game can be played individually.  In fact, it really can only be played individually unless a parent is helping a child.  Two children tend to argue about what to try…not that we would know about that in this house.  (ahem)

There are several levels of play, each with approximately 30 cards.  The cards tell you how to set up the board, what pieces you have to add, and what your goal is for the laser.  Pieces consist of one way mirrors, two way mirrors, targets and such.  (similar in idea, Gravity Maze has been a ton of fun as well)

Chess.  A classic.  No explanation needed for this one.  I start teaching my children the moves of the various pieces in early elementary school.  My six year old can play a very basic game with the proper moves, but not a whole lot of strategy yet.  My 9 year old plays extremely well because he loves it.  I like for all of my kids to at least have the basic idea down.


Of course, Prime Climb was on my Wishlist forever!

I FINALLY own this one and I love it.  It is hard for my 7 year old to participate on his own because he still needs a lot of help with his math facts.  My other three kids are all able to participate without an issue.

There is plenty of math fact practice wrapped up in this game.  It takes about 10 minutes per player to complete a game and then you can call it a day when it comes to math lessons!

Math Games on Periscope

I discussed our family math games on Periscope, now showing on YouTube.  This isn’t a short video because I show the basics of each game, but if you are interested in learning more you can watch the long version of this blog post on YouTube:

What are your favorite Math Games?

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6 Comments

  • Reply Beth August 2, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Great list Mary. We have all but 1 of these.

  • Reply Amanda @ Raising da Vinci November 1, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    Awesome List! We have several, and some you missed! 😉 Like SMATH.

  • Reply Games that Preschoolers will Love! - My Little Robins February 10, 2017 at 9:21 am

    […] Math Games: Adding Enchantment to Math […]

  • Reply Karen April 15, 2017 at 4:41 am

    Oh my gosh Mary, I watched your video on math manipulatives about a week ago and decided to just jump in and buy some. My son is very math minded and I am not and I had been looking for ideas on how to put more focus on math without it being all worksheets and I realised we have hardly any math things around our home. So, I drove out to the teachers resource store and bought a bunch of stuff and brought it home and just put it on the table for them to discover. Straight off, my son opened the linking cubes and started building cubes, Small ones, bigger ones. Then he started to estimate how many linking cubes he was using to build a cube so he counted the cubes on one side and multiplied them and then for fun made us all guess and then told us the right answer! Like all this straight off the bat! In ten minutes he had touched on geometry, multiplication, estimates, counting and I don’t even know what else. So, big thank yous from me and my homeschool crew to you and yours.

    • Reply notbefore7@gmail.com April 19, 2017 at 6:08 pm

      Oh Karen, I am so glad to hear this. Those linking cubes have been so very popular in our house. Good luck to you all! What a great mom to focus on his strength even though it isn’t yours. Love this story.

  • Reply 100 Ways To Add Fun To Your Homeschool Day - Rock Your Homeschool May 17, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    […] 34.  More Math Games!:  Mary at Not Before 7 shares these great games to teach math. […]

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