UPDATE: I just noticed that Google is still linking to this obsolete blog page. The books are available now in nice, shiny, revised-and-expanded editions at my publishing website:
Denise Gaskins’ Playful Math Books

photo by goXunuReviews via Flickr

[Photo by goXunuReviews. (CC BY 2.0 via Flickr)]

Are you a homeschooler? Are you happy with your current curriculum, or would you like to break out of the textbook mold and explore math through “living” books and activities? Whether you hope to replace your math program or just to supplement it, I can show you ways to turn math into a learning adventure for the whole family. Your children will build a stronger foundation of understanding when you teach math as a game, playing with ideas.

This blog originally grew out of my books, and now it’s coming full circle: New, expanded e-book editions of my long-out-of-print books are ripening on the vine, growing out of the blog. If you want to be notified as soon as they are available, please subscribe to my blog.

Now Available

Let’s Play Math:
How Homeschooling Families Can Learn Math Together, and Enjoy It!


Discover new ways to explore math as a family adventure. True mathematical thinking involves the same creative reasoning that children use to solve puzzles. Introduce your children to the “Aha!” factor, the thrill of solving a challenging puzzle, and build thinking skills with toys, games, and library books. Find out how to choose math manipulatives, or make your own, and learn how to tackle story problems with confidence. Let’s Play Math will give you a wealth of motivating, hands-on ideas for teaching home school math.

Don’t have a Kindle? You can get a Kindle app to read books on almost any device. If you want something you can print out to read, Smashwords and Ganxy offer a pdf version as well as regular ebook files you can download and send to your e-reader. (And Smashwords, Ganxy, and Amazon will give you access to the new file, whenever I finally get the paperback out and update the ebook to match it.)

Reviews of Let’s Play Math

Combined with all the linked resources, this book is going to transform how I teach my kids maths. No more dabbling in “real maths” but then running back to the workbooks when anxiety strikes — with this approach I can teach my kids to think like mathematicians without worrying about leaving gaps.

My favourite section of the book is “One Week of Real Mathematics”, which contains examples of what one week’s worth of math playtime might look like. I love having this starting point to show me what a balanced “maths diet” might look like.

I knew the well-travelled road (maths curricula) wasn’t for us, but I lacked confidence in my ability to guide my children through uncharted territory. Let’s Play Math is the map and the guidebook I’ve been looking for. With it in my hand I can’t wait to take my children by the hand and head off to explore the wonderful world of maths.

— Lucinda Leo
Navigating By Joy

A beautiful book that explains the “why” and “how” of teaching math from a Constructivist perspective. It is well researched, well annotated, and includes loads of activities that you can try with kids K-12 at home. While reading the book, I found myself remembering a lot of things I had forgotten from my teacher-training … I have to say that there were so many parts of this book that I highlighted that I really gave my Kindle a workout!

There is a whole section that I’m going to come back to this summer, to keep my kids busy. But was especially useful to me at this moment, were the talking points for helping kids solve problems on their own. Yes, I at one point learned all of talking points, but I really needed the refresher.

My son’s school does Continental Mathematics League, and those problems are really hard. I’m going to print up all of the talking points and post them in our kitchen so that my husband and I will have a list of questions to prompt our son’s thinking.

— Jennifer Bardsley
Teaching My Baby To Read

This book is a creative and inspiring challenge to the way maths is usually taught in school. It is packed full of ideas and resources to help children (and definitely adults too!) develop their learning about the art of numbers. In a culture where maths anxiety is now a diagnosable problem, this book shows the way to maths joy.

J. Mcandrews

This book will change the way you look at math forever … Let’s Play Math challenges homeschooling parents to teach their kids to ‘think like mathematicians’ and use their problem solving skills to really understand concepts rather than just memorize processes … This is definitely a must-read e-book for all homeschoolers!

Learners in Bloom

I love math, but had forgotten why I developed a love for math in the first place. This book … shows us how we can ignite this fire in our own children.


I loved how this book reframes our concepts of Math … helps parents understand what Math really is about, what fun there is in it … games and kinds of behavior they can adopt to develop a Math sense in their children.

Rafael Falcón

Coming in 2015: The Math You Can Play Series

In my experience, flexibility and confidence in mental calculation is one of the best predictors of success in high school math and beyond. So the Math You Can Play games are designed to stretch your children’s ability to manipulate numbers in their heads. Each book features twenty of my favorite math games, offering a wide variety of challenges for all ages.


Counting & Number Bonds:
Math Games for Early Learners, Preschool to 2nd Grade

Young children can play with counting and number recognition while they learn the basic principle of good sportsmanship, to respond gracefully whether they win or lose. Older students will explore place value, build number sense, and begin practicing the math facts.

Addition & Subtraction:
Number Games for Elementary Students, Kindergarten to 4th Grade

Children will strengthen their understanding of numbers and develop mental flexibility by playing with addition and subtraction, from the basic number facts to numbers in the hundreds and beyond. Logic games build strategic thinking skills, and dice games give students hands-on experience with probability.

Multiplication & Fractions:
Number Games for Elementary Students, 2nd to 6th Grade

Students will learn several math models that provide a sturdy foundation for understanding multiplication and fractions. The games feature times table facts and more advanced concepts such as division, fractions, decimals, and multistep mental math.

Prealgebra & Geometry:
Math Games for Middle School, 4th to 9th Grade

Older students can handle more challenging games that develop logic and problem-solving skills. Here are playful ways to explore positive and negative integers, number properties, mixed operations, functions, and coordinate geometry.

8 thoughts on “The Book(s)

  1. I have been looking for a Mathematics book that I could recommend to my kindergarten class students. I think this book is going to play the role. Thanks 🙂

  2. Is this available in paperback or hardcover? If so, how can I order it?

  3. I’m working on the paperback now, but it’s taking much longer than I’d thought. I’ve added enough new material that the paperback will be essentially a new edition, and then I will update the ebook to match it.

    If you buy the current ebook through Amazon, your Kindle should update automatically when the new edition is published, and Smashwords will let anyone who buys now download the new one as soon as it’s available. I don’t know how other vendors handle changes in an ebook.

  4. Any idea as to how long the paper version will take until it is ready for purchase? I really have found this book to be helpful, but would prefer it to be printed on paper in order to more easily refer to it. If the print version is a long ways off, is it possible to get my hands on an e-version that would allow me to print it myself? I have it on Kindle and it looks like printing it would be a challenge. Thanks.

  5. Sorry, Leah, but I have no idea when the print version will be available. I decided to focus this year on the Math You Can Play series of ebooks, and then I’ll work on the print versions of all of them at once. At this point, I’m hoping for print editions in 2015, but I know that everything always takes longer than I wish.

    I don’t think it’s possible to print a Kindle book, but the Smashwords and Ganxy editions both include access to a pdf version, which you could print. The Ganxy version is nicer to read, because I was able to format it by hand — it’s what you see in the downloadable sample chapter. Smashwords uses an automatic program called the “Meatgrinder” which produces a plain but readable file.

  6. Hello Denise,
    Are the Math You Can Play books available as ebooks on Ganxy or anywhere else? I couldn’t see them.

    1. They will be, when they are published. Right now they are “Coming Soon,” which means they’re in the we-hope-final editing stage and being checked by beta readers. Book publishing always take longer than I think it should! Meanwhile, you can find a lot of math games here on the blog, in articles I wrote and in back issues of the Math Teachers at Play carnival.

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