When it’s time for math facts practice, do you automatically reach for the flash cards? That’s one classic way to learn, but it’s not very exciting, and some kids just don’t respond to it. That’s why we’re big fans of these new ways to get in some math facts practice. The games, activities, and crafts here are ideal for reluctant learners and lots of fun for everyone!
1. Put together egg halves
This is a quick hands-on way to practice math facts. For more excitement, try hiding the egg halves and letting kids hunt for them before they match them up!
Learn more: Homeschool Preschool
2. Roll and multiply
This is like a simpler version of Yahtzee, and it’s a cool way to practice multiplication. If you use two dice instead of one, kids can practice their facts up to 12.
Learn more: What We Do All Day
3. Compete at Multiplication Squares
If you’ve ever played Dots and Boxes, this will look familiar. Players roll two dice (try these polyhedral dice to expand the facts in play), and draw a line to connect two dots next to the answer. If they complete a box, they color it in with their own marker.
Learn more: Games 4 Gains/Multiplication Squares
4. Get Four in a Row
This free printable is completely editable, so you can use it for any type of math facts practice. Kids choose a problem and give the answer. If they get it right, they cover it with their marker. When they get four in a row, they win!
Learn more: Fun Learning for Kids
5. Try “Sticky Math”
Don’t confuse Sticky Math with timed tests. The goal is just for kids to complete as many problems as possible in a set amount of time, then work to beat that record each time.
Learn more: Lucky Little Learners
6. Face off in Dice War
Dice games are fantastic in the classroom! With this one, kids practice their addition facts and get a little work with subitizing too. The concept is so simple: Each player rolls the dice and adds up their numbers. The highest sum wins that round. Use this game for subtraction and multiplication too.
Learn more: Miss Giraffe’s Class
7. Assemble math-facts grab bags
Fill a variety of bags with collections of small objects. Kids grab a handful from two different bags, then count and add up the results. Be sure they write it all down to get practice at setting up equations. (Also, try this with subtraction and multiplication facts.)
Learn more: Susan Jones Teaching
8. Play Shut the Box
This game has been played for hundreds of years, but it’s a fun and sneaky way to practice addition facts fluency! The goal is to “close” each of the numbers in the box from one to nine by rolling the dice. For instance, if a player rolls 11, they may close 1, 2, 3, and 5, as these add up to 11. If no numbers are available to add up to the dice total, play passes to the next player and continues until someone finally “shuts the box” by closing the last available number. You can play this game as people have for centuries with a specially designed box. You don’t need the box, though; simply have kids write out the numbers 1 through 9 and cross them out as they play.
9. Play Math Facts War
Each student flips two cards, then adds them (or subtracts, or multiplies). The person with the highest total keeps both cards. For a tiebreaker, flip another card! See more rules at the link.
Learn more: Math Facts War/Creative Family Fun
10. Turn an egg carton into a problem generator
Using an egg carton, have students write the numbers 1 through 12 in the bottom of each depression. Place two marbles inside the egg carton and close the lid. Shake the egg carton, open the top, and then add, subtract, or multiply whichever two numbers the marbles have landed on.
Learn more: The Unlikely Homeschool
11. Assemble a domino puzzle
Dominoes are perfect for math facts practice! Keep it simple by pulling a domino from a bag, then adding, subtracting, or multiplying the two numbers.
For even more fun, print the free puzzles at the link below. Then start filling in the puzzle one piece at a time by placing a domino that adds up to the number shown in each rectangle. The trick is that regular domino rules still apply, so each number must touch another domino with the same number on that end.
Learn more: Games 4 Gains/Domino Math
12. Circle math facts in a Number Search
These number search puzzles are harder than they look! First, kids complete the addition facts. Then, they search for those equations in the puzzle. Get three free puzzles at the link, where you can purchase more if you like them.
Learn more: The Sprinkle Topped Teacher
13. Use flash cards to play Fifteen in a Row
When it comes down to it, flash cards are still one of the best ways to practice fact fluency, but a game can at least make them more fun. The goal is to lay out 15 flash cards in a row by the total of their sums (or differences, products, or dividends), from smallest to largest. Learn how it’s played at the link.
Learn more: The Measured Mom
14. Make a math-facts practice wheel
All it takes is paper plates, glue, and a marker to help your students learn their math facts. Up the fun factor by having students decorate their plates any way their imagination can dream up!
Learn more: Math Facts Wheel/Creative Family Fun
15. Whack a ball to subtract
You know your elementary math students are going to love this! Build your own whack-a-mole 10-frame with a shoebox and Ping-Pong balls. Then, have kids whack the balls to practice their subtraction facts. So fun!
Learn more: Planning Playtime
16. Get a jump on your math facts practice
Lay out a grid like the one shown that has the answers to whatever set of math flash cards you’re currently working with. (This teacher used masking tape; you could also do sidewalk chalk on the playground.) Two players face off, one on each side of the board. Show the flash card, and kids race to be the first to jump to the correct square with both feet inside the lines. Get all the rules at the link below.
Learn more: Teaching and Tapas
17. Run a flash card race
Tape a series of flash cards to the floor and challenge kids to see who can correctly make their way from start to finish the fastest. They can call out the answers or write them down, but they have to get it right before they move on. Kids can race side by side or work independently to beat their own best time.
Learn more: There’s Just One Mommy
18. Draw Waldorf math facts flowers
This is a creative way to teach math facts. Start by drawing the center of a flower and write any number from 1 to 9 in the middle. Next, draw 12 petals around the center, labeling them 1 through 12. Last, draw another 12 petals and write the sum or product of the center number and the petal adjacent to the new petal.
Learn more: Multicultural Motherhood
19. Catch a math beach ball
Beach balls are so much fun in the classroom. Scribble numbers all over one with a Sharpie, then toss it to a student. Wherever their thumbs land, they add (or subtract, or multiply) those two numbers together before tossing the ball to the next student.
Learn more: There’s Just One Mommy
20. Practice facts by stacking cups
We’re not sure why, but kids simply love stacking cups. Label yours with math problems and answers, then have kids build pyramids and towers galore!
Learn more: The Kindergarten Smorgasboard
21. Design an outdoor board game
Draw a winding path and fill the spaces with math equations. Kids roll the dice and move from space to space (have them jump, skip, or twirl to mix things up). If they get the answer right, they move to the new space. If not, their turn is over. Customizable math games like this can be used at any level.
Learn more: Look! We’re Learning
22. Compete at math bingo
Math facts bingo is so easy to set up and play! Give kids empty grids and ask them to write various sums, differences, products, or quotients, depending on what you’re working on. Then call out math problems and have them cover the answers. First to fill in a row wins!
Learn more: Happy Go Lucky
23. Play math facts checkers
Label a checkerboard with math facts. Play checkers as usual, following the traditional rules. The twist is, you must solve the math problem you land on!
Learn more: Teach Beside Me
24. Change your students’ names (temporarily)
This is so clever! Grab some name tags and write math facts on each. Give a tag to each of your students. For the remainder of the day, everyone will refer to one another by the answer to the equation on their tag (e.g., the student with the name tag that says 7×6 would be referred to as “42”).
Learn more: Mr. Elementary Math
25. Match up math facts
Play Memory (also called Concentration) with math facts. Get free printable cards at the link for addition facts to get you started.
Learn more: Playdough to Plato
How do you help your students with math facts practice? Come share on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Looking for more? Check out all of our K-5 math resources here!