Spoiler alert: Gameschool. Wow. Of all the things I never thought I’d embrace. We are definitely eclectic homeschoolers, but come. on. Math board games to play at school? Back in the day, we didn’t do that. We drilled and flashed cards with a vengeance. As a class, we listened, recited, repeated, quizzed, and tested. Now, I’ve learned a truly fun way for kids to learn math – and these are the best board games to help them do just that. You never know, gameschooling might just work for your family. Educational math games these days are so fun and clever – you kids may not even realize that they are learning!
You know those things that you swore you’d never do as a mother? Or the things that were so absurd, you never considered whether or not you would do them because…just, no.
So, this list represents the story of things I was not raised to do, things I thought I’d never do.
No Games, Just Academics
Both of my parents were the first in their families to go to college, but both obtained PhD’s. Theirs is the beloved American Dream story. My father was sent off to college with the little bit of cash that my grandparents could offer him and he worked his way through each of his degrees. And he went on to become a prolific academic writer as well as a professor of graduate students.
Wait for it… I promise this is going somewhere related to gameschool, and the very best educational board games that make math fun for any child.
My parents had the dream – a chicken in the pot and a car in the garage. And they appreciated that they had achieved the dream via education.
So education was a big deal in our house. It was assumed that I would get a college degree just like it was assumed that I’d breathe air.
Our Assumptions About Parenting Don’t Always Come True
Fast forward to present day. Before we began our homeschooling journey, the boys were in traditional schools and I’d never heard the word gameschool.
During our first grade parent-teacher conference I heard myself saying, “No, ummmm…I’m not that mom who’s ok with forcing him to do homework at this age.”
Who knew that I would so casually ask, “Do you need a mental health day today? We could go to the aquarium?”
I said thing like, “No, you don’t have to go to school after the dentist this morning. I have an idea, let’s have a game day!”
Our family has always loved games and we have stuffed our game closet full so that we can rock family game night. I regularly cull through the games we have outgrown – so it’s always fresh and fun. We have really cool games for boys. Both of my boys love to tinker, so we have great games for boys who tinker. Kids can learn from all the games they play – if we present them with great educational board games.
Now that we homeschool, we’ve discovered that kids can use the very best board games to learn and to develop their imaginations too!
It’s called gameschool.
We aren’t straight up gameschoolers, but we find that games are a terrific addition to our homeschool. These are some of the very best board games that will have kids hardly recognizing that they are learning math!
Educational Board Games for Learning Addition & Subtraction
Did you know that, in addition to their supreme powers, the Greek gods were endowed with the special ability to change the course of card games? Well, at least that’s the case in Zeus on the Loose! As you figure out how harness the strengths of the various gods within, you’ll sharpen strategic thinking along with valuable addition and subtraction skills.
Catch Zeus if you can! The great Greek god has bolted from Mount Olympus and it’s up to you to nab this dashing deity. Play cards strategically, adding numbers as you climb up the mythic mountain. Grab Zeus when the total reaches a multiple of 10. Better yet, summon the strength of Apollo, Poseidon, or all-powerful Hera to bring Zeus within your grasp. Reach the top of Mount Olympus with Zeus in hand and you’re a mortal among the gods.
Kids journey through the sum swamp, with their math skills to guide them! They’ll see funny swamp creatures, face challenges, and race ahead through short cuts.
To determine the number of moves for each turn, children roll 2 number dice and 1 basic math symbol die, then they do the math!
Deep in space, your team is on the hunt for the shiniest space crystals around. All of the sudden, a black hole has formed on the horizon and is breaking apart the planet. It’s time to use your math skills to escape this planet and head back home.
In sums in space, use the dice to improve your math skills by adding and subtracting 0-9 and get back to the ship as fast as you can.
Kids build math-fact fluency with this challenging board game. Using numbered playing cards, create or change fact families on the triangle board. Be the first to play all your cards, and call out “tri-FACTa!”
