25 Fun Math Games For Kids To Do At Home For Free!

Assistant Principal, elementary school leader and parent Emma Johnson shares the best, fun math games and math activities for kids to play at home. 

All these educational games are suitable for 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade children and most of them can be adapted for 1st grade, 2nd grade.

This blog is part of our series of blogs designed for teachers, schools and parents supporting home learning.

As well as providing some family fun, these math learning games for kids have the added advantage of presenting opportunities to strengthen childrens’ math skills without them even realizing they’re learning! 

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These free math games are also a fun way to practice a wide range of elementary mathematical skills, such as counting, fractions, decimals, place value, times tables and much much more.

Time is scarce as a parent, but it’s important to make time for math fun & activities with your child!

We all know how rushed life can be and we can sometimes feel guilty we aren’t spending enough time supporting our children with their learning at home. 

Now you can! Here you’ve got:

  • math games that can be played at any time of day – over breakfast, on the walk to school or in the park, driving to soccer practice, etc.
  • math games that need no set up time or resources (as well as a few that need a bit of preparation using items you’ll have at home).
  • simple, short math games to play when you have a quick few minutes and can practice new skills
  • longer math games that everyone in the family can enjoy together
  • math games for elementary grade levels ready to keep your teachers happy

If you’re a teacher or you have a specific age group in mind you might also like to take a look at our collections of games specifically chosen for different key stages at school.

So in short, if you’re looking for fun math games, we’ve got you covered!

3 best indoor math games your kids can play at home

On rainy days or days off school it can be hard to persuade children to spend their time practicing their math facts, but these activities should have your child enjoying math at home in no time at all! 

Indoor math game 1: Countdown!

This game is a simple at home version of the TV favorite and can be played with any number of players.

What you need to play:

  • 4 ‘large number’ cards with the numbers 25, 50, 75 and 100 on them
  • A set of cards with the digits 1-10 on them, with at least two cards for each number

How to play:

Step 1: Set out 4 large number cards (25, 50, 75 and 100) face down and mixed up.

Step 2: Do the same with the 1 – 10 cards, making sure you have at least 2 cards for each number.

Step 3: Players take turns selecting one of the big number cards or one of the small number cards, until there are 6 cards laid out all together. 

Step 4: Someone who is playing the game needs to generate a 3-digit number. This can be by throwing a dice, or selecting cards from a pile of 0 to 9 cards. 

Step 5: Once the number has been generated, turn over the six cards and players have to try and get to that total using any of the six number cards and any of the four operations. 

Each card can only be used once and the winner is the first person to reach the total, or the player who is closest after a set length of time.

The game can be adapted for younger children, by choosing the numbers on the cards carefully and having them aiming to reach a 2-digit number, rather than a 3-digit number. 

Indoor math game 2: Salute 

This simple game is all about bringing together word problems, verbalization and math. 

What you need to play:

  • Two willing participants
  • Cards numbered 1-10 (these can be made from a sheet of paper)

How to play:

Step 1: The game starts with the two players facing each other. Each person selects a numbered card and sticks it on their forehead, so the other player can see. 

Step 2: The person leading the game gives a statement, such as what the sum of the two numbers is, the difference between the two or the product of the two etc….. 

Step 3: Each player has to work out what number is on their own card, based on what is written on the other person’s head and the rule given. 

salute indoor math game
Take Salute a step further using numbers up to 20.

Indoor math game 3: Multiplication Bingo 

Bingo is a fun game that can be enjoyed by everyone and this version puts a math twist on this classic game. Adapting bingo into a multiplication game, this will help to boost your child’s multiplication skills.

What you need to play:

  • Paper to write numbers down on

How to play:

Step 1:  In this mathematical version of the game, all players write down 5 numbers, which are multiples of a given times table. For example: if they were doing the 5 times table, they might write 10, 35, 45, 50 and 60.

Step 2: A third person can lead the game and call out multiplication questions from the chosen times table, or they can be written on cards, jumbled up in a pile for players to take turns picking and reading out.

Step 3: If the player has an answer to the question on their bingo board, they can cross it out. First person to cross out all their numbers is the winner. 

multiplication bingo indoor math game
Multiplication Bingo using the 5 times table.

The 3 most fun math games and activities to do at home 

One of the best ways to encourage a child to learn about anything is by making it fun, and that is exactly what these math games are!

