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!
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.
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.
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.
5. Water Balloon Math
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.
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.
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”.
10. Can you do it too?
11. Place value bean bag toss
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.
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.
14. Denominator Dough
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.
17. STEM House Building
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!