The Dino Math Tracks game (winner of several prestigious awards, including an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal) is a race around the rainbow with a pack of pintsize, prehistoric pals. An unusual spin on a typical roll-the-dice-and-move game, it spotlights the mathematical concept of place value and gives kids reinforcement in what makes our base-10 number system tick. Each player is allotted one dinosaur for each of the four tracks (the tracks are labeled 1s, 10s, 100s, and 1000s). To play, a player rolls four dice to create a 4-digit number and then moves his or her prehistoric posse to the appropriate 1s, 10s, 100s, and 1000s places. Problem-solving strategies are honed as players scurry to get all four miniature mammoths or tiny triceratops into the dino haven, ahead of the other players’ thundering herds. But look out! In the race to dino utopia, it’s easy to get bumped by a baby brachiosaurus!
Help the mountain raiders find the treasure on top of the mountain. Master addition in this mountain adventure. As they play this game, children develop fluency in addition of 3 digit numbers. Kids just need to know counting before playing this game.
Clumsy thieves may be lurking in your own home. This hilarious fast-paced card game has everyone snatching money—when they dare! Big money’s up for grabs and every player joins the fun. This game requires strategy, addition skills, luck and a great sense of humor. HOW TO PLAY: Players make money stacks from their dealt cards. Steal a stack if you have a card equaling $100 when added to the top card of a stack. But that’s just the beginning! Thief cards steal money cards. Jail cards stop thief cards. In the end the player who has the most money wins. Playing time: 15 minutes. Contents: 94 cards and game rules.
Gameschool Your Multiplication & Division Facts With These!
Race To Infinity is the game that helps children fall in love with Mathematics, enjoy math more, make math fun, increase confidence and reduce Math Anxiety. It is specifically built in such a way to ensure that children are learning, without realizing they are learning. They feel they are playing. The difference with this game, and why it’s unique, is that it truly and effectively makes math fun and has excellent replay-ability.
Also, older and younger children, maths-phobics and maths-lovers, and parents and teachers can play together with children, and still all enjoy playing without anyone feeling left out. In other words, it is a balanced game. It teaches many important life skills including creative thinking, critical thinking, logic, spacial skills, decision making, weighing options, money skills and analytical thinking skills and several other important life skills.
‘Say Cheese!’ and Grab it All!!
The mice from all corners of the world have gathered for the prestigious ICC (International Cheese Clash) tournament. After many rounds, it has finally come down to the last few mice that are fighting for the world championship.
The mice have gathered in the play arena. The best weapons to win the championship will be quick thinking and multiplication tables. Will your mouse win?
“Dragon times” is an educational fantasy card game that motivates children to practice multiplication and division and learn about factors and multiples. It helps them memorize the multiplication tables in a fun and exciting way. “Dragon times” makes learning a magical adventure as children save and tame the amazing “Dragons of Times” and restore peace in a magical land. A Player can save a Dragon by using two spell cards which when multiplied give the number of the Dragon.
Monster sock factory is an easy game to practice multiplication. As a player, you get to decide and pick which sock packet needs to be packed in a way that you quickly complete your consignment.
The Best Math Board Games To Practice All Four Operations
Original 24 Game Cards Double Digits provides fabulous math facts practice. It’s so simple: just make the number 24 from the four numbers on the card. You can add, subtract, multiply or divide using all four numbers on the card-but use each number only once. Set contains 3 challenge levels, 48 cards with three levels of challenge.
Equate looks a bit like Scrabble–for aspiring mathematicians, that is. Designed by a real mathematician, it works like this: You put down tiles on a board and make points by correctly completing simple equations. Your nine tiles include both numbers and mathematical symbols; you can add on to previous plays both vertically and horizontally. Learn simple stuff (like what division is) and more sophisticated ideas (like the order of precedence among arithmetic operations). It all adds up. –Richard Farr
Mind Your Numbers is a simple, short board game that anyone who knows how to add, subtract, multiply & divide single digit numbers can play. Yet, one needs to plan & strategize well to win this challenging mind game.
