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Number matching and categorising (Kinder) Materials: Deck of cards How to play:

1. Arrange the four aces in a vertical column to display each suit. 2. Choose the top suit and lay out the cards from 2 through to the King. 3. Randomly arrange the remaining cards face down in even rows and columns. 4. To begin, turn over one card and find its correct location. 5. Remove the card there and place your card in that spot. 6. Find the location of your new card and continue until all cards are correctly placed. Modifications: Only reveal the Aces to begin so children have to calculate which column each number goes into.

Card Bingo (Kinder -1) Materials: 2 decks of cards (remove picture cards) How to play:

1. Each player makes a 4 x 4 array of cards face up. 2. One player is the caller. They flip over a card from the top of the unused deck and calls out the number on the card. 3. If the card that is called matched one in the player’s array, they can turn that card over. 4. The winner is the first person to turn over 4 cards in a line either horizontally, vertically or diagonally.


Concentration - Number matching (Kinder - 1) Materials: Deck of cards (Excluding Jacks, Queens and Kings) How to play:

1. Lay cards face down out in rows and columns. 2. Take turns to turn over two cards at a time. If they match keep the pair and have another go. 3. If they don’t match turn the cards back over and the next person has a go. 4. Continue until all cards are collected. 5. The winner is the person with the most pairs at the end of the game.

Concentration - Pairs to 10 (1 - 2) Materials: Deck of cards (Excluding 10’s, Jacks, Queens and Kings) How to play:

1. Shuffle cards and the lay cards face down out in rows and columns. 2. Take turns to turn over two cards at a time. If the cards add up to 10 they may keep the pair. 3. If they don’t add to 10 turn the cards back over and the next person has a go. 4. Continue until all cards are collected. 5. The winner is the person with the most pairs at the end of the game.

Make 10 (1-2)

Materials: Deck of cards (excluding picture cards) Players: 2 How to play:

1. One player deals out 10 cards to each player face up in a row. 2. The first player looks across their row and removes any combination of cards which add to 10 e.g. 7 + A + 2 3. Once a combination has been remove3d, the cards are replaced by the dealer and then the next player has a turn. 4. Play continues until there are no more cards to deal out or no more combinations. Players then count how many cards they have collected. The player with the most is the winner.


Make 10 Again (1-2) Materials: Deck of cards (excluding the 10s and picture cards) Players: 2 How to play:

1. One player deals out all 36 cards face up in a 3 x 3 array. There should be four cards in each pile. 2. Players take turns to pick up cards which add together to make 10. As cards are taken a new card is revealed. 3. Play continues until all the cards have been used or there are no more combinations. 4. The winner is the player with the most cards at the end of the game. Modification: Select a different target number e.g. 12.

Snap +/-1 (1-3)

Materials: Deck of cards (excluding the picture cards, A = 1) Players: 2 How to Play:

1. The cards are dealt out evenly to the players. 2. Each player turns over their top card. instead of slapping the pile of cards when the values are the same, the card pile should be slapped when the values differ by one. For example: If a 7 was placed on the pile and then an 8 is placed on top a player map slap the pile and take all the cards. If an 8 was on the pile and a 7 was placed on top then the pile could also be slapped. 3. The winner is the player with the most cards after a set period of time or the player who ends up with all the cards. Modifications: 

Play the standard game to develop simple number recognition.



Play Snap +/-2. i.e. Snap when the numbers differ by two.


Go Fish (Kinder – 1)

Materials: Deck of cards (Excluding Jacks, Queens and Kings) How to play: 1. Deal 7 cards to each player and leave the deck face down in the middle. 2. The first player asks another player if they have a particular card e.g. a 4. 3. If they have that card they must hand it to the player who asked for it. If they do not have the card they tell the player making the request to “go fish” which means that player must pick up a card from the deck. 4. If a match is made, the pair of cards are laid down for all to see and then they have another turn. 5. To win you must match all of your cards so none are left in your hand.

Go Fish — Pairs to 10 (1– 2) Materials: Deck of cards (Excluding 10’s, Jacks, Queens and Kings) How to play:

1. Deal 7 cards to each player. 2. Going around the circle, each player asks someone for a card to help make a pair to 10. E.g If I had a 6, I would ask someone if they have a 4. 3. If they don’t have your card, you ’Go Fish’ which means pick up another card from the deck. If they do they pass it to you and replace it with a new card from the deck. 4. First person to make all their pairs is the winner.

