Five maths games for the whole family

Maths is such an important subject in school, and the knowledge is even more important in ‘real life.’ You can’t
move on to the trickier maths without the building blocks though! Even adults can sometimes struggle with
core maths topic, so these games are for all the family to enjoy. In maths, some of the most important things
to know are: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, times table knowledge and how to move numbers
around in context. If you can do those things, you’re well on your way to achieving the real-life maths skills
you’ll use every day. Here are five games that work on just those skills:

 

Monopoly

You can’t beat a classic! Monopoly helps several maths skills and develops the idea that maths can (and
should!) be used in context. You have to keep track of your total, you can practice mental addition and the
banker has to keep an eye on the bigger picture. If you have an older child you could even start introducing
ideas around profit, loss and inflation. Who knows, you might have a budding banker in your midst.

 

Uno

For younger children, Uno is great for colour and number recognition. It helps with rapid recall and tactical
playing. For older children, it’s great to introduce the more challenging version where you add up the value of
the cards left after each round. This can be done with pencil and paper, or you can challenge them to take on
the mental maths challenge.

 

Head full of numbers


This is basically the mathematical equivalent of boggle. It’s fun, fast paced and the maths can easily be made
simpler or more challenging, depending on the age of players. The fast pace makes it engaging, but is also a
great way to practice maths under pressure and to develop the skills needed in exams, when you only have a
certain amount of time to answer.

 

Times table snakes and ladders


Times tables are the bedrock of so many things later on in mathematical studies and, unfortunately, are far too
quickly forgotten. There’s a misconception that you learn them in primary school and then move on – but
actually it’s a really important thing to keep coming back to them. The knowledge is used in lots of sums,
including simplifying fractions and ratios, in long multiplication questions and in worded problems. Times table
snakes and ladders does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s the same game but each square has a
multiplication you have to solve before you move on. You can buy the board game version of this, or there are
loads of versions you can print out online as well. It’s the perfect way to keep times table’s knowledge fresh.

 

Make up your own!

You don’t necessarily need to buy anything to play maths games at home and there are loads you can make
up, to address the particular skill your child isn’t fully confident with yet. From an early age, you can practice
jumping up and down steps to practice addition and subtraction. When they’re a little older, they can get
involved in baking and changing the ratios of the recipes. If you start building up the skills now, you could have
them sorting out your tax returns one day.

 

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