Fun math game 1: Math Problem Scavenger Hunt 

All children enjoy a scavenger hunt, so why not make one based around math? 

What you need to play

  • Some creativity
  • A garden or home full of measurable objects!

How to play:

Step 1: Give children a grid with some pre-set weights and lengths on. It will then be a challenge for them to find something in the garden or around the house that is approximately 10 inches long, or something in the house that weighs 1 pound (as an example). 

Step 2: Get your child to gather all of the items they think match the weights and lengths on the card, and check how well they have done with some kitchen scales and a tape measure!

Fun math game 2:  The Yes/No Game

This is another simple elementary math game that is loved by children in classrooms across the country! It’s also a good way to practice 2D shapes and 3D shapes.

What you need to play:

  • A series of cards / pieces of paper

How to play:

Step 1: Both players put a card on their head. It could have a number on it, a shape, etc.

Step 2: The first player asks a question which can only be answered with ‘yes’ or ‘no’. E.g. ‘Am I odd?’ ‘Am I under 20?’ ‘Do I have 4 sides?’ etc…..

Step 3: They keep asking questions until they get the answer correct, or they run out of turns (you can set the number of turns they get at the beginning of the game). If your child is struggling with coming up with these questions, you can provide examples of questions until they get the hang of it! Then it is time for the other player to have a go.

the yes no fun math Game
How the Yes/No game could play out using a triangle as the subject.

Fun math game 3: Bing Bong!

Bing bong! is a great game for practicing quick recall facts. 

What you need to play:

  • Two willing mathematicians!

How to play

Step 1: 2 players stand back to back, facing away from each other

Step 2: A question is called out, such as ‘what is 7 x 6?’ 

Step 3: The first player to turn, face their opponent, shout ‘bing bong!’ and to give the answer wins the round.

Step 4: This is then repeated until a number of points, decided at the start of the game, is reached. That player is then the winner. 

3 best hands-on math games and activities to do at home

Doing some interactive math activities with your child is a great way to capture their full attention while doing math at home, and these games have been created to do just that.

Hands on math game 1: Five To One 

This logic game not only tests children’s verbalisation and problem solving skills, but it also brings an element of competition into doing math at home (we all know how much children love to ‘win’!).

What you need to play:

  • Cards with math statements written on them
  • Two players

How to play:

Step 1: The first person picks a card containing five statements. Each of the five statements provide a clue to the final answer, starting with a vague clue for the first statement, through to an easy clue for the fifth statement. 

Step 2: Player one picks a card and reads out the first statement. E.g. ‘This shape has four sides’. 

Step 3: Player two can choose to give an answer and score the maximum five points, if they are correct, but risk scoring zero if they are wrong. Alternatively, they can choose to hear the four point question. They keep on going until they get a question wrong, or they choose to pass to hear the next question until they get to the final one point question. 

Hands on math game 2: The 24 Game 

This is a very simple game that will help your child practice their arithmetic skills, and it is a game they can play with a group of friends. This is a subtraction game, addition game, division game and multiplication game all in one. 

What you need to play:

  • A pack of playing cards (The number cards only)

How to play:

Step 1: Each player picks 4 number cards at random from the pile. 

Step 2: They then need to find a way to manipulate the 4 digits using any of the 4 operations (+, -, x, ÷) so the end result is 24. For example, if they chose 4, 7, 8, 8, they could do (7 – (8÷8) x 4 = 24)

Step 3: If nobody is able to reach 24, you can make it the closest wins!

Hands on math game 3: 5 Of A Kind

This is a tricky math card game that will truly put your child’s (and maybe even your) math skills and knowledge to the test. It’s a math game for upper elementary children really – you’re likely to end up in confusion if you suggest it to a pre-k, kindergarten or lower elementary child.

What you need to play:

  • 5 sets of cards numbered 2-9

How to play: 

Step 1: The first player picks a card numbered from 2 – 9. 

Step 2: They then collect another 4 cards with the same number as the first, so they have 5 cards with the same number. 

Step 3: The aim of the game is to use one or more of the five cards to get an answer of each digit between one and ten. 

For example, the player chose a 5. They would then need to use one or more of the cards to find the answer 1, 2, 3…… To make 1, they could do 5 ÷ 5, to make 2 they could do (5 ÷ 5) + (5 ÷ 5) etc…. 

ordinal numbers slide from a third space learning lesson
An example slide from a Third Space lesson on ordinal numbers; tutor & child work through these type of activities together to help practice and embed mathematical knowledge.

