By Michael Hartley
This page lists all the printable math games on this site. Each game box explains what other material you need to play the game - often just a pen or pencil!There's also a whole bunch of printable worksheets, they're all on a special page of Math Worksheets..
Usage Instructions : Print. Play.
Not Math, But Awesome: My local museum had an exhibition recently, called Dinosaur Discovery - Lost Secrets of the Cretaceous. As part of the exhibition, they had prepared a special smartphone app (available for Android or iOS). You'd load the app, point your phone at some special barcodes, and you'd suddenly see a three-dimensional dinosaur pop out! On my own Dinosaur Discovery
page you can read more about the exhibition, and also find links to download your own dinosaur barcodes, and the app you'll need to use them. I also made a short Dinosaur Discovery Video
that you might like to see! Extra Materials Required :
An Android, iPhone or iPad.
Alice Oglesby's Cross-Number Puzzle
is actually a crossword puzzle - but the clues are all arithmetic sums. How is that possible? Once you've worked out each sum on a calculator, you turn your calculator upside down
, and each number becomes a letter. You can download and print Alice's puzzle, solve it, and then make your own upside-down calculator cross-number puzzle with the help of the long lists of calculator words linked from the puzzle page
. Extra Materials Required :
a pen or pencil, and a calculator.
A Magic Hexagon Worksheet
is just like a magic square worksheet - students need the same set of skills to solve each one - the difference is that most students will never have seen a magic hexagon before. This website has a Magic Hexagon Worksheet Generator
that lets you generate randomized magic hexagon worksheets with the answer key
. The worksheet will be different each time you come back to this site, so you know there's no way for students to drop by themselves and cheat by downloading their own answer key. Extra Materials Required :
just a pencil and paper
On this site, I provide graph paper to download and print
for the archimedean tilings (tesselations)
. There are eight different ways to fill a plane with a symmetrical pattern of regular polygons, some different, but all corners identical. This page explains what they all are, and provides links to pdfs you can print out and color in any pattern you like. You can download these beautiful tesselations in a variety of sizes, from 1/24 inches or 1mm to 1 inch or 1cm. Let me know how you plan to use them! Extra Materials Required :
Design and make your own Paper Polyhedra
right in your web browser with this java applet. You can design beautiful symmetric shapes with an interactiove 3D view, then print out a plan to help you make a model of the shape out of cardboard or paper. Finally, you can share your net with your friends by email, facebook, or whatever, so they, too, can enjoy your masterpiece. Extra Materials Required :
scissors and glue
"What is it?" It's a Tizit!!
A Tizit is an impossible figure, an optical illusion. On this site, I've uploaded 30 Tizit puzzles designed by retired math teacher Mac Oglesby. Download a Tizit, and you'll see a scattering of labeled dots, and instructions showing which ones to join. Join the dots carefully with a ruler, and an amazing, eye-twisting figure will appear. Get your kids to draw and color a Tizit
now, then send me a copy of their mathematical artwork, so I can make a gallery of Tizits on this website! Extra Materials Required :
A ruler, and something to color them in.
The Nine Tile Puzzle
is a simple enough puzzle - download and print the puzzle tiles, then try to arrange them so that the symbols on the edges match. Sound simple? Try it then!
There are almost 24 billion different ways to arrange the tiles, and only one solves the puzzle. Extra Materials Required :
The Goal of the OgleBoro mazes
is to get from home to school - and back - obeying all the traffic signs along the way. The "no right turns" and "one way blocks" will have your pencil - and your brain - tying itself in knots! These puzzles are an awesome challenge for upper elementary kids. Download and print the mazes
, and try them in your class today. Extra Materials Required :
Just a pencil!
This is a printable puzzle based on Latin Squares
. The goal is to arrange the colored shapes on the grid, following certain rules. For example, each row should have one of each shape, and one of each color. Likewise, each column. Click through to the puzzle page
to get a full list of the rules, links to downloadable, printable puzzle boards, and ideas for how to play this game with an ordinary pack of playing cards! Extra Materials Required :
scissors, and brain!
The Grid Of Sums
is a puzzle game by the French newspaper "Le Monde." (They called it La Grille De Sommes
.) You start with an empty grid, then you fill the cells one by one. Each cell gets filled with the sum of its neighbors. On my Le Monde 'Grid Of Sums' puzzle page
you can read the rules in more detail, find a link to Le Monde's original video, download printable puzzle grids of many different shapes and sizes, and get ideas for variations on the original puzzle - including how to make it a two-player game! Extra Materials Required :
pencil, and maybe a calculator or some scrap paper.