Maths War - Addition (K-4) Materials: Deck of cards (Aces = 1; Jacks, Queens & Kings = 10) How to play:

1. Deal out the deck evenly. 2. Each round, every player places out two cards and adds them together. 3. The player with the highest total wins all of the cards. 4. The object of the game is to collect the entire deck. Modifications 

Subtract the two numbers. Highest answer wins all.

Multiply the two numbers together (Jacks=11, Queens=12, Kings=0). Highest total wins all.


21 or Bust - Addition (1 - 4) Materials: Deck of cards (Aces = 1; Jacks, Queens and Kings = 10) How to play:

1. The object is to make a total of 21 with your cards or as close as possible to it. 2. The dealer deals one card to each player. 3. On the next round, players can chose to take another card or to ‘sit’. 4. If they take a card they add their total together. If their total goes over 21 they bust and are out for that round. 5. Once everyone has chosen to ‘sit’, the player with the total closest to 21 wins.

Thirty One (1-4) Materials: Deck of cards (Aces = 11; Jacks, Queens and Kings = 10) Players: 2—4 How to play:

1. The aim is to make a total of 31 with your cards or a total higher than the other players. 2. Each player receives 3 cards then 1 card is placed face up in the centre of the table and the rest of the deck face down next to it. 3. The first player takes a card from the deck or discard pile and then throwing out one of their own. 4. Play continues until a player can make 31 exactly by adding the cards in their hand OR until a player knocks on the table. A player who knocks is indicating they are happy with their hand. Each player then gets one more go and then all hands are shown. 5. The player with the total closest to 31 wins the hand. All players record their total and the first to reach 100 is the overall winner.


Number Family Rummy - Addition (3 - 6)

Materials: Deck of cards (Aces through to 10s) How to play: 1. The goal is to make families of 3 cards that are related by addition or subtraction. E.g. 5, 5 and 10 are a family because 5+5=10 and 10—5 = 5, and 6, 3 and 9 are a family because 6+3=9, 9-6=3 and 9-3=6. 2. Shuffle and deal 6 cards to each player. The remaining cards go face down in a pile. 3. Place any families you have aside. Draw from the pile and then discard one of your own. You can get rid of the card you just picked up if you don’t want it. 4. The first player to lay down all 6 of their cards is the winner.

Fast Facts (3-6) Materials: Deck of cards (Aces = 1, remove the picture cards) Players: 2

How to play: 1. The cards are dealt out evenly between the two players. 2. Each player lays a card out face up at the same time. The first player to call out the product of the two cards picks them both up. E.g. Product of 5 and 7 is 35. 3. The winner is the player with the most cards once all the cards have been used. Modifications: 

Use addition or subtraction.

To make it easier for younger students take out some of the cards e.g. 7, 8 and 9.


Turnover - Addition & Subtraction (1 - 4)

Materials: Deck of cards (Aces = 1; Jacks, Queens and Kings = 10), 2 dice. How to play: 1. Each player is given 10 cards, numbered 1 (Ace) to 10. 2. Players place these face up in a row. 3. On your turn roll two dice and choose to add or subtract them. If the answer is the same as one of your cards that is face up, you may turn it over. 4. First player to turn over all their cards wins.

1 to 10 Game - Addition (1-3) Materials: Deck of cards (Aces - 10 only), 2 dice. How to play:

1. One person takes all the red cards and the other all the black cards. 2. Take turns. On your turn roll the dice and add the numbers up. 3. Remove cards from your hand that total that number. Eg if you roll a 3 and a 5 you can make 8 in any way you want e.g. 3+5, 4+4, 4+2+2, 5+2+1, 8 etc‌ 4. If you cant make the sum with you cards you roll again. If you can’t make a sum after 3 rolls you lose the game. 5. You can also win by being the first to use up all your cards.


Pig - Addition & Subtraction (3 - 6) Materials: 2 dice. How to play: 1. Players take turns rolling two dice. 2. The player may roll the dice as often as they want, mentally keeping track of their score by adding the rolls up. They may stop and add the sum to their score from the previous round at any time. 3. However, if a one is rolled they score nothing for the round. 4. Play continues until someone reaches a score of 100.

Modifications * Start with 100 points each. Subtract instead of add.

Maths War (K-6) Materials: 2 Dice (preferably 10 sided) How to play:

1. Before playing, place 20 coins/counters/paddlepop sticks in the centre. 2. Each round, every player rolls the two dice and adds them together. 3. The player with the highest total takes a coin/counter/paddlepop stick from the centre. 4. The game ends when all coins/counters are gone. Player with the most wins. Modifications 

Multiply the two numbers together. Highest total takes a coin.



