Challenging Math Games That Are Fun

Challenging Math Games That Are Fun

Challenging Math Games graphic with two young students getting ready to play on the left and the title on the right

Math can be a subject that seems daunting and challenging when a concept isn’t easily understood. But with a shift in perspective, it can also be fun! As more math concepts are introduced, it is an opportunity to be curious about learning new skills. By combing that curiosity with play, it encourages children to have fun while building their knowledge.  

Playing math games is a great way to spark excitement and prevent any feelings of intimidation. It can also improve various math skills that allow kids to practice in a creative way. We put together a list of math games that children can play to build their math skills in the process.  

Games with Dice 


Use two dice and a sheet of paper with a pencil, or another way, to keep score. Each player will roll the two dice and find the sum of the numbers. The goal is to get to 100 points, but the catch is that if a player rolls a 1 on either dice, the points for that turn are reset to 0. For example, if you roll a 5 and 4, your score is 9 points. If you continue your round and roll a 3 and 4, you will have 16 points. You decide to keep the points at 17 for the round and pass it to the next player. If they happen to roll a 1 and 5, they will remain at 0 points for the round. The rounds can continue for as long as it takes to reach 100 points.  

101 and Out:

Grab a single die and pencil with paper to keep score. Players take turns rolling the die and can either take the number as a one or a ten. For example, if you roll a 3, it can be used as 3 or 30. Players keep track of their total as they play and aim to score as close to 101 without going over.  

Block Out:

Take two dice, graph paper and a different colored pencil for each player. Roll the dice one by one. The first roll will tell you the length and the second roll will give you the width. If you roll a 4, draw lengthwise 4 boxes on the graph paper. If the second dice is 3 you would draw down 3 boxes and create a rectangle. Continue taking turns until there is no more space left to add to the paper. Then add up the areas of all of the rectangles you created and the highest number wins.

Card Games 

Multiplication War

Deal an equal number of cards face down to each player. Assign the Jack, Queen, King, and Joker cards a value of 10 and the aces a value of 11. Each player turns two cards face up, reads the numbers as a multiplication problem, and provides the answer. For example, if your child draws a 9 and an 8, he says 9×8=72. If you draw a 5 and a 4, you say 5×4=20. Your child wins the four cards and puts them at the bottom of his pile because his answer was larger. Continue the game until one player runs out of cards.  

Fraction War

Take a pencil that can be used to separate the two cards to create a fraction. Deal two cards, one as the numerator and another as the denominator. Determine who has the larger fraction and the winner of the round takes all four cards. The winner at the end of the game will be determined by whoever has the highest number of cards.  

Encouraging your child to practice their math by playing different games is a great way to motivate them to stay curious and take away the feeling of overwhelm. Give these games a try and see which ones your child likes the best!  

Interested in learning about more ways to encourage your child to build their math skills? Check out more information about the Kumon Math Program which takes kids from counting to calculus at their own comfortable pace! Once you’re ready to get started, click below to find a Center near you.