The 249 Sided Polygon Puzzle
is not a single puzzle, but a whole bunch of pen-and-paper challenges packed into a single download. It was created by Mac Oglesby, a retired math teacher, who kindly sent it to me to make available to you. Grab a pen, and Download and print the puzzle sheet
and see how many of the challenges you can crack. Extra Materials Required :
Multiple copies, and a pencil. Or a pen, if you're brave!
This page has a whole bunch of different graph paper
, including this square graph paper
in different sizes. Download and print as many as you want, and use them for all the things you use graph paper for - practicing spacing math problems carefully, drawing plans and maps, flowcharts, making crossword puzzles - even for drawing graphs! Extra Materials Required :
Anything you like!
The Printable Space Birthday Worksheets
lets you calculate how many years old you'd be if you were born on Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn or Uranus. This site also has an Online Space Birthday Calculator
, but the printable worksheets may be more useful in a classroom context. Extra Materials Required :
Pen or pencil, and a calculator.
, or Ostomachion (literally Bone Fight) is a puzzle like the Tangram
, but invented by the ancient Greeks. It has twice as many pieces, so there's many many more patterns it can be arranged into. Download and print yourself a set
, and start by seeing how many ways you can form the pieces into a square! Extra Materials Required :
scissors and your imagination!
The Tangram Puzzle
is a simple jigsaw puzzle that originated in China over 1000 years ago. Despite its apparent simplicity, there are a huge number of patterns the pieces can be arranged into. This site has a Printable Tangram Puzzle
for you to download and cut out. Extra Materials Required :
There is a famous story about the inventor of chess, who was offered a reward by the emperor of India. He chose a reward that seemed to the emperor very cheap - just a few sacks of rice - but in reality came to more rice than India could produce in a million years. This site has worksheets to help kids work through a Modern Rice-And-Chessboard Story
and see for themselves how rich the reward was. Extra Materials Required :
a pen or pencil, and perhaps a calculator.
Do you have a group of kindy kids struggling to remember addition sums up to 10? Try this math board game
on them. You'll need to do some printing and cutting first, and find a die (dice) and some playing pieces. Extra Materials Required :
Counters and dice.
Use this Printable Sudoku Generator
to create as many printable sudoku puzzles as you like, or download the ones I've already generated for you. You can choose the difficulty level, the number of puzzles to print, and whether or not to print the solutions. Extra Materials Required :
just a pencil - and some puzzle-solving time!
These Sight Number
exercises, inspired by "Salisbury Sight Words", are designed to help your kids memorise their addition, subtraction and multiplication tables in the optimal way. Extra Materials Required :
a pencil - and parental involvement.
The Traffic Jam Game
is one of my favorite amongst the elementary math games on this site. It's a great puzzle for teaching logical thinking and boosting problem-solving ability. Yet, the rules are simple enough that a four-year old can understand them. First, second and third grade kids will enjoy the simpler puzzles. Fourth, fifth and sixth graders will enjoy the challenge of the harder ones. Try the printable version
or the online version
. Extra Materials Required :
scissors to cut out the pieces. While playing? Brain!
This free "fours" contest
closed on the 20th of October, 2009. The idea was to make as many numbers as possible using the digit '4' (as many times as you like) and the operations plus, minus, divide and times. Soon I'll upload the contest results, and ideas for how you can run a contest like this one in your own classroom. Extra Materials Required :
just a pencil, maybe some scrap paper... oh, and a calculator might help
Print out as many foldable number sheets
as you want, and use them to explain our "number system" - why the 8's in eight thousand, eight hundred and eighty-eight all mean different things, even though they look exactly the same! There are three sizes of printable sheets, and also a movie showing one time I used them with my son to explain a point that was troubling him. Extra Materials Required :
scissors, to cut out the charts. Pen or pencil during teaching sessions.
I've made a dozen or so Hexagonal Graph Paper
downloads. You can print out as many of these as you want, in various sizes, then use them as you wish. Perhaps color them with a pattern like the one shown, or make a game board for your favorite hex grid board game... let your imagination run wild! Extra Materials Required :
whatever you like!
These Math Mazes
are good for puzzle-loving kids as they learn their 7 and 8 times tables. They may look like ordinary mazes, but knowing your times table will help you reach your goal! Extra Materials Required :
just a pencil!
An Advent Calendar
, besides being a great Christmas tradition, helps teach younger kids counting and calendars in a fun, exciting way. Download and print this free advent calendar, make up up with a trimmer and glue, and enjoy the Christmas countdown with your child. Extra Materials Required :
a trimmer and some glue
Not exactly a game, but certainly a useful tool for teaching kids addition and subtraction facts - either actively through memory exercises, or passively through osmosis! These addition and subtraction tables and charts
are free, and ready for you to print and use. Extra Materials Required :
In This Challenging Math Puzzle
you have to place the numbers one through eight in a grid, such that no two neighboring squares have consecutive numbers. It's possible to solve, but it can be quite tough. I've seen 4th graders baffle away for weeks at this puzzle, but its 5th grade and 6th grade kids who seem to have a more realistic chance to solve it. Enjoy! Extra Materials Required :
one pencil - and an eraser, or lots of copies of the grid!
