These are the most fun math board games we’ve found. When my kids got to 3rd and 6th grade, math started being on my mind a lot. Specifically – how could I help my kids brush up on math skills and keep it fun? Our family loves board games, so when looking for a fun way to help my kids memorize multiplication facts and improve their mental math, I looked to board games first.
Actually Fun Math Board Games
The most important thing to me when looking for math board games was the fun factor. I want family board games to be actually fun, not just multiplication or addition flash cards disguised as games.
Here are my top picks for fun math board games. All of these are either tested by my family or have received a slew of good recommendations from parents. If you purchase through the links I've provided I may be compensated.
Favorite All Around: Sushi Go Party
Sushi Go Party – This game ranks as one of our favorite board games, period, not just our favorite math board game. I don’t think of it as a math game at all, but it actually gives a ton of math practice while you play.
The game goes quickly – each round consists of passing around a deck of “sushi” and making choices about which cards to keep based on what will improve your score most. Some cards include multipliers (wasabi makes the next nigiri card you play worth three times as much, for instance). You get practice making sets, adding up your score, and noticing the probability of getting a card you need.
For ages 7 or 8 and up, this is my top choice for a math board game that your family will thoroughly enjoy. We specifically like the party edition because you can change out the cards in the centerboard, creating a ton of variety in gameplay.
Addition and Subtraction Games
Zeus on the Loose – This game is super fun. We take it camping and play with other grown-ups too. It is definitely not just math practice for kids; it’s a favorite family game.
This math-centered card game nurtures quick addition skills as you try to get Mount Olympus (the discard pile) to reach 100 and steal Zeus.
The gameplay moves quickly, and you can play 4 to 6 rounds in about 15 minutes. It offers enough strategy to keep you excited and engaged but not so much that each move becomes a drawn-out decision process.
I’m not surprised to learn this Gamewright game has also won multiple awards, including the Dr. Toy’s Smart Play / Smart Toy Award. It replaced Uno as our go-to quick family card game (though that always has a place in our hearts, of course.)
Sequence Numbers – All of the Sequence board games get high ratings for their pattern seeking fun. This is one brings in addition and subtraction practice. Reviewers tell us that the mathematics involved are best for kids first grade through third grade – or to help older kids brush up on addition and subtraction skills. One review from a teachers mentions that that though she thinks of this as a game best for younger players, she extended the age/skill range of playability of this math board game by making some more advanced cards.
Cloud Hoppers Subtraction Adventure with Aliens – My son and I enjoyed this subtraction game enough the first time we played that he requested it again the next day, “Can I finish my chores, and then we can play Cloud Hoppers again?”
It’s a fun way to practice subtraction and some addition; the story sparks imagination. You get two aliens who are trying to hop through the clouds to get to the magical flower.
Each turn, you roll a 10-sided die to see what to subtract from your current number to decide where to go next. There’s a little bit of strategy because certain clouds have special powers, like moving you further along, bumping you back to your ship, or skipping your next turn. You get to decide which of your two aliens to move. You win by getting both aliens to the flower.
Logic Roots makes a whole selection of math board games. We've tried a couple of them. We’ve been impressed with the way their games make math practice fun, but we’ve also found we had a few rules questions we were uncertain about. However, we found it easy to make up our own rule clarification on the fly. I recommend their games if you have a child who needs to brush up on or practice math skills.
Learning Resources I Sea 10! Game – This math board game helps kids practice adding numbers up to 10. The Sea 10! game is flexible and can be played in easier or harder ways depending on how kids are at “seeing 10” with groups of numbers. Kids just getting a handle on adding to 10 can be looking for two numbers that together make 10.
Kids who are more practiced can look for three addends to make 10. It's not the most thrilling game in the world, however, it is a quick enough play that you can use it as a filler game, or a quick brush up on addition facts. The unpredictability of the sharks showing up can either be frustrating or great when it helps a player who is a little slower catch up and have a chance at winning against an opponent who is quicker at math.
Sum Swamp – One of the best math board games for kids who are just learning adding and subtracting is this pick from Learning Resources. Sum Swamp has kids using a couple of number dice and a math symbol die to make equations that tell how many spaces they get to move on their turn. They’re trying to make it across the swamp, hopping across the boulders.
Multiplication and Division Games
You can find multiplication and division in all kinds of games, not just in games made specifically for practicing math. Here are our favorites.
New York Slice
New York Slice– Let's divide up a pizza! This game brings in a combination of physically dividing up slices along with basic math for adding and multiplying points as you go along. New York Slice is impeccably themed. The box opens like a pizza box, the rules look like a menu at a pizza restaurant and you keep score on a guest check!