Using just 10 numbers and 12 symbols, players compete for 9 rounds to earn points with higher results. Planning when to use which number & symbol combination holds the key to winning. The combination changes every time you play due to 2 randomly chosen mystery numbers that are hidden from opponents & award bonus points in the end.
Prime climbis a beautiful, colorful, mathematical board game designed for 2 to 4 players. Roll the dice and add, subtract, multiply and divide your way to the center of the board, picking up prime cards and bumping your opponents back to start as you go. The first to land both pawns on 101 wins the game! everyone can learn to multiply and divide using prime climb’s unique color coding. Inspire deeper mathematical understanding while mastering arithmetic! Prime climb is a perfect game for families & schools, kids & adults. Awaken your love of math, with prime climb.
Students will love mathological liar! Players earn points for solving math mysteries in this entertaining and educational game. In each round, players read about a crime committed and each player receives a suspect’s alibi. Players must determine whether the math in their suspect’s alibi is correct or not. If the math is correct, the suspect is innocent, if the math is incorrect, the suspect is guilty of the crime. Each game requires players to use multiple grade-level math skills. Includes 40 math mysteries. The game can be played with 2-4 players and includes ideas for turning the game into a quick-and-easy math center. You get 200 cards and directions. (The version shown is for 4th grade. There are also games for: 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade.)
Head full of numbers lets kids practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with fun game play. Place dice into the shaker, then roll them out and align on the dice tray. Then set the timer and create as many unique, correct equations as possible. Game variations allow you to target specific math skills. 2-6 players.
Fabulously Fun Fraction Practice Games
This mouthwatering game captures children’s attention and helps them visually understand fraction concepts and skills using one of their favorite foods! Pizza fraction fun offers seven different games to practice identifying fractions, matching fraction equivalents, and performing fraction addition and subtraction by building pizzas. Segmented pizzas provide a multisensory way to introduce and explore fractions.
The froggy fraction pond is filled with smart frogs. Be the smartest of them all and you get the coziest place. It is very easy to start and perfect for learning fractions. ractions are here, there, and everywhere. You find them in butterflies, dice, stumps, and many more little things. This game has it all. Compare the number cards, image cards, and start making pairs of equivalent fractions.
Monkeys are having a great time out there with monkey fractions. Join the fun with them with your fractions card. Make right pairs with fractions and win. Easy to start and perfect for young learners. Fractions as part of a group and fractions as part of whole. Fractions are in butterflies and they are in apples. The game has it all. Just match the images with perfect fractions and win for the monkey clan.
Crack open a carton of crazy free range fraction fun. This scrambled set includes 2 egg cartons, with 12 two-tone eggs each, and 54 denominator rings. Race to determine the denominator, and then turn over the fraction of eggs depicted on the fraction challenge card first.
Fun Board Games for Teaching Finances & Money
What a fun way to learn about combining coins in Money Bags Coin Value Game! The object of this colorful and compact board game is to earn money while winding along a cartoon path. Money is earned by landing on a square labeled with a practical chore, such as setting the table (31 cents), or an entrepreneurial endeavor, such as a lemonade stand (15 cents). In order to collect money, the spinner is used to determine which coins can or cannot be taken from the bank. If the spinner lands on “no nickels” then you collect your change with any coins except for nickels.
There is no such thing as being too young to learn about financial literacy. CASHFLOW for kids is a great game to play and teach kids in an interesting way about financial lessons. It is good to start them young as they have no wrong notions and misconceptions about finances.
Pay Day, launched in 1975, is great for social interaction and a game that parents and children can play on a relatively even level. Simple and quick, a two lap game takes as little as 15 minutes.
Learn how to get from a Payday to the end of the month. The game board resembles a calendar month, and each space has events like a buying “deal” or receiving “mail” (includes bills, insurance offers etc.) The object of the game is to have the most money at the end of the game, which is over after as many months as the players decide on.
Get gazelle intense with Act Your Wage from Dave Ramsey. Invite friends over to play or have a family game night. It’s always competitive and fun! Keep your savings up and expenses down as you compete to be the first to yell, “I’m debt-free!” For ages 10 and up!
