Teaching math to kids can be highly technical, challenging, and for most children, downright boring. While numerous aspects of math are essential skills children need, conventional methods of teaching don’t always keep them engaged. Fortunately, board games are a great alternative to use in and out of the classroom for strengthening kids’ math skills in a fun way that will help the information stick and allow them to succeed in school.
In this article, we’ve listed the top seven board games we recommend giving to students or your kids at home to help teach them math. Not only do these games vary in their unique designs, but also in what aspects of math they teach and what age range their most appropriate form, from preschoolers to teens. This is to provide you with a wider selection of options, so you can choose the board games that suit your classroom/home, and child(ren)’s needs best.
Sum Swamp is a great option for getting your older preschoolers, or young elementary kids started with the basics of addition and subtraction. As players will roll three dice, that will give them an addition or subtraction problem to solve.
The solution determines how many steps they can progress along with the board. This is overtly a simple game with limited pieces and easy rules for 2-4 players of 5 years of age or older, making it encouraging and stress-free for all parties.
Monopoly/ Monopoly Junior
This is undoubtedly one of the most popular and renowned board games on our list. Monopoly (ages 8+) and Monopoly Junior (ages 5-8) are a fantastic options for teaching and testing older kids’ addition, subtraction, and number sequencing skills as they count and spend their money.
Those who get the hang of it will be able to advance their probability skills in addition to learning some crucial financial concepts. We highly recommend this option for students craving a competitive, challenging game that requires a strategy to supplement their mathematical abilities.
Pizza Fraction Fun
The concepts of fractions can be extremely difficult for kids, especially if they’re more visual or tactile (hands-on) learners. Problems like 1/8+ 1/8 written on a board might easily confuse most kids, which is where Pizza Fraction Fun comes in!
This game gives kids a visual, tangible way to learn fractions through spinning a wheel and either adding, subtracting, or simply identifying the appropriate pizza slice fraction. This game is appropriate for kids aged 6+ and has over seven ways to play, ensuring the game is as comfortable or challenging as the players want.
Another classic and commonly played game you might already have at home is Yahtzee. This is a dice game suitable for players 8 years old and up but is often played by individuals of all ages, which means teachers and parents can easily play alongside their students/kids. Players will learn how to match and count up their dice rolls in addition to advanced concepts of probability and statistics as they strategize to earn the most points possible.
Multiplication and Division Bingo
kids progress past basic math skills, like addition and subtraction. They start treading on the more challenging territory of division and multiplication. A great way to make this transition less daunting is to incorporate a familiar game Bingo into their lessons.
This specific version of Multiplication and Division Bingo is tailored toward teaching children these skills in a fun and easy manner. A teacher or parent will simply draw a card, choose the problem they desire and have the kids answer. If they answer correctly and have that number on their board, they can claim the square just like a normal game of Bingo.
This is a great option for teachers who need a game that helps them get their whole class involved rather than buying multiple versions of one board game.
Head Full of Numbers
If you’re looking for a fast-paced game that will essentially drill your kid’s mathematical skills, then we highly recommend Head Full of Numbers.
This game essentially plays like Boggle, where the players roll 6 dice and have to create and solve as many mathematical equations as possible using the rolled numbers within the provided time limit. Younger kids can stick to addition and multiplication, whereas older or more advanced kids can incorporate multiplication and division.
Prime Climb is an extremely unique board game that focuses entirely on arithmetic and other mathematical concepts.
This is a pretty advanced game meant for students aged 10 and up. It centers on prime numbers and the use of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to advance along the board from the zero space to land on the 101 space exactly. To do this, players will roll two dice and must apply for these numbers individually to the mathematical operations previously listed and the number corresponding to the space their piece is on.
As you can see, the game is highly strategic and tests several mathematical skills. It might be a challenge to learn at first, but once kids have the hang of it, it can be extremely helpful in drilling various mathematical skills and concepts.