Trivium Pursuit

Favorite Math Games for Young Children

From Michael and Joannie Ham Knoxville, TN —

My husband and I are avid game players. We are always on the lookout for good games to play with our older girls, who are 7 and almost 6. There are many games that combine luck and strategy and reinforce math skills.

Some of our favorite games are:

Continuo (matching and addition)
Set (set theory and pattern recognition)
Number Lotto by Usborne (counting and number recognition)
Yahtzee (NOT the children’s version, but the regular version, helps drill on addition and multiplication)
Connect Four (pattern recognition and is all strategy)
Memory (matching and memory skills)
Mille Bornes (addition)
Sorry (addition and subtraction)
Presto Chang-o (money skills, addition and subtraction)
Senet (a popular game in ancient Egypt that reinforces addition and subtraction).

Another easy game to teach counting is throwing and catching: players count the catches; when a child misses the count restarts at one.

A fun game to play with Dominoes is Twenty: the object is to play Dominoes face-up one at a time, until the numbers total 20. Play, either adding or discarding until someone reaches exactly 20.

You can also do a treasure hunt for geometry and measurement: make a list including items such as an object that contains a triangle, an object that is 12.5 inches long, something that weighs more than 2 pounds and less than 3 pounds.

Use your imagination. Have fun!

3 Responses to “Favorite Math Games for Young Children”

  1. Momma Knows Says:

    Great topic! We have always loved these games:
    Uno (the traditional version) All of our kids learned their numbers and primary colors playing Uno with us, as 2-3 year olds.
    Guess Who? (GREAT for learning to make educated guesses!)
    Blurt! (Two levels of words are included so very young and older kids can play together… good for vocabulary building.)
    Boggle is wonderful for learning to spell and teaching children visual discrimination. We have a son with special needs and he CANNOT do word searches… but Boggle is a small enough grid that he can find words.

  2. Steve Says:

    Nice list! I’ll have to write these down for future reference – my kids are only 1 and 2, but I am looking for ways now to get them interested in mathematics.

  3. John Golden Says:

    Rat-a-tat-Cat – good early math
    Sleeping Queens – early equations
    Zeus on the Loose – 1st and 2nd grade arithmetic
    9 to 1 – a shut the box like game with less equipment
    Category 5 – place value and logic

    Five quickies that are quite fun as well. I’d also add Blokus. No direct content, but amazing polyomino setting, and quite a bit of reasoning.

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