Math Gameschooling

Math Gameschooling



Math is probably the easiest skill to work on in gameschooling.  Almost every game has dice involved and you’re having to do simple addition in your head.  Because of that, I’m going to leave out obvious ones like Clue because it does not specifically work on a math skill.

Math Gameschooling

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Addition/Subtraction or Multiplication/Division Math Games

Just a quick statement, but I had several games listed here for basic math facts, but sadly most of those games are out of print now, that is the hard part of bringing up unique games, some aren’t as popular and just go out of print.

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, pretty much any early game that has you rolling more than one die will practice addition.

  • Role-Playing Games– This is one not all of you will be good with, but role-playing games have many benefits, not the least of which being by the time you’ve been playing for a couple of months you are very good at doing mental math for adding and subtracting a variety of numbers.
  • Ocean Raiders addition math facts
  • Holimaths– this is a Spanish company, but at one point they were trying to expand into America, so there are SOME copies in English, but you don’t necessarily need the instructions translated because the game is just math
  • Totally Tut– for now, I am leaving this game here because you can still find copies on Amazon, but it looks to be out of print

Shopping/Money Math Games

  • Pay Day– This was my favorite game as a kid.  I loved moving around the board and through the month earning money and spending it.  I don’t know why THIS particular game appealed to me so much, but I always wanted to play this game.
  • Game of Life– This was another game I enjoyed as a kid, though mainly because I had fun mocking the scenarios presented and giving names to the kids I collected and being ridiculously silly.  My big caveat on this, the games can go quite long.
  • Monopoly – The Classic Edition– I personally don’t like Monopoly (flashbacks to the horrible game throwing incident with my brother, shudder), my kids on the other hand adore the Toy Story Monopoly Junior I found at Half Price books.    It’s a great way to practice money skills and making change.  It also teaches about the value of making wise purchases.  It’s also horribly painful if you’re not going to win and you have to sit there for 2 hours watching the other person win as you slowly hemorrhage money.

**** A side note, both Monopoly and Game of Life have electronic boardgame versions that use credit cards, be careful with these because it will take away some of the math skills practiced****

Math Gameschooling for homeschool learning

Geometry/Spatial Reasoning Math Games

*side note, for whatever reason I don’t do well at these, so I don’t tend to like them as much*

  • Blokus Classics Game– This is a great game for working out how to fit that piece in just right and takes some strategy to end up with the least amount of pieces left.  I always get messed up by not anticipating what the other players are going to do.  ARGH!
  • Tetris Link– This is the one exception, I LOVE Tetris, I spent many an hour as a kid playing this.  This is the board game version where you draw pieces out and place them.  I excel at this. (I linked to a special edition that has a travel version).
  • Battleship– this is a great way to learn coordinates for a graph.  It’s also one of those logic reasoning puzzles that can either be very fun to you or mind-numbingly frustrating.  I enjoyed the hunt and peck aspect of it as a kid………..
  • Shapes Up and Quirkle– are both games I learned about from Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns (blog is now private) in her math games post a few months ago.  They’re both strong on geometry and spatial reasoning and both have points to add, so you get addition practice as well.

**I have several more geometry/spatial reasoning games that will be included in the history gameschooling.

Math Gameschooling

Probability and Statistics Math Games

*techinically any game can teach you this if you count cards, or if you know the likelihood of rolling a certain number.

  • Settlers of Catan– to my mind this is the quintessential probability game.  According to probability you have the winning strategy if you build on 6 or 8.  Of course then you get into the randomness and they’re just never rolled defying all probability.
  • Yahtzee– It’s built into the rules, do you take the 2’s as a 3 of a kind or hope you can roll that again………  As you play it more you realize what is likely to happen again, and how much you’re playing the odds.  FYI, there is a Catan Dice Game that plays remarkably similar to Yahtzee.  Of course there’s also a Toy story version……
  • I know there has to be others, what am I missing?

Homemade Math Games

  • Race to 100– This is a simple grid game and can be changed to whatever number you want, but I loved playing this game when I was teaching 2nd grade, such a great way to work on addition skills.
  • Train Dice Game– several variations listed, but roll the dice add the trains
  • Rollercoaster Board Game– I want to make this game, it’s a great way to practice odd vs. even.  Seriously, I need to find an empty box and make it.
  • Domino Addition– Not really a math game, but my kids love it and act like it’s a game.
  • Turn Jenga into a math review game– Or in my case how to knock over the game super duper quick…….
  • Beast Academy– this is a site with lots of printable or scratch paper games, check out my tips and favorites from that site


Here’s my overall plan for this series:

Originally published April 18, 2013, but I republished it since I’m working on updating it so much


18 responses to “Math Gameschooling”

  1. The only one from my cupboard you missed was Tangoes – a tangram puzzle game.

    1. Oh good one, that’s been on my wish list for a while. I keep thinking about getting it, but haven’t yet.

  2. maryanne @ mama smiles Avatar
    maryanne @ mama smiles

    Do you know the game Spot It? My mom just introduced me to it, and it looks like a lot of fun!

    1. We don’t have Spot It, but we have a similar one. We did get a version of it from Chik Fil A, or maybe it was Burger King in one of their kids meals, and we had fun playing with that one. I love when there’s games as the toy rather than a movie tie in.

  3. Brilliant list, Ticia – thanks! Lots of these I haven’t even heard of but they’re on my wishlist (and Pinterest board) now. I’ll have to keep my eyes open in charity shops. I’m intrigued to hear there’s a real version of Tetris – I too loved this (and was a whizz at it). It’s the only game I ever play on my phone, too (on long boring journey’s when even I am “read” out!)

    1. I know that feeling, I’ve got Mahjong on my phone for when I’m read out or just don’t want to do something.

  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this post!!!!!!!!! So glad I didn’t miss it. I’m keeping this post for Christmas and birthday gift ideas!

  5. I was pulling together games that teach deductive reasoning, and popped back here to see if you had any I missed. It occurs to me now that I should have objected to your leaving Clue off the list – it teaches deductive reasoning and that is a skill that is essential for Trigonometry and Calculus. That’s a way off yet for your crowd, but it’s never too early to start sharpening those skills.

    1. You know that’s a good one to add in, I hadn’t thought about it at the time I was writing this. That, and I don’t have the normal Clue board game to add in 🙂

  6. […] board games (here’s a whole list of math games, not even counting the simple adding for […]

  7. It’s late and it might be on your great list, but do you have UNO on there? It might be too easy for older kids, but it is great for my toddler as she learns her numbers, colors and words. Thanks for this great inspiration!

    1. I don’t know if I do. It’s been a few years since I wrote this, and I probably didn’t think of it for learning all those skills.

  8. Good day! I 100% agree! Math can be easily turned into a fun and entertaining game. When there’s fun, there’s focus and when there’s focus, there’s a lot of thinking and learning taking place. Monopoly and Uno have always been our family’s favorite math games. Love to see more ideas that we can try. Thank you for sharing these. Keep it up!

  9. My kids would add Sum Swamp to your list. We LOVE Beast Academy.

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