Last week my son finished his 1st grade math curriculum. We still have about 5 1/2 weeks left of our school year, before we break for summer. Whenever my kids have finished their curriculum early before, I have just started the next level right away. We start working on the next book and then pause it for summer, picking it back up in August where we left off.
This year I want him to work on his math facts a little more, so decided not to move on to the next level until we start again in the fall. So what is he doing for the rest of the year instead?
Gameschooling with math learning games!
Everyday, instead of a math lesson, we play one of our math games to keep concepts fresh and get faster with math facts. This is typically what we do in the summer months as well, instead of any workbooks. If you have a reluctant learner or are hitting a rut in your curriculum, these games are a great way to try something new and fun also.
These are 10 of our favorite math board games and card games. Most of these work on addition, subtraction, place value, and counting money. All great for early elementary grades.
1. Sum Swamp
This has been our top favorite for a long time. It is super simple, moving across the board by adding or subtracting the number on the dice, but is a lot of fun. All my kids enjoy this game (even my 4 year old!)
In this POP game, a spinner tells you the number of gum balls you pick from the “jar” on your turn. Answer the math problem correctly on the gum ball to keep it. If you choose a gum ball that says “pop,” you have to put all your gum balls back. First to have 10 gum balls wins. Very similar to our favorite DIY game KaBOOM that you can create yourself as well.
Such a fun game to spotlight the concept of place value for kids. Each player gets one dinosaur for each of the four tracks (the tracks are the 1s, 10s, 100s, and 1000s). To play, a player rolls four dice to create a 4-digit number and then moves his or her dinosaur to the appropriate places. This game can also be played in various ways on what you are learning or working on; just the 10s place or just the 100s place, etc.
4. Money Bags
This is our new game this year that I have had on my wish list for a while (it gets here tomorrow of course. LOL) Players collect, count, and exchange money all the way across the board. This will be helpful in learning valuable money skills and counting.
A classic that everyone loves, especially my kids! When I’m playing with my younger kids we just play the top portion of the Yahtzee game card (working on getting multiples of the same number.) This game is great for addition, counting by multiples, and skip counting.
This is a super fun game for the whole family on its own. However, there are many different ways you can play to work on counting by tens and number order. THIS add-on card set also gives you 77 more ways to play.
This game is by The Good and The Beautiful and offers great math fact practice. There are two games offered in both single-player or two-player options to help children practice facts and even/odds independently or with a parent.
This game is very similar to Anteater Addition, but the subtraction facts version. Can also be played independently or with a parent to practice subtraction facts 1–9 as well as working on one more and one less.
9. Math War!
Such a simple card game to practice quick math facts. I also love that my older two can play this together on their own. (Also, this game is only $2.99!)
Pop Its have been all the rage this past year, so this is a fun games all the kids love. Roll the dice and add them together to move by popping each space. Whoever gets to the center by popping all their side first wins. You could play with just one dice for younger kids or play backwards by subtracting the dice numbers. I even play using multiplication facts with my oldest. We multiply the two dice together, but you only move by the number in the ones place. (Example: 6 x 4= 24, but you only get to move 4.)
I love playing games where the kids have no idea they are learning or practicing math. These are definitely games they have lots of fun with and ask to play over and over.
Don’t feel like you have to go buy all of these either. We have purchased this collection of games over time. I usually buy one or two games as an end of the school year gift, or a happy first day of school gift. I have a wishlist on Amazon where I save them as well and tell Grandparents and other family members to purchase them as birthday or Christmas gifts.
If you have other favorite math games your kids love, please let me know in the comments!
Happy playing and learning! 😉
P.S. Be sure to head back here tomorrow; I’ll be sharing our summer learning plans, plus more fun games for learning the alphabet and beginning sounds!