6 Play-Based Math and Science Activities You’ll Want to Try with Your Students

Incorporating play can really make your math and science lessons pop.

Brought to you by The Genius of Play

The Genius of Play™ is a national movement to raise awareness of play’s vital role in child development and help raise a happier, healthier, and more productive next generation through the power of play. TheGeniusofPlay.org offers a wealth of research-based, expert resources to both teachers and parents. Learn about the six benefits of play, get expert advice, tips and ideas, and classroom lesson plans that were created especially with educators in mind. These free teacher resources are available here.


We all know that kids learn best with hands-on exploration, and one of the best ways to do this in your classroom is through play. That’s why we love the free classroom lessons and activities available at The Genius of PlayAll the activities encourage students to stretch their creativity, communication, and social skills, while connecting back to the curriculum in meaningful ways. Here are six of our favorite play-based math and science activities. Just click on the image or the TRY IT link at the end to download the PDF directly!

1. Mix It and Match It Science

What students will do: Dig deeper into a unit of science by creating their own memory games.

What students will practice: Research, inference, compare/contrast, memory

Why we love it: Creating their own board games allows students the opportunity to be “inventors,” while demonstrating deep knowledge about what they have learned.


2. Math Buddy Shuffle

What students will do: Practice their math facts by using sticky notes and moving around the classroom to find their “math buddy.”

What students will practice: Communication, observation, listening, math

Why we love it: It gets kids moving, communicating with one another, and it’s great practice for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.


3. Grow Microgreens in Your Classroom

What students will do: Grow their own salad microgreens—and then have a taste test!

What students will practice: Natural science, observation

Why we love it: Microgreens are the quickest way for students to observe the growing process—and they’re delicious for munching too!


4. True or False Science

What students will do: Create two facts and one fib related to your science unit, with the goal of tricking their classmates!

What students will practice: Creativity, storytelling, observation, communications

Why we love it: This fun twist on a classic party game is sure to put a smile on your students’ faces.


5. Seek, Find, Solve

What students will do: Solve math problems in a scavenger hunt around your school.

What students will practice: Math, research, observation 

Why we love it: Sometimes you just need to get kids on their feet—this activity allows for lots of movement and problem solving.


6. Musical Math

What students will do: Practice skills in a mathematical take on musical chairs.

What students will practice: Math, observation, concentration, communication

Why we love it: You can play this game with an entire class. Plus it gets students moving, talking, and dancing while learning at the same time!



Posted by Hannah Hudson

Hannah Hudson is the editorial director of WeAreTeachers. You can follow her on Twitter at @hannahthudson or on Facebook here. Email her at hannah@weareteachers.com.

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