We all know that spending time together as a family is important, but it doesn’t have to include an expensive outing or trip. While those experiences can be a nice treat, nothing beats family game night. And, did you know that most games that involve numbers can be turned into a way to practice learned math skills?
While it may be difficult for children to grasp why they need to learn mathematics, the trick is to make math relevant for them by using it in activities that matter to them. Here are a few ways to creatively integrate math into our favorite family game night games:
Before you begin, choose any number between 1-100. This will be the goal number for the game. In this classic card game each player begins with seven cards, and the rest of the cards placed in a draw pile face down. Next to the pile is an area designated for the discard pile. Throughout the game players will use multiplication, addition, subtraction, or division to find pairs whose sum equals the goal number. Only one type of math operation can be used per pair. Pro Tip: Add some competitive edge by letting the youngest player go first.
The Game of Life
As you and your family spin through the stages of life, create math problems to ask other players. You can create your own math rules, too! For example, on the first spin players ask the banker a multiplication or division questions using the number the spinner landed on and if not answered correctly the player wins extra money. Get creative and challenge your kids to think of math rules to add to the game before you start playing.
The classic game is already filled with math! From buying property to playing rent, players are challenged to practice math skills such as addition and subtraction. You can add more or a mathematical challenge to the game by creating new rules that focus on different math operations. When players land on “Income Tax” for example, establish a rule that players are only allowed to pay 10% of their total worth to the Bank (as opposed to paying $200 to the Bank). You can also insist that players answers multiplication and division problems during each roll of the dice.