Math Game Monday: Wild & Crazy Eights

“Wild & Crazy Eights” is free on this website for one week only. It’s an excerpt from Counting & Number Bonds: Math Games for Early Learners, available as an ebook at my bookstore (Thank you for cutting out the middleman!) and in ebook or paperback through many online retailers. Read more about my playful math books here.

Update: In honor of the way-too-busy holiday season, this family-favorite game will remain live on my blog until January. It’s a great way to introduce your extended family to the fun of playing with math!

Many parents remember struggling to learn math. We hope to provide a better experience for our children. And one of the best ways for children to enjoy learning is through hands-on play.

The whole family can enjoy playing with numbers in this childhood classic math game. The more, the merrier!

Wild & Crazy Eights

Math Concepts: identifying and matching card attributes, wild cards, thinking ahead.

Players: two or more. More is better.

Equipment: one complete deck of cards (including face cards), or a double deck for four or more players.

Continue reading Math Game Monday: Wild & Crazy Eights

Math Game Monday: Galactic Conquest

“Galactic Conquest” is free on this website for one week only. It’s an excerpt from Multiplication & Fractions: Math Games for Tough Topics, available as an ebook at my bookstore (Thank you for cutting out the middleman!) and in ebook or paperback through many online retailers. Read more about my playful math books here.

Update: Because of the American holiday season, this family-favorite game will remain live on my blog for two weeks. It’s a great way to introduce your extended family to the fun of playing with math!

Many parents remember struggling to learn math. We hope to provide a better experience for our children. And one of the best ways for children to enjoy learning is through hands-on play.

This game gives students plenty of practice with multiplication facts as they strive to expand their territory and block their opponent.

Galactic Conquest

Math Concepts: multiplication math facts, rectangular area.

Players: two to four.

Equipment: game board or graph paper (1 cm squares for two players, or 1/4 inch squares for more), two six-sided dice, colored markers.

Continue reading Math Game Monday: Galactic Conquest

Math Game Monday: Dollar Nim

“Dollar Nim” is free on this website for one week only. It’s an excerpt from Math You Can Play Combo: Number Games for Young Learners, available as an ebook at my bookstore (Thank you for cutting out the middleman!) and in ebook or paperback through many online retailers. Read more about my playful math books here.

Many parents remember struggling to learn math. We hope to provide a better experience for our children.

And one of the best ways for children to enjoy learning is through hands-on play.

This game encourages children to think strategically as they add coin values.

Dollar Nim

Math Concepts: subtraction within one hundred, value of coins, thinking ahead.

Players: best for two.

Equipment: none.

Continue reading Math Game Monday: Dollar Nim

Math Game Monday: Four in a Row

“Four in a Row” is free on this website for one week only. It’s an excerpt from Prealgebra & Geometry: Math Games for Middle School, available as an ebook at my bookstore (Thank you for cutting out the middleman!) and in ebook or paperback through many online retailers. Read more about my playful math books here.

Many parents remember struggling to learn math. We hope to provide a better experience for our children.

And one of the best ways for children to enjoy learning is through hands-on play.

This game gives students plenty of practice multiplying and dividing integers or algebraic expressions as they try to complete their own line or block their opponents.

Four in a Row

Math Concepts: integer multiplication, factors, multiples, algebraic multiplication.

Players: two players or two teams.

Equipment: printed or homemade gameboard, colored markers or a set of matching tokens for each player, two paperclips or other small tokens to mark the factors.

Continue reading Math Game Monday: Four in a Row

Math Game Monday: Sam Vandervelde’s Criss-Cross

“Sam Vandervelde’s Criss-Cross” is free on this website for one week only. It’s an excerpt from 312 Things To Do with a Math Journal, available as an ebook at my bookstore (Thank you for cutting out the middleman!) and in ebook or paperback through many online retailers. Read more about my playful math books here.

Many parents remember struggling to learn math. We hope to provide a better experience for our children.

And one of the best ways for children to enjoy learning is through hands-on play.

This game offers students a chance to practice mathematical reasoning (and possibly notice a connection to the Euler characteristic).

Sam Vandervelde’s Criss-Cross

Math Concepts: topology, strategy.

Players: only two.

Equipment: pencils and blank paper.

Continue reading Math Game Monday: Sam Vandervelde’s Criss-Cross

Math Game Monday: Two-Digit Number Train

This game makes players think about place value and probability as they race to complete their number train.

“Two-Digit Number Train” is an excerpt from Math You Can Play Combo: Number Games for Young Learners, available as an ebook at my bookstore (Thank you for cutting out the middleman!) and in ebook or paperback through many online retailers. Read more about my playful math books here.

The Math Game Monday posts will be available for one week only. If you missed this one, explore the Topic Tag links in the sidebar. There are more than forty free games scattered around the blog. Have fun playing math with your kids!

Math Game Monday: Operations

This game offers students in upper-elementary and beyond plenty of practice with mental math and the order of operations.

“Operations” is an excerpt from Prealgebra & Geometry: Math Games for Middle School, available as an ebook at my bookstore (Thank you for cutting out the middleman!) and in ebook or paperback through many online retailers. Read more about my playful math books here.

The Math Game Monday posts will be available for one week only. If you missed this one, explore the Topic Tag links in the sidebar. There are more than forty free games scattered around the blog. Have fun playing math with your kids!

Math Game Monday: Forty-Niners

This game pushes players to risk everything in a gold-rush of addition practice.

“Forty-Niners” is an excerpt from Addition & Subtraction: Math Games for Elementary Students, available as an ebook at my bookstore (Thank you for cutting out the middleman!) and in ebook or paperback through many online retailers. Read more about my playful math books here.

The Math Game Monday posts will be available for one week only. If you missed this one, explore the Topic Tag links in the sidebar. There are more than forty free games scattered around the blog. Have fun playing math with your kids!

Math Game Monday: Salute

Help children review times-table facts while they practice the inverse relationship between multiplication and division.

Salute may be the only game in my books where speed is a factor. Players should be closely matched in their skill level — or use the House Rule that calls for taking turns.

“Salute” is an excerpt from Multiplication & Fractions: Math Games for Tough Topics, available as an ebook at my bookstore (Thank you for cutting out the middleman!) and in ebook or paperback through many online retailers. Read more about my playful math books here.

The Math Game Monday posts will be available for one week only. If you missed this one, explore the Topic Tag links in the sidebar. There are more than forty free games scattered around the blog. Have fun playing math with your kids!

New to Playful Math? Start Here

Do you want your children to enjoy learning math? Teach them how to play!

After the troubles of recent years, it’s even more important for families to play together. So I’ve made the ebook version of Let’s Play Math Sampler: 10 Family-Favorite Games for Learning Math Through Play permanently free.

What a great way to introduce your child to the joy of learning!

With excerpts taken from my most popular books, the Let’s Play Math Sampler features ten kid-tested games covering math concepts from counting to prealgebra.

Pick up a copy today, and make math a playful family adventure.

Download Your FREE Copy

Or Shop Your Favorite Online Store
… or request a copy from your library or local bookshop.


“Math is so many things — beauty, structure, problem solving, communication, language, creativity — but here’s what I’ve learned as I’ve tried to help my children develop positive relationships with math: It All Begins With Play. Anything by Denise Gaskins is a fantastic place to start. These books are filled with the perfect combination of perspective and practicality.”

—Michele Johnson, Instagram post