How to Make Math Cards

Many of the games on this blog call for Math Cards. You do not need to look for these in stores or in your school supply catalog. Math cards are simply a modified deck of normal, poker-style playing cards. Remove all face cards and jokers from the deck, leaving the ace through ten of each suit. Or use a set of Rook cards, without the bird.

Using the ace as a one, this gives you four sets of numbers 1-10, and you will be ready to play your way to fluency in almost any arithmetical topic: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, greater-than/less-than, fractions, negative numbers, and more.

Card Holder for Young Hands

Math card holder

Little hands often have trouble holding more than a few cards at a time. Your child may enjoy making and using a card holder.

Save the plastic lids from two large margarine tubs or similar containers. Place the lids together, top to top. Line up the edges, then staple them together, putting two or three staples near the center of the lids. Let your child decorate the card holder with stickers, if desired.

To use the card holder, slip playing cards between the two lids and fan them out. The lids will hold the cards upright, so the child can easily see them all.

8 thoughts on “How to Make Math Cards

  1. Hello, I read your post because I´m searching about how other teachers use games for the teaching of mathematics (please, excuse me my English grammar! Feel free to edit my comment, to correct my words or sentences!)
    I teach at secondary school (not anymore, actually) and at university level. I use “game design” with my pupils, I mind, they had to design games, and they learned about quadratic functions while they played!
    Well, I can tell you more if you think that´s interesting. E-mail me!
    Best regards,
    Valeria, from Argentine

  2. I am very interested in your games. How did you use game design to teach quadratic functions? I use games primarily with my younger students (elementary through middle school), but I would like to hear how you work with older ones.

  3. hello, i am trying to teach some children their number bonds to ten as this is their target but the problem is that they do not retain the information, so the whole system is very repetitive and does get tedious. alot of help is required.

  4. Hi, Jannat!
    Have you looked at my article on number bonds? Depending on the age of the student, it can take time to make the number bonds automatic, but if the students understand the concept, they should be able to figure them out.

    What I mean is, if the students are comfortable with counting and addition within 10, then they shouldn’t have too much trouble answering the question, “How many more does it take to make 10?” But coming up with the answer from memory (as opposed to counting on their fingers or something) takes longer — sometimes much longer. That is why I like to practice with games, such as Tens Concentration.

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