Learning should be fun. Growing knowledge, learning new things, and finding exciting ways to use new skills are all ways that learning math can be used to have fun. A great way to use math in a fun way is by using math games. Math games can be both online and something families can do together in person. Make screen time more educational, and save money on V-bucks, with some fun educational games made specifically for 1st graders. Here are some of the best games, both online and in person, to help 1st graders have fun while practicing their math.
Top Five at Home 1st Grade Games
1) UNO (Crazy Eights)
Any kid with an understanding of colors and numbers will have fun playing a card matching game like UNO or Crazy Eights. There are so many skills a child can learn that even Penn State released an article about its benefits. These games help build skills with number recognition, changing the order of the players, counting down, and most importantly simple addition. The “Draw 2” and “Draw 4” cards help kids understand addition in a real tangible way. Nothing will help a child understand the importance of adding more than having to add cards right when they were going to win. These games are fun for the whole family and easy to take anywhere.
2) Sum Swamp
Colorful board games are always a great way to keep a child’s attention. The goal of the game is to get your little creatures to the end of the swamp. In “Sum Swamp” players roll 3 dice, 2 number dice and one to decide addition and subtraction. Every time there’s a roll, there’s a new math problem to solve. Players don’t have to rush in solving the problems. Don’t be afraid to include a piece of paper and give kids time to solve the problems. This game has a great look, original player pieces, and an original take on the normal dice roll.
There are so many ways to use dominoes to work on math skills, especially for 1st graders. From number matching to addition, and subtraction, these tiles are great for finding fun ways to use math. Playing standard dominoes is a great way to use counting and addition skills, but the fun doesn’t have to stop there. They are a convenient and easy way to carry around random numbers for constantly figuring out a math problem. Pull out 2 dominoes, then add or subtract them or build a tower and add up each and every piece to see how tall and how big a number a tower can become. Dominoes are a fun, portable, and adaptable game that great for any 1st grader learning math.
4) Zingo 1-2-3
“Zingo 1-2-3” is an award winning game that focuses on numbers, shapes, colors and even some reading skills. There are two levels of play depending on the skills children are trying to learn. In the first level, kids match up numbers that are called with numbers and pictures on their cards. This helps kids learn to recognize numbers as well as connect images, and counting, with the actual numbers they represent. The second level includes using addition and subtraction to fill in your card. This is a great game to do at home with kids or for classroom learning.
5) Scavenger Hunt
This is a game anyone can play at home that is all about using what you have at home to play. Creating a scavenger hunt where kids have to find things based on size, simple addition, or number skills is a way to make a fun day out of using math knowledge. Have kids find something that is exactly 1 foot long or 3 items that are the same but in different colors. This can take a rainy day inside and make it fun, exciting, and secretly all about using math skills in everyday life. The best part of this game is there aren’t any rules about what to find. With this game, every day can become a fun math adventure.
Top Five Online 1st Grade Game Sites
1) Moose Math
“Moose Math” is a free game that is the perfect mix of fun animation, 1st grade math, and creative building. In this game, you solve simple addition and subtraction questions in order to pass levels. The questions and math puzzles are filled with cute characters to guide you through the problems. “Moose Math” is similar to another popular game “Animal Crossing” where you receive rewards to help build out a virtual town when you do a certain task. In “Moose Math” the tasks are completed by doing math problems. This game is great for kids to be rewarded and enticed to keep playing and keep practicing their math skills. Parents and teachers can keep track of their progress through the app.
Prodigy Math Game is an exciting adventure filled with magic, monsters, and adventure. This is a fun action role playing game very similar to “Pokémon” or “Final Fantasy”. Kids get to create their own characters, fight monsters, and advance in a story gaining power by answering math questions. The game is great for 1st graders but can also move forward with children as they move forward in elementary school. The game is built to fit the specific curriculum of the state a child is from, so the questions will help students practice what they are learning in school. This is a fun game that rewards kids for continuing their adventure year after year.
3) ABCYA Games
ABCYA Games are more than just one game, but tons to choose from. These flash games are free and diverse enough that everyone should be able to find something that keeps their interest. From adventure games starring jungle heroes to adding and subtracting with a unicorn named Molly, there’s something that can grab the attention of any child. The games are free with ads, so those who prefer ad-free gaming, check out their membership program so that the learning isn’t interrupted.
PBS Kids offers lots of games for kids to play based on some of the most popular educational kid shows. While the games aren’t created specifically for a curriculum or grade level, for those kids who get more interested in games with their favorite characters, this is a great way for them to practice math with Elmo, Curious George, and so many more PBS characters. Using these educational characters as a base for the games helps kids get excited to learn from educational icons. So jump on the 1, 2, or 3 trains and head on down to practice math on sesame street!
If options for math games are the goal, “Math Playground” is the place to visit. Filled with libraries of different games broken down by grade level and subject, “Math Playground” is focused on having something for everyone. With so many games children will find something that helps them practice their math skills and keeps them having fun with the game the number of games will have the entire family busy all day, but be warned this site does come with its disadvantages, tons of ads.
Learning math can be tough for anyone. Hopefully, with these fun games and websites, learning and building a passion for math can be done with fun adventures and silly characters. No matter how your child is practicing math, keep in mind that math games aren’t helpful if children haven’t been taught the core skills the game uses. Math games aren’t a replacement for learning important math concepts.