3 best outdoor math games and activities to do at home

Whether you realize it or not, the great outdoors and math go hand in hand, and these outdoor math games and activities should serve as inspiration about how you can help your child learn math while outdoors!

Outdoor math game 1: Life Size Board Games

Board games are a fun way to spend time with the family, but have you ever thought about actually becoming part of the board game? 

To help your child learn math outside, you can easily make a life size board game and become the characters in the game.

What you need to play:

  • Paper plates (or even just sheets of paper will do)
  • A large dice (or a cube shaped box which can be made into a dice)
  • A dose of creativity!

How to play: 

Step 1: Use paper plates as an easy way to make the board game squares, and if you don’t have access to a large dice, a cube shaped box can be made into one instead. 

Step 2: The board games you play can vary depending on the age of your child. With younger children, the plates can be numbered to encourage counting or learning their number bonds, while older kids could have times tables or other math facts to answer as they go around the board. 

Outdoor math game 2: Multiplication Hopscotch

Everyone knows how to play hopscotch, but by introducing math into the mix you can take this traditional playground game to the next level. 

What you need to play:

  • Chalk

How to play: 

Step 1: Using chalk, draw out hopscotch squares on the ground and in each square, write either multiples of a number or multiplication facts.

Step 2: Each person then hop, skips and counts at the same time, which is a really good way of helping those multiplication tables stick. 

The other great thing about this game is this can be done with one person, or if friends are visiting everyone can join in and have a go.

Outdoor math game 3: Telling The Time Activity 

Time is one of those things many children find tricky, but this game will help your child tackle this topic.

What you need to play:

  • Chalk

How to play:

Step 1: Try drawing a clock on the ground with chalk. 

Step 2: Then, get your child to use their body to make the hands of the clock. They could show just the hour or minute hands by lying straight, or they could use their body to make the hour and the minute hands, with their legs (the longer part) being the minute hand and their torso (the shorter part) the hour hand.  

More fun math for kids

3 fun math dice games to play at home

While some classroom resources may be a little hard to come by at home, most family homes have a dice or two lying around. With most board games coming prepackaged with a dice, dig them out of the cupboard and re-purpose them for these fun math dice games.  

And if you can’t find one, make one – just draw out the 6 sides of a cube, stick them together, and you’re ready to go. Try to get your opposite sides adding up to 7 as on the real thing.

Dice math game 1: Skunk

This is the perfect game to teach your child all about probability, and while it seems like it would be easy to win, your child will soon find out that this isn’t the case.

What you need to play: 

  • Two dice
  • A sheet of paper

How to play

Step 1: Write the word skunk and separate each letter into a different column on a sheet of paper. Each letter of the word ‘skunk’ represents a different round of the game. 

Step 2:  The first player rolls a pair of dice and works out the total of the two dice. The score is written in the S column. If they roll a one they score zero. 

Step 3: Once they have their first score under the letter ‘S’, they have to make the decision to either stop and take that score as their score for the game, or roll again and hope they score even more to add to the first round score. 

Step 4: If they roll a one in the second round, play stops and the player takes the score from the first round as their total for the game. The risk a player takes in moving on and throwing again, is if two ones are thrown, all the points for the game are wiped and the player scores zero. 

Dice math game 2: The Pig Dice Game 

This game is similar to the skunk game, but there only needs to be one player and one dice. However, even with only one dice things will still get tense! 

What you need to play: 

  • One die 
  • A sheet of paper

How to play:

Step 1: Throw the die and the player records the number that they roll. As long as a one isn’t thrown, the player can roll again and add the number to their total. 

Step 2: After each throw, the player has to decide whether to throw again or keep the points they’ve scored. If a one is thrown at any point, the player loses all the points scored so far. 

Step 3: The first player to score 100 is the winner.

Dice math game 3: Triangle Tower

This game is a great way to test your child’s times tables skills, and it only takes two minutes to set up!

What you need to play: 

  • Two dice
  • A sheet of paper
  • Counter or coins

How to play:

Step 1: Draw out a triangle made from squares, with four on the bottom up to one at the top. 

