17 Kindergarten Math Games That Make Numbers Fun from Day One

Teach them to love math, right from the start.

Kindergarten Math Games

Kindergarten offers so many opportunities to help students find learning truly enjoyable. These kindergarten math games teach the concepts outlined in the Common Core in fun and meaningful ways. Give them a try today!

1. Throw snowballs to make 10.

Kindergarten Math Games

Make “snowballs” from paper (or any way you like), then place them in a bucket at one end of the room. Start kids out by having them toss snowballs into another bucket until they reach 10 (or any target number). Then, up the challenge by placing some snowballs in each bucket, and have kids figure out how many more they need to toss in to make 10.

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2. Play teen-number bingo.

This free printable game helps little ones master their numbers from 11–20, both as numerals and represented on ten frames.

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3. Put together puzzles to gain number sense.

Kindergarten Math Games

Kindergarten math students learn to understand that numbers can be represented in a variety of ways. These free printable puzzles help them practice those skills.

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4. Battle it out in ribbon war.

Work on non-standard measurement with this fun and easy kindergarten math game. Cut colorful ribbons into a variety of lengths and place them in a bag. Each student pulls a ribbon from the bag, then put students in pairs and have them compare the their ribbons, identifying the longer one. The student with the longer ribbon keeps both, and the game continues.

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5. Have a rubber duck race.

In this kindergarten math game, kids race to see who can be the first to get their duck to 10 (or any number you choose). They roll a die and lay out tiles to move their duck. The twist? To get to 10 at the end, they must roll the exact number they need—no going over! This game is terrific for practicing counting on, basic addition, and making 10.

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6. Stack cups and count to 100.

Kindergarten Math Games

Kids love stacking cups, so they’ll get a kick out of this game, which has them doing it with 100 cups while they count! Turn it into a competition by putting them in teams and timing them to see who can finish the task the fastest.

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7. Practice counting on with cards and dice.

Kindergarten Math Games

Remove the face cards from a deck of playing cards and grab a pair of dice. The first player turns over a card and then rolls the dice. The number on the dice indicates how far they “count on” from the card. (For example, a player turns over a three and rolls a four. They say, “Three: four, five, six, seven.”) If the player gets it right, they keep the card, and the other player(s) get a turn.

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8. Drive and compare numbers to music.

Prep for this game by using dot markers on paper plates as shown (visit the link below for more examples). Each kid takes a plate then uses it to “drive” around the room as you play music. When the music stops, they find a nearby partner and compare what they see on each other’s plates (e.g. “8 dots is more than 4 dots. 1 green dot is less than 4 green dots.” Then start the music up and repeat!

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9. Build a weigh station.

Use a hanger and plastic cups to build a super simple weigh station. Kids will love dropping items into the cups to see which weighs more or less. Turn it into a game by having them try to guess which object weighs more first or how many of one item equals another.

10. Hold a shape scavenger hunt.

Kindergarten Math Games

Kindergarten math students are learning to recognize shapes in their environment and also to categorize and sort. This scavenger hunt does it all! Send them out to find objects in the room that match the shapes. Then count and compare to see how many you have in each category.

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11. Skip count with craft sticks.

There are endless ways to use craft sticks in the classroom. For this kindergarten math game, number a series of sticks by fives, as shown. Kids can practice by putting them in order first. Then, have a student draw a stick and count on by fives from that number to 100—if they draw 75, they then count 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100. If they get it right, they keep the stick, and the next player takes a turn.

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12. Use UNO cards to play addition war.

Kindergarten Math Games

In the card game war, players each flip a card, and the one whose card is greatest takes them both. In this kindergarten math game twist, players each flip two cards. They then use counting blocks to represent the numbers,and count on or add to find the sum. The largest sum wins the hand, and play continues.

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13. Roll and add for fluency within five.

Kindergarten math students work to become fluent adding and subtracting within 5. This free printable board game makes it fun!

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14. Make a match to learn shapes.

Grab these free printable memory cards at the link. Then play and learn the basic shapes.

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15. Get four in a row and learn place value.

This customizable game helps teach the early place-value concept of tens plus ones. Get it for free at the link.

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16. Bowl and subtract within 10.

Set up a toy bowling pin set (or make one from plastic bottles or toilet paper tubes). Kids bowl and see how many pins they knock down, subtracting that number from 10. Then they repeat, this time subtracting from the previous answer. First to get to zero wins!

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17. Conquer cardinality with penguin dominoes.

Kindergarten math students work to master cardinality, understanding that written numerals correspond to the number of items pictured. These free printable penguin dominoes make the concept fun to practice.

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Love game-based learning? Check out the Best Online Interactive Math Games for Every Level.

Make them STEM strong! These 23 Kindergarten Science Activities will help.

17 Kindergarten Math Games That Make Numbers Fun from Day One

Posted by Jill Staake

Jill Staake is a writer living in Tampa, Florida. She's spent most of her life teaching in traditional classrooms and beyond, from 8th grade English to butterfly encounters, and believes learning is a life-long process.

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