Fun Maths Games to Play at Home

Indoor maths games and activities your child can play at home

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

Indoor maths game 1: Count Down!

This game is a simple at home version of the TV favourite 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

Watch the link below to see how to play the game..

Alternatively, here are some step by step instructions

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 it in turns to select 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 maths game 2: Salute 

This simple game is all about bringing together verbalisation and maths. 

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. 

Indoor maths game 3: Multiplication Bingo 

Bingo is a perennially fun game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, and this version puts a mathematical twist on this classic game, as a way to boost 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. 

The most fun maths 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 maths games are!

Fun maths game 1: Maths Problem Scavenger Hunt 

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

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 that is approximately 10cm long, or something in the house that weighs 300g (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 maths game 2:  The Yes/No Game

ThThis is another simple game that is loved by children in classrooms across the country! It’s also a good way to get in practice of 2d shapes and 3d shapes, which as parents we can sometimes avoid.

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 the 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). Then it is time for the other player to have a go.

Fun maths game 3: Bang Bang

Bang bang is a great game for practising quick recall facts. 

What you need to play:

  • Two willing mathematicians!

How to play

Step 1: 2 players stand back to back, cowboy shootout style. 

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 ‘bang bang’ 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. 

The 3 best hands on maths games and activities to do at home

Doing some hands on maths activities with your child is a great way to capture their full attention when you are doing maths at home, and these games have been created to do just that.

Hands on maths game 1: Five To One 

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

What you need to play:

  • Cards with maths 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 maths 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.

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 closest wins! 

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