Math, like riding a bike, can be fun or daunting. For me, it’s both of these feelings simultaneously. As a student, I found learning math to be dull and pointless. As a parent, I found teaching math to be overwhelming and frustrating. You might find yourself asking:

How can you make math fun?

The answer to student success is relatively simple; games. Of course, we don’t play just any game – these are games that are skill-based and specifically designed to keep young learners’ attention. Through educational games, we can ensure our second graders keep learning while actually having fun. Here we have just a few tried-and-tested games that will improve your child’s math skills, enjoy the subject – and have fun!

1. Gumdrop Geometry

For this game, all you need is a bag of candy plus some toothpicks to learn fundamental geometry skills. Your student can even eat the candy at the end as a reward!

sciencebuddies.org.

2. Make Ten 

This game is engaging and easy to play. All you need is a deck of cards to help your student better understand the numbers up to ten and improve their fundamental skills using addition.

smathsmarts.com.

3. Make a Sundial 

This activity combines science, engineering, art, and math into one fun creation to improve clock skills.  Construct a sundial and help your 2nd grader in this exciting time-telling game tell using an analog clock.

scientificamerican.com.

4. Egg carton math 

This intriguing game is for the competitive ones out there and only requires an empty egg carton. You can adjust the operations to practice different levels of math, such as addition, subtraction, and division. You can also change the numbers, depending on the difficulty level that you require for your student.

familyhomeschooler.com.

5. Water Balloon Math

A great, fun-filled game for those hot summer days that is cheap, easy, and fun. You can try pairing this with Sidewalk Chalk Math for a variety of outdoor enjoyment that involves learning simple math skills.

parents.com.

6. Sidewalk chalk math

Who doesn’t like drawing on the sidewalk? With this interactive game, you can get your kids moving around ensure that they practice three-digit numbers with each step. Try doing this with Water Balloon Math for even more fun.

lookwerelearning.com.

7. Fraction Basketball

Fraction Basketball is one for those that are more sport-inclined. This is an exciting game that will ensure your kids learn how to create fractions in a creative way. We recommend playing this outside of the classroom to prevent any damages or breakages.

8. Buried treasure 

I have found that acting like pirates when playing this activity can really make things entertaining! Make sure to put plenty of newspaper or any other protective material down to stop the rice from spilling as students search for a collection of coins ranging from pennies to quarters.

childhood101.com.

9. Subtraction War

You’ll have a lot of fun “fighting” with this one. This excellent math game will help to improve your second grader’s subtraction skills and concept of digit subtraction. You can try challenging your students by changing to multiplication or division “war”.

education.com.

10. Can you do it too?

Estimation is always a favorite since there is technically no “wrong” answer. You can always try completing the activities at the end to see how “right” your estimations were. You can modify this to be a fun baseball game!

nrich.maths.org.

11. Place value bean bag toss

In this game, your second graders will learn about the value of different numbers, such as tens, hundreds, and thousands. Try increasing the values for even more of a challenge.

saddleupfor2ndgrade.com.

12. Hundreds chart battleship

Battleship is a classic game, and this educational reinvention is definitely not one to be missed. We suggest using candy as markers so you have a premade reward to help with this counting game.

123homeschool4me.com.

13. Roll to 100

This game is similar to the Hundreds Chart Battleship but can be customized for a variety of different math skills. Kids practice math with place value, counting to 100, or even understanding odd and even numbers.

inspiredelementary.com.

14. Denominator Dough

This is just like using pizza but with a lot less of the greasiness. It is a simple game that can be a particularly useful activity for those kids who are struggling to visualize fractions. A delicious math game to help kids practice fractions using basic math skills!

15. Pattern Block Plates

Not only does this activity help with understanding shapes and symmetry but you’ll have a lovely piece of handmade artwork at the end! You can try including some cross-curricular skills by thinking about art using cognitive skills when creating these block plates.

focusonmath.wordpress.com.

16. Shishima

Shisima - An Easy & Cool Math Game from Kenya - at B-Inspired Mama

This one might require a little more set-up in order to play, but the outcomes are worth it as this game challenges your student’s geometry skills in an innovative and engaging way.  It also helps with critical thinking skills and number patterns with two-dimensional shapes. Fun fact: this game actually originates from Kenya!

b-inspiredmama.com.

17. STEM House Building 

Have you ever found it difficult to get your students engaged when learning about different types of shapes? What about shape designs? This game tackles all of these skills as well as 3D shapes. I always measure the buildings using standard units of measurement, like inches or centimeters, to help meet common core standards and promote fluency in shape.

teachingsecondgrade.com.

18. Centimeter City

This activity can really help with visualizing math concepts like area and perimeter. You can use a ruler to measure the size of the buildings at the end to help your kids understand the unit of measure, too, or to think about metric units.

teachbesideme.com.

19. Fraction Pizza

An oldie, but certainly a goldie that proves to still be a fascinating math game! You can use real pizza for this one if you want. It’s a simple way to practice fractions with real-world application. There are many reasons why this method has proven so popular over the years, most of all because it’s so delicious!

20. Wrecking Ball Subtraction   

A game that encourages destruction? You heard it right! You shouldn’t need too much to prepare for this game, just an empty plastic bottle, a piece of string, and some toy blocks or number blocks that can be used to build a structure. This is a silly game, but it’s a lot of fun destroying the buildings, then using step subtraction or digit subtraction to work out the difference.

mathgeekmama.com.

21. Cheerio Construction

A more modern take on a traditional abacus is a fun way to get your kids to understand place value through simple concepts of food. t can also teach critical thinking skills and encourage engineering abilities.

jjresourcecreations.com.

22. Dollar Dash

This money math game is relatively easy to create and will help with multiple addition problems, as well as understanding the value of different coins. Two skills for the price of one!

primarythemepark.com.

23. Measurement Garden

For those green-thumbs out there! You can use this for engagement in both science and math. You can also teach healthy eating habits while tracking data, such as units of length, over time. If you don’t have access to real plants, try doing some practice with models instead.

alittlepinchofperfect.com.

These are just some of the simple and easy ways to help kids’ math practice and engagement in learning while simultaneously gaining foundational math skills. Math doesn’t need to be boring – it can be a fun, team-building activity, too!

Frequently Asked Questions

What should my 2nd grader know?

You can check the exact specification for your child by taking a look at the common core standards on corestandards.org.

How can I make my math class fun?

Visualization and entertainment are key to this. Math can be a difficult concept for young learners to wrap their head around, so it is best to try and include as many “hands-on” activities as possible. Even simple activities like “Fraction Pizza” or “Dollar Dash” that are easy to create can ensure your child has fun and understands key math skills.

What are some fun math games?

All of the games that we have listed above can provide enjoyable ways for your kids to access math, from board games to a geometry game. Many of them require very little set-up and can be played with everyday items around the house.

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