Step 2: Each player chooses 10 numbers from the products table (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 16, 18, 20, 24, 25, 30, 36). This is simply all of the possible options you can get when multiplying the numbers between 1 and 6 together.

Step 3: Write one number in each of the ten triangles from the product table results above.

Step 4: The first player then rolls 2 dice and multiplies the two numbers together. If they have the product of the two numbers written on their tower, they can then cover it with a counter.

Step 5: The winner is the first player to cover all their numbers in the tower. 

triangle tower dice math game

Game extension idea

The game can include more challenging multiplication calculations by changing the numbers on the dice. 

If one has the numbers 1-6 and the second has the number 7-12, the numbers each player has to choose from are (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 27, 28, 30, 32, 33, 35, 36, 40, 42, 44, 45, 48, 50, 54, 55, 60, 66 and 72) 

Alternatively, both dice marked with the numbers 7 – 12 would give the products 49, 56, 63, 64, 70, 72, 77, 80, 81, 84, 88, 90, 96, 99, 100, 108, 110, 120, 121, 132 and 144. 

Read more: The best multiplication tables games for elementary school aged kids to play at school or home.

3 fun math card games for kids to play at home

Along with dice, playing cards are one of the most versatile and underused math resources that can be found in most family homes. Fortunately, these games are here to put an end to that!

Card math game 1: The Biggest Number

Place value is a crucial skill for children to grasp during elementary school, and this simple card game will help them to do that in a visual and fun way. 

What you need to play:

  • One place value grid (drawn onto a piece of paper)
  • A deck of playing cards

How to play:

Step 1: Each player draws a place value grid, with an agreed number of places. E.g. Thousands, hundreds, tens and ones. 

Step 2: Using a deck of cards 2-10, Ace and picture cards, with 2-10 being worth their digit, Aces being worth 1 and face cards being worth 0.

Step 3: Players take turns to draw a card from the pile, and each player chooses which column to record the number in. The winner is the person to have the biggest number recorded at the end of the game.

If you like this check out our other amazing place value games.

Card math game 2: First To 100

This simple game is perfect for car journeys or the 10 minutes before dinner, and it will get your children practicing their math skills in a fun and exciting way!

What you need to play:

  • A deck of playing cards
  • A sheet of paper

How to play:

Step 1: Shuffle a pack of cards and place face down. Each player takes one card and turns it over in front of them. 

Step 2: Record the number on the card (Ace is worth 1 and face cards are worth 10). 

Step 3: Each player then takes a second card and adds the number to the first number, recording it on the paper. 

Step 4: Keep taking cards until the first person reaches 100. They are the winners.

Game extension idea

A variation on this game can be to start at 100 and keep subtracting until someone gets down to zero. 

For older children, instead of adding the cards together, they can be multiplied each time, with the winner being the first to reach 1000.

Card math game 3: Wild Jack

This is a fast paced math card game for two or more players, where all eyes will be on the Jacks in the pack…

What you need to play:

  • A deck of cards 

How to play:

Step 1: Other than the Jacks, remove all of the face cards from a deck. Jacks are ‘wild cards’ and can be used at any time to represent any number from 1 – 10.

Step 2: The aim of the game is to reach the target number. To make the target number, shuffle the pack and turn over the top two cards. If either are a 10 or joker, put them to the bottom. The 2 cards turned over make the target number. For example, if you turn over the 5 of hearts then the 2 of diamonds, your target number is 52.

Step 3: Each player is dealt 5 cards, which are set out face up. Players then can add, subtract, multiply and divide to try to reach the target number. If the target number is reached using all 5 cards, 10 points is scored, if it is made using less than 5 cards, 8 points is scored.

3 best pen and paper math games and activities to do at home

There is no need for fancy equipment when it comes to these math games. A pen/pencil and a few sheets of paper are all you need to make math fun at home!

Pen and paper math game 1: Battleships

This is an elementary math game that most people will be familiar with, but it just so happens to be fantastic practice for coordinates.

What you need to play:

  • Some sheets of paper
  • Pens or pencils

How to play:

Step 1: Each player draws out a grid with A – J along the bottom and 1 – 10 up the side.

