## Resource of the week: Maths Game of Strategy:

The importance of playing games with children to aid their mathematical thinking cannot be stressed too much. Playing games improves logical thinking and thinking ahead. This great little game, which I have called ‘Three Hexagon’ is a variation of ‘Three in a row’ games, played on a hexagonal board. All you need to do is print the board out, perhaps cover it with sticky back plastic to make it last longer and get two sets of 3 counters.

The rules are straightforward:

This is a game for two people.
Each player has three counters.
The aim of the game is to get the three counters in a straight line.
The player going first places a counter on one of the circles.
The second player then places one of his/her counters on a circle. This continues until all the counters have been placed.
If neither player has got 3 counters in a straight line then the first player slides a counter along a line to a circle that is not already covered.
The other player then slides a counter to an adjacent circle.  Counters can only move along one line into an empty space. They can not jump over counters.
If a player can not move a counter she/he misses a go.

The more you play this game the more you realise that there are techniques to help with winning. Good luck!

Three hexagon game

## Maths Board Game: Deadly red

Board games are a great way to improve logical thinking and maths concepts. This is a favourite of mine, which I call Deadly Red as the person who takes the red counter at the end loses!

Not a lot of equipment is needed, just:

12 coloured counters, one red counter and a playing board.

The rules of the game are straightforward:

This is a game for two people, but could be played by three.

Place a red counter on the middle dot and the 12 black counters on all the other dots.

The player going first takes away any number of counters – but they must all be from a straight line.

Then the second player has his/her turn.

The player who takes the red counter loses.

On the next page you will find a board which can be printed out onto card. It is a good idea to cut out and either laminate or ‘sticky back’ this board.

Alternative rules:

1.The player taking the last counter (red) is the winner.

It might appear at first that it is luck as to who wins, but with after playing a few times you might be able to work out a few strategies which will ensure you win most of the time.

## Maths Game: Pig

This is a maths game more suited to upper primary school children as it requires quick mental arithmetic skills. The idea is to roll the die as many times as possible adding up the score as you go alon; but there is a catch!

Equipment:

A die

A scoring sheet is useful

Rules:

This is a game for two or more people, although usually played in pairs. It is good practice for addition skills up to 50, especially adding three or more small numbers.

The first player rolls the die as many times as he/she likes, adding up the total as he/she goes.

If, however, a 1 is thrown, all the score for that round is lost.

The player may stop at any time and put his/her score in the bank – that banked score cannot be lost.

When a score has been banked the die is passed to the next player who has his/her turn.

The winner is the first player to reach 50 or more.

Options: raise the winning score to 100 or more.

Use a 0-9 die with two losing options.

Pig

## Counting games for Year 1

Whilst most of the mathsblog site gives away free worksheets I do have a small selection of fun maths games for reception/Year 1 children. Counting is a major part of maths iat this age and by the end of reception should be able to say and use number names up to 10. A good example of this would be to join in nursery rhymes or songs such as

“One, two three, four, five. Once I caught a fish alive.”

Children should also  be counting up in ones, up to 10 objects. This would be in a practical sense of counting a number of objects that they can touch (pieces of a jigsaw, coins, hats etc).  Later they can count things they can see, but not touch (panes in a window, cows in a field etc ).They can then begin to count down from a small number e.g. 5,4,3,2,1,0.

We have a great set of fun maths games on counting for Reception/Early Years and one of my particular favourites is the Counting Goats game. This is really good practice at counting up to 5. Young children can not get too much practice with this both in the home and on the computer. They may well use their fingers to help and count out loud, but after a time they will begin to count in their heads. Adults can often glimpse at a picture to see how many there are, almost without counting – don’t expect this of 5 a year old! Don’t forget to click on the banjo playing goat at the end for a happy tune!

We have a great set of counting games, so why not have a go today?

Go to our Counting games

If you like these games why not have a free trial of urbrainy.com, which has many, many more?

## Maths game for reception: Make 5

An often overlooked part of our site is the maths games category for Reception/Year 1. Here we have a number of simple maths games including this, the first in our addition and subtraction series, where children are given a number and have to state what is needed to make it up to 5. Ideal for a quick few minutes adding on practice. A simple print out is available after 5 questions, which is useful to show what has been done.

You can go to Reception/Year 1 maths games to play all our games.

Dora Dino has 5 eggs somewhere. She can only see some of them, so can you help her work out how many are needed to make 5.

## Maths game: Three hexagon

Playing board games and card games from an early age is a great way to help children with their maths. Whether it is matching pairs, counting on or back or throwing dice, the participation involves calculating skills, predicting, seeing patterns and thinking logically.

Here we have a great little maths game for young children, thanks to MathSphere from its CD, ‘It’s All Figured Out!’

The rules are as follows:

This is a game for two people.

Each player has three counters.

The aim of the game is to get the three counters in a straight line.

The player going first places a counter on one of the circles.

The second player then places one of his/her counters on a circle. This continues until all the counters have been placed.

If neither player has got 3 counters in a straight line then the first player slides a counter along a line to a circle that is not already covered.

The other player then slides a counter to an adjacent circle.  Counters can only move along one line into an empty space. They can not jump over counters.

If a player can not move a counter she/he misses a go.

Is there an advantage in going first? By careful placement of the counters at the start of the game can you ensure that you will always win?

3 hexagon

## Resource of the Week: Maths wordsnake

In our Puzzles section we have a number of great activities related to maths. Some of these are quite tricky, including the Wordsnakes.

A Wordsnake is a little like a maze of letters. Start at the arrow to find the first word, moving across or down the grid of letters (but not diagonally) like a snake. The word will not be in  a straight line but each letter in the grid can only be used once. The second word follows on immediately from the first, the third from the second and so on until each letter has been used and the maze is exited at the second arrow.

On this Wordsnake the first word has been done for you and the number of dashes shows how many letters there are in each word. As it is about data handling all the words are to do with this. Still not clear? Why not have a go as it is testing even for adults!

Go to our Wordsnake

More maths games can be found in our Puzzles section

## Resource of the Week: Counting games for early years

We have a great set of fun maths games for Reception/Early Years and one of my particular favourites is the Counting Goats game. This is really good practice at counting up to 5. Young children can not get too much practice with this both in the home and on the computer. They may well use their fingers to help and count out loud, but after a time they will begin to count in their heads. Adults can often glimpse at a picture to see how many there are, almost without counting – don’t expect this of 5 a year old!

Don’t forget to click on the banjo playing goat at the end for a happy tune!

Counting up to 5 game