Print these Magic Number Cards
, learn how to use them, and with a bit of practice you'll be able to amaze your friends with your number guessing skills! This page provides the traditional version of this trick, as well as a few variations of my own invention. Full instructions and a video example are available at the web page. Extra Materials Required :
scissors, to make the cards. Friends to baffle and amaze!
Need worksheets to practice Telling the Time?
Follow the link here and you'll find a clock reading worksheet generator. Each worksheet has solutions provided, and is individually created for you and not saved on the server. You can choose what time reading skill you want the kids to practice, including reading digital or analog time, or analog clock faces. You can create a worksheets with times like 8:52 or 12:03, or just o'clocks, or anything in between. Grab some worksheets now! Extra Materials Required :
just a pen or pencil!
To solve the 2 to 9 Makes 16 Puzzle
, you need to arrange the numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 into the grid shown, so that each outer row and column adds up to sixteen. On the puzzle page I've provided a printable downloadable puzzle sheet so you can try the puzzle out on your class, friends, family or colleagues. Grab it now, and get puzzled! Extra Materials Required :
pen - no, make that a pencil and lots of erasers!
Dots and Boxes
is a classic two-player pen-and-paper game. Start with a grid of dots, and take turns to join dots. If you complete a square, you get an extra turn. The player with the most squares at the end is the winner! My Dots and Boxes
page has some game sheets to download and print, some strategy tips, and some suggested variations on the traditional version. Care for a three-player game of Dots And Hexagons
, for example? Extra Materials Required :
just a pen and a friend!
The UPS Game
has a worksheet kids can customize with their friends' names. Once they've done that, the goal is to find a route that loops from the UPS office to each of their friends' houses in turn, before finally returning to the starting point. That's not too hard in itself - the challenge is to make the route as short as possible! Once the kids have finished that, this game comes with a bonus challenge - find a site for the grocery store that minimizes the total distance to each of the houses. That makes UPS Game
two games in one! Extra Materials Required :
Pencil - and an eraser... or two!
To win this big numbers contest
, your kids just need to think of the biggest number they possibly can - bigger than anyone else's! This contest closed on October 20, 2008, but the page shows you how you can organize a min-contest within a class or a school. Extra Materials Required :
a photocopy machine, to make lots of enrty forms
This website has a host of times table charts and grids
that you can download and print - even up to the 20 times tables! Extra Materials Required :
something to stick the charts to the wall
In one famous puzzle, you must make as many numbers as you can
using only the given four digits and the basic arithmetic operations. I've worked out which sets of four digits make this puzzle the most interesting, and provided worksheets on this page. Good for grades four and up. Extra Materials Required :
one pencil (although a calculator might help too).
To solve these Number Mazes
you need to find a path across a grid of numbers, stepping only vertically or horizontally each step. The tricky part is that you have to make sure the total of the numbers you pass is correct! You can download a set of easy 3x3 mazes, or harder 4x3 mazes, or really tough 5x3 or 4x4 mazes. Each time you visit the page you'll get new sets of mazes, uniquely generated for you. You might find a calculator handy to check the totals as you try and try and try again! Extra Materials Required :
pencil, brain and eraser!
Print out and make this set of Fractions Dominoes
. It's a fractions activity designed to help kids recognise how much of a circle each fraction represents. Unlike some other math games, winning is not just about being better at math - but the game nonetheless provides great learning opportunities. Extra Materials Required :
scissors, glue and some thick cardboard.
This page has a set of Triangular Graph Paper
sheets for you to download and print. The sizes of the triangles range from 1mm to 1 inch, so you'll be able to find one that suits your project. The tessellations are of equilateral triangles - the most symmetric tessellation of triangles there is. Download and print as many as you want
! Extra Materials Required :
depending on your craft project
The April Fool's Date Calculator
worksheet lets kids calculate the date of April Fools Day for any year. It works like the Easter Date Worksheet
- write the year in a box in the worksheet, copy numbers along arrows, and the date of April Fools appears at the end! Ok, in all seriousness - the real educational value in this worksheet - besides arithmetic practice - is to make kids wonder how on earth the worksheet manages to get the right date for April Fool's Day
every time. Extra Materials Required :
maybe a calculator?
This Checkerboard (or Chessboard) Jigsaw Puzzle
will be a great challenge for your primary school kids. Watch them try and try to arrange the pieces until they succeed! Extra Materials Required :
scissors, to cut out the pieces