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November 05, 2021 3 min read

Games are an excellent way of learning and reinforcing social and academic skills, and maths skills well integrated into many board games.

Many games are built around a 'roll and move' mechanic, making them perfect for counting practice in early years.  Check out Orchard Toys for some lovely educational games, including the perennial favourite Bus Stop.

Colour recognition and pattern matching are also integrated into many games - we'd recommend taking a look at My First Castle Panic from Fireside Games as a great mix of captivating gameplay and seamless learning.

Here are our top picks for maths learning games to meet every need:

 

Primary School Mental Arithmetic

Kingdomino - Blue Orange

Kingdomino from Blue Orange won 2017 Spiel des Jahres Game of the Year award, and it's not hard to see why.  Uncomplicated does not mean unenjoyable, and the quick-to-learn gameplay in which each player strategically creates a 5x5 grid of dominos to maximise the value of their kingdom is always bringing you back for one more game.

And why do we love Kingdomino most? Because as well as being an absolutely brilliant game, it is very good practice for times tables and well as single/double digit addition!

 

Secret Code 13+4 Maths Game - Haba

Secret Code 13+4.  The maths is more front and centre than Kingdomino, and all in service of an engaging game.  Players race to deactivate a series of 'light barriers'. Each has a code number (different every game) and you have to combine the numbers on six dice to crack the code. The first player to cross all 10 barriers and each the centre of the board is the winner. 

Addition or subtraction, multiplication or division are all allowed, with products up to 20, making it the perfect tool for practical practice of mental arithmetic in an enjoyable way.  

 

Early Arithmetic - Addition

Sleeping Queens card game

Sleeping Queens is a fantastic card game for the whole family, and reinforces mathematical learning.  

We would always recommend Sleeping Queens as the perfect example of maths practice seamlessly integrated into a fun family game.  The endearing gameplay  reinforces learning of number bonds to 10, and addition in multiples of 5.

 

A notable mention also to Zeus on the Loose, another classic from Gamewright, which upscales the addition to cover up to 100 (adding numbers up to ten until a total of 100 is reached), without compromising on gameplay.

 

Times Tables

Crew in a Stew Times Table card game

Crew in a Stew is our go to for getting in some intensive - and stress-free - times tables practice.

Be the first to assemble a pirate crew in this easy to understandgame.  Each turn starts with a roll of two 12-sided dice, with the action taken depending on the product of the two.

We love the illustrations in this engaging card game. Crew in a Stew offers lots of times tables practice without it seeming like work.

 

First Number Skills - Tiny Polka Dot

Tiny Polka Dot Maths Game

Tiny Polka Dotis a playful way for children ages 3 – 8 and up to fall in love with numbers.

With eye-catching, colourful cards and 16 easy-to-learn games, Tiny Polka Dot is built to grow with your child, teaching critical skills in counting, arithmetic, and logic along the way.

It is a versatile and appealing set, and our top pick for helping young children up to 8 years work confidently with numbers in a playful way.

 

Fractions

Pizza Fraction Fun Game by Learning Resources

Pizza Fraction Fun is a great game for young children to learn a range of fraction-related skills: Identify fractions; match fraction equivalents; add and subtract fractions and more.  Learning fractions in the abstract can be a big challenge for kids so it's definitely a good investment to look at a game to make the concept abstract, and Pizza Fraction Fun fulfils this brief in an appealing and easily visually understandable manner.  

The pizza slices can also be used for free play, allowing kids to explore the relationship between fractions in their own way.

 

There's Always Something to Count...

The scoring mechanisms used in many games also make them particularly suited to maths learning for children.  While the maths takes a little more of a back seat, this topic would not be complete without a mention of some of the amazing games, which are addictively playable and also incidentally require players to add their score, involving some more complex double digit addition.  Our top recommendations are: