“Can we use a calculator?” Kids need to be able to do simple arithmetic. They should be able to work through a problem on paper, and also we have tools that make things quicker.

Kids can use calculators to check their own work, to solve problems with large numbers quickly, to explore other ways of solving problems, to do arithmetic that is part of a more complex problem. And I’ve found … to play games that teach math skills and concepts.

Calculators and games in the math classroom? Absolutely — and sometimes together.

Let’s take a look at 5 math games … including calculator games, quick math games with dice or cards, and a math board game to liven up math lessons and centers and give students more practice to build and review skills.

## 2 fun calculator games for math practice and review

Students practice using calculators and mental math skills in both of these games!

### Beat the calculator

This game helps students practice mental math and various calculations while working on speed. Students play in pairs.

You’ll need cards suitable for the level of your students that include basic or extended facts and a calculator.

- Place the cards face down on the playing surface. Give one player a calculator
- One player flips over a card.
- Players race to find the answer, with one player using a calculator while the other works out the sum mentally.
- The calculator player must wait until the answer is displayed on the calculator before saying it.
- The first person to answer correctly is awarded one point. The first player to score 20 points is the winner.
- Switch roles so each player gets a chance to practice mental math and both get to use the calculator.

### In the right range?

This 2-person game helps students practice estimating.

You’ll need a calculator, 2 x 10-sided dice, and a copy of a playing board, which includes numbers to suit the level of your students (see sample below).

Note: Because this is an estimation game, students do not need paper and pencil to work out the sum.

- Player 1 rolls one die and finds the corresponding numbers on the playing board. They then roll the second die and find the number in the second box on the playing board. For example, if the player rolled 7 and 5, then they find 564 + 466.
- Player 1 estimates the sum of the two numbers and selects the range that the estimate falls in.
- The other player uses the calculator to work out the exact answer. If this answer falls within the range selected then player 1 scores a point.
- Player 2 takes a turn estimating and player 1 finds the exact answer using the calculator.
- Players continue swapping turns until one player gets 5 points and is declared the winner.

**Get the board for this estimating game along with other quick math games and puzzles: **

### FREE Math Games & Activities

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## 2 quick math games for practice and review

There are lots of quick math games using dice and cards that provide lots of practice. Here are two favorites.

### Knock out

Students practice math operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) and try to be the first to knock out all their numbers.

You’ll need two 6-sided dice for the game and a printed number strip 1–10 and a pencil for each player. (Alternately, laminate your number strips, and have students use a dry erase marker.)

The first player rolls the dice and can use any operation on their two numbers. For example, if the student rolled a 3 and a 2, they have these choices:

3 + 2 = 5

3 – 2 = 1

3 ⨉ 2 = 6

3 ÷ 2 = 1.5 (not an option)

Any fraction, negative number, or number above 10 is not an option. The student decides which of their options they want to “knock out,” and then cross out or color in the number they choose. If none of the options match open numbers, students pass. The first person to knock out all their numbers wins.

As a follow up, talk about which numbers are hardest to knock out and which are the easiest. Then try playing again.

### Counting on card game

Introduce the strategy of counting on, then use this two-player game for practice.

You’ll need a deck of cards with the face cards (King, Queen, Jack, Joker) removed. Note that Aces act as 1 in this game.

- Divide the cards into two piles: ace – 4 and 5 – 10.
- Shuffle each pile and place them face down on the playing surface.
- One player turns over the top two cards and adds the two numbers using the counting on strategy (count on
*from*the larger number, and count on the smaller number). For example, if the two cards turned over were 6 and 3. They would start with 6 and count on 3: 6, 7, 8, 9. - If a player answers correctly, they keep both cards. If they answer incorrectly, the other player tries counting on. If they are correct, they keep the cards.
- The second player takes a turn.
- Play continues until one of the piles runs out of cards. The player with the most cards wins.

## 1 math board game for more math practice

Give students a bingo board filled with numbers or math expressions such as 1+5 or 22 / 2. Then give them numbers, math expressions, or ways to compare numbers. Students should mark their card showing how they marked off each box. For example, if you call 25, students could fill in a box that says 5 x 5 or 50-25 or >17. Keep calling until somebody gets a bingo.

Bingo is also a great game to practice shapes. Check out this done-for-you Shape Bingo pack. Or try math dominos or puzzles for practice!

Get a wealth of quick math games and activities here: Math Games Mega Collection | Fun Math Activities for Grades 1 – 4

### FREE Math Games & Activities

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive regular teaching tips and updates & get instant access to the free math games and activities PDF:

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