Best Family Math Games

Here’s the slide show from the event, and the video replay.

I showed my favorite family math games, and we played some of the games together as a group. 


Start your own family game night

Looking for ways to keep math fun in your family? One of the best things you can do is play math board games as a family. It’s fun, it connects your family, and it helps develop a love of mathematical thinking. Yes, playing games with your kids is as important for math literacy as reading books with your kids is for language literacy.

So how do you make math games part of your family culture? Here’s how:

  1. Choose a time. I recommend a weekly family game night.
  2. Choose a place. I recommend putting a games cabinet in your dining room or living room, or wherever your family hangs out, 
  3. Choose games that the whole family will enjoy. And don’t stop with the usual suspects like Monopoly, Scrabble, Yahtzee and Chess. There’s a huge world of new board games, just as rich and varied as the world of books or movies.
  4. Change the rules. You can get more learning out of playing games by considering what happens if you change the rules. For instance, you could add an extra player, change the board size, or change how pieces move. Changing the rules of a game engages you in critical thinking, and thinking like a game designer. In my work as a game designer, I often get ideas for new games by asking “What is wrong with this game, and how could I make it better?” For more ideas on critical thinking questions to ask about games, see my article  Changing the game.


Math Game recommendations

Here are my favorite math games — games that both kids and parents enjoy, that are both fun and educational.

Math Dice. Buy. For teachers. What numbers can you make with 3 dice? 

Set: Buy. For teachers. Addictive game of visual logic. Our family favorite.

Rush Hour: Buy. For teachers. Slide the cars to escape grid lock.

Prime Climb. Buy. For teachers. Move from 1 to 101 by multiplying & adding.

Santorini. Buy. For teachers. Simple rules, deep strategy, beautiful building.

Pattern Blocks. Buy. For teachers. Endless fun making 2d patterns.

Geometiles. Buy. For teachers. Build 3d shapes. Better than Magnatiles.


Other lists of recommended math games

Big list of Mathematical Board Game from Mind Research

Fun Math Board Games from Bounce Back Parenting