Subtract the two numbers. Highest answer takes a coin.


Beat That! (Place Value) Materials: 2 dice. How to play: 1. Player 1 rolls the dice and using their numbers makes the largest number possible and challenges the next player to Beat That! 2. At the end of the round the player with the highest number scores a point. 3. First player to reach 5 wins. Modifications 

Use 3 or 4 dice to make 3 and 4 digit numbers.(2-6)

Change the challenge to making the smallest number possible.

Mountain (Dot pattern/Number recognition - Kinder) Materials: 2 dice, paper, pencil. How to play:

1. The object is to be the first player to climb your mountain and descend to the other side. 2. Player 1 rolls the dice. If they roll a 1 they may cross it off their mountain. If not the next player rolls. 3. Players must cross off their numbers in the order of the mountain. Modifications: (K-3) 

Use 2 dice. If the player rolls a 1 and a 2 they can cross off both numbers in one turn.

Use 2 dice and allow them to add the numbers also. So a 1 and 2 would let them cross off 1,2 and 3 in one turn.

Increase the size of the mountain to 12 and also use 3 dice.

Allow players to cross off numbers in random order. But they must still get all numbers on the way up before they can cross off numbers coming down.


Beetle (Number recognition/Chance) Materials: 2 dice. Players: 2—4 How to play:

1. Each number on the dice corresponds to a part of the beetle. 1 = body 2 = head 3 = eye (two eyes) 4 = feeler (two feelers) 5 = leg (six legs) 6 = wing (two wings) 2. Players take turns to roll the dice, rolling only once per turn. 3. After each roll the player draws the appropriate body part to match the number shown on the dice. If they have already completed that part then they pass. 4. The first player to complete their beetle wins. Modification: 

Introduce a rule where they must roll a one for the body before they can draw the legs of wings and they must roll a two for the head before they can draw eyes or feelers.

Odd and Evens

Materials: Odds and Evens game board, six sided dice. Players: 2 –4 How to play:

1. Plays take turn rolling the dice and moving along the game board. If a player’s counter is situated on an even number on their next turn they move forward. If their counter is situated on an odd number on their next turn they move backwards. 2. The winner is the first to reach 100. Modifications: 

Use different sided dice for a faster game

Reverse the rules. Odd means you go forward, even means you go backwards.


Stuck in the Mud (2-6) Materials: 5 dice, paper, pencil.. How to play:

1. To win you must get the highest score. 2. To complete your turn you roll the 5 dices. If you roll an 2’s or 5’s you score nothing for that round. If you didn't roll any 2’s or 5’s you add up the total of your dice and record the score. 3. Remove any dice that had a 5 or a 2 on them. They are now stuck in the mud. 4. Roll again. Same rules apply. If you roll a 2 or a 5 you score nothing. Remove those dice and go again. If you didn’t roll a 2 or 5 add up your score and add it to your total. 5. Keep rolling until all your dice become ‘stuck in the mud’. 6. The next player then has their turn.

Going to Town (2-6) Materials: 3 dice, paper, pencil. How to play:

1. Roll the 3 dice. Keep the highest one and reroll the other two dice. 2. Again, place the highest dice to the side. 3. Roll the final dice and add the 3 dice together. 4. Record your score and pass the dice to the next player. 5. After 5 rounds add your totals together to get a final score. 6. Highest score wins!


Three Score (3-6 : + - x)

Materials: 2 dice, paper, pencil. How to play: 1. Players roll the two dice and complete these calculations. - Add the two numbers rolled together - Find the difference of the two numbers rolled. - Multiply the numbers shown on the dice. - Add the three numbers together to reach for final score. 2. Players take turns. 3. Keep a running total of your score as you go. 4. After ten rounds the player with the highest total wins. Modifications: 

Play to a set total of 100

Change the dice that are used e.g. 8 sided, 10 sided, 12 sided.

Table Dice (3-6 : multiplication) Materials: 2 x 10 sided dice, multiplication playing board How to play:

1. Roll the two dice and locate the multiplication fact. E.g. If a 4 and a 7 are rolled, the player may place their counter on either of the 28 squares. 2. The next player rolls and places their counter on a different fact. 3. Play continues until one player covers four numbers in a row, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally and wins. Modifications: 

Use only 6 sided dice for those only beginning or extend the board and use 12 sided dice.

Allow players to cover both facts per turn. 4x7=28 and 7x4=28


Family Card and Dice Games  

Games to play at home to improve basic number skills.

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