Step 2: They then plot ships of various sizes on the grid by coloring in the squares:

–       One ship five squares long (the aircraft carrier)

–       One ship four squares long (the battleship)

–       Two ships three squares long (the cruiser and submarine)

–       One ship two squares long (the destroyer)

Step 3: The first player ‘shoots’ by calling out a grid reference, e.g. B3. If it hits an empty square, the other player shouts, ‘miss!’ while the first player draws a cross, but if it hits a square with a ship in it, they have to shout ‘hit’ and the other player draws a dot. Each player keeps track of their hits and misses on a separate grid.

Step 4: Once all the squares for a ship have been hit, that ship then ‘sinks’. The winner is the one to sink all the other person’s ships first.

Pen and paper math game 2: Multiplication 4 In A Row

This game does the impossible, and manages to make learning multiplication facts fun. 

What you need to play:

  • Sheets of paper
  • Counters or coins

How to play:

Step 1: Each player needs a set of colored counters or different coins (pennies vs dimes as an example). 

Step 2: Make a grid containing the answers to the times tables being worked on (you can choose which times table you want your child to tackle) and a set of cards with the multiplication questions.

Step 3: Each player takes it in turns to pick a card, work out the answer and cover the answer with their counter. The first player to cover four in a row is the winner.

multiplication 4 in a row pen and paper math game

Pen and paper math game 3: Dots And Boxes 

This math game is a classic, and the chances are high that some parents out there would have played this themselves when they were at school. 

Please note, this game can be played by drawing dots on a page, but it is easier to download square dot paper and print it out.

What you need to play: 

  • A sheet of dotted paper
  • A pen or pencil

How to play:

Step 1: The first player draws a line to join one of the dots to another of the dots, the next player then does the same. 

Step 2: This continues until one player manages to join the lines to make a box. They write their initials in the box and get to take another go. Once they are no longer able to complete a full box, it goes back to the other player.

Step 3: The winner is the person who has their initial in the most boxes at the end of the game.

4 car games for kids: Fun road trip math games for kids

You can put all of the “Are we there yet…..” to bed with these four simple and fun math games your children can play in the car. 

Perfect for those long drives to far away summer holiday destinations, these math games have been designed to be very simple so they don’t need quite as much detail as the other math activities in this article!

Road trip math game 1: Creative Counting

Simple counting games are great for younger children, with lots of opportunities for counting things they see – 18-wheelers, red cars, blue signs, etc.

This could be made more challenging by changing how many points each is worth, so children could count up in twos or threes etc.

math game

Road trip math game 2: Guess My Number 

This game can be easily adapted for any age.

Think of a number for the children to guess. Players have to ask questions that have a yes or no answer in order to identify the number. 

For younger children they could be given a range within which the number falls, they call out a number and are given ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ until they reach it.

A more challenging version of the game would be to give players a range of clues, e.g. If the number was 50, they could give the clues ‘It’s an even number’. ‘it’s divisible by 2, 5, 10 and 25’, ‘it’s equal to two quarters’. You could also require that the questions the children ask are of a similar nature eg ‘is the number divisible by 3?’ , ‘does the number end in a 7’ etc.

Road trip math game 3: Guess My Rule

An alternative to guessing the number, in this game players have to try and guess the rule.

Players give a number while the person leading the game applies a mystery rule and tells the players what the new number is. 

For example: If the rule is multiply by 10, one player would give the number, e.g. 37 and they would be given the answer once the rule has been applied, so in this instance they would be given the answer of 370. 

Road trip math game 4: The 21 Game

This is a fun strategy game, played with two or more players, who take it in turns to count up from 1. 

Each player can call out one, two or three consecutive numbers, before it moves to the next player to continue counting up. 

The player who ends up saying ‘21’ is out of the game. The game then continues, counting back up from 1 to 21, until there is only one person left. They are the winner.

Read more

Math games are all around us!

There are of course many more simple math games which can be enjoyed at home, and they are only limited by your creativity. 

Hopefully these ideas will give you a starting point, but why not get really creative and create some games of your own! Or if you’re looking for more ways to engage children with math, try Third Space Learning’s online math lessons.

Do you have students who need extra support in math?
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Personalized one-on-one math tutoring programs are available for:
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The content in this article was originally written by assistant headteacher Emma Johnson and has since been revised and adapted for US schools by elementary math teacher Christi Kulesza.


Summer Math Activities Grades 1 to 5 Pack [FREE]

Keep math a focus for your students with these fun math games and activities to try over the summer!

The pack includes 4 separate worksheets for each grade, with different games aimed at helping students with the transition into the next grade.