Don’t let your emergency fund go below $1,000, Plan for expenses using the envelope system. You don’t want to have too much month left at the end of your money, Spend, Save and Give through the income and expenses of everyday living, Dave Says cards keep the wisdom coming. Pay off debt using your debt snowball.
Cashflow was developed by renowned entrepreneur and motivational speaker Robert Kiyosaki, author of the bestselling personal finance book of all time, Rich Dad Poor Dad. This game is the ultimate realization of Robert Kiyosaki’s vision for an interactive tool to teach investing and wealth building. Put your financial skills to the test and learn how to escape the rat race in the comfort of your own home.
The Best Math Board Games For Teaching Multiple Math Skills
BrainBox Math from MindWare is a colorful and fun way to learn about geometry, fractions, graphing, percentages and more while improving your child’s observation and memory skills. BrainBox Math is a fantastic game for individuals and groups alike. This is a perfect item to use at home and in the classroom.
A creative & challenging family board game that will leave kids (& even adults) fascinated about the beauty of geometry.
Geometry is not just about remembering shapes & their properties. It’s a way of thinking!
Proof! is a fast, fun, and addicting math game that the whole family can enjoy! Work that mental math magic as you race to find creative equations hidden among nine number cards. Keep what you find and collect the most cards to win!
Three Sticks consists of sticks of three different lengths – 3, 4 and 5 units long. Using these to try and create geometric shapes. Based on the size and type of shape, you earn points. Sounds simple? Not quite. Firstly, you don’t get to choose the sticks – it is determined by a randomly chosen card. And secondly, you can use only two sticks per turn! Creating a shape using only two sticks is impossible. Hence you have to use your two sticks along with the ones that the other players may have placed on the board. That is where the game turns highly creative. Which two sticks will you use? Where will you place them? Think creatively to win.
The award winning game Rush Hour, is one of our favorites and now they’ve made this version for two players! Get your car to the other side of the grid before your opponent can do the same, but watch out for the shifting board!
Best Board Games to Make Middle Schoolers See The Fun In Math
Thrive Time for Teensgives teens a real look at finances. Teenagers start the game as students who have part time jobs. As the game progresses, they have to make major life decisions like purchasing a vehicle, managing expenditures, paying for college, choosing whether to use credit cards or not, investing and starting a business. Teens can even decide to give back financially to the community.
The winner of the game is not only the one who earns the most money, the winner is the teen who manages his or her time and does good for others.
As a wealthy Renaissance merchant, acquire mines and transportation, hire artisans and woo the nobility. Create the most fantastic jewelry to become the best-known merchant of them all! Acquire precious stones to trade them for development cards. Use development cards to acquire more gem stones. Use your gems and gold to create the most fantastic jewelry, and appeal to the nobles to gain the prestige you need to win the game of Splendor!
Crossing into the Land of 1001 Nights, your caravan arrives at the fabled Sultanate of Naqala. The old sultan just died and control of Naqala is up for grabs! The oracles foretold of strangers who would maneuver the Five Tribes to gain influence over the legendary city-state. Will you fulfill the prophecy? Invoke the old Djinns, move the Tribes into position at the right time and the Sultanate may become yours!
Not Games Per Se
As I was putting these great games together, I found this fun, engaging program that will help kids master the multiplication facts once and for all―without spending hours and hours drilling flash cards!
I haven’t seen it or used it yet, but I did just order it!
Multiplication Facts That Stick will guide you, step-by- step, as you teach your child to understand and memorize the multiplication facts, from 1 x 1 through 10 x 10. Hands-on activities, fun games your child will love, and simple practice pages help young students remember the multiplication facts for good.
In 15 minutes per day (perfect for after school, or as a supplement to a homeschool math curriculum) your child will master the multiplication facts, gain a greater understanding of how math works, and develop greater confidence, in just ten weeks!
I’d love to know whether you use board games to help your children learn!
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