This game always reminds me of my 5th-grade teacher talking about being one of six kids and how her mom made the siblings divide a cake. One person got to cut up the cake, and then the others got to choose their pieces- in theory, promoting fairness.
With New York Slice, you divide the pizza, your opponents take their slices, and you get the leftovers. The strategy comes in because different pieces are worth different points, getting the most of a type of slice will gain you points, and daily “specials” will change which slices you want. The combination of slices you end up with determines whether you've made the “best pizza” and won the game.
Sumoku – Great for mental math, this crossword-style numbers game has you seeking combinations of numbers that add up to multiples of the “key number” (which you find from an included die). One homeschooling mom’s review says she enjoys not only the addition and multiplication practice but the fact that this game is actually fun for her and her daughter – win-win.
Ryte2Wyn – The Magical Card Game of Math – Get kids excited by math with fun characters and gameplay. They'll practice addition, subtraction, and multiplication while enjoying an action-packed adventure!
Super Genius Multiplication is a multiplication matching game from Blue Orange games (I love them!) The cards remind me of the seeking skills used when you play their famous game Spot It!, only you’re using your memory of multiplication facts for spotting a match instead of matching pictures.
Math for Love Prime Climb – This game gets very high reviews as one of the most fun math board games. You use dice to roll and add, multiply, subtract, and divide to climb your way to the center of the board. The game involves enough luck and skill that everyone can play, and it’s a fun way to practice math facts.
Mental Math and More
Proof! is a fast-paced mental math game that kids, teachers, and parents LOVE! If Yahtzee had a math sibling, Proof! would be it. There are 100 numbered cards with countless equation possibilities.
Bedtime Math – Ok, not a board game, but we LOVE these books, so I wanted to be sure to let you know about them for fun math practice. The Bedtime Math books include multiple quick stories (think a few paragraphs.) The short story is followed by three related math problems at three different levels, from easiest to hardest.
The varying levels make it possible to have a math problem for each kid to solve (from 6 years old to 9 years old to 11 years old.) It’s been such an unexpected delight to do math at bedtime; I never would have guessed how popular these would be. The kids keep asking for them, and the stories are quite short, so it’s easy to say yes.
Learning Resources Head Full Of Numbers – Set the timer and create as many unique, correct equations as possible. Players can use addition and subtraction or multiplication and division, making this a flexible math game for various skill levels. Recommended for ages 7+.
Think Fun Math Dice – Sometimes simple is good. This little set of dice and the game would make a good stocking stuffer, and the game that goes with it is very easy to learn. You roll two dice to get your “target number,” then use the other three to make a math sentence using addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. They also make a Jr. Math Dice game for younger players (Thank goodness for those of us who have a youngest kid who gets so mad when it seems like all the games are only for the big kids…)
Monopoly – Believe it or not, sometimes even the classics like Monopoly can go a long way in teaching our kids about money and the value of money. This game encourages our young children to use their addition and subtraction skills while also learning about the value of money, how to budget, and what investments are. With so many different versions of Monopoly available, you can also most likely find one that best caters to what interests your child the most. For this example, I had to, of course, go with the Unicorns and Llamas Monopoly version.
Helping Your Child Develop Early Math Skills
Before our children start school, we can take time to help them develop a core understanding of addition and subtraction. This way, they'll be ahead of the game when they get to school. When it comes to more complex math as they get older – like fractions – they'll be better equipped to tackle these problems using the critical thinking skills they developed early on.
Early Math Concepts Kids Need to Learn
There are several math concepts kids need to become familiar with, including:
- Having a good understanding of sizes, shapes, and different patterns
- Having the ability to count both forward and backward
- Having the ability to recognize numbers and how to identify more and less of a quantity
And all of this is just the beginning of the basic math skills.
Number Sense. This is the ability to count. As kids progress, they will also need to be able to recognize the relationships between numbers.
Representation. This math skill requires using symbols, pictures, words, and objects to create real mathematical ideas.
Spatial Sense. For toddlers, this is about playing games and learning concepts related to shapes, sizes, space, position, direction, and movement. For older children, these kinds of skills are better known as geometry.
Problem Solving. This is where your child's ability to think critically comes in. It's also when they begin to recognize that there may be more than one way to get to the right answer.
Again, this is just a small list of the math skills your child will learn. Helping them make this learning process fun through playing board games and other educational games is just one way to help make the information stick while making it seem less of a chore and more of a fun activity.
Board Games Math Math Fun
Math isn't going to be a favorite subject for every kid, but the foundations of math are used constantly throughout our lives. This makes it all the more important for parents to find ways to make this subject, which gets a bad rap as being boring and tedious, more fun and entertaining.
Helping kids discover that learning new math skills means more than endless worksheets and boring flashcards makes it exciting and fun for them to learn. This positive association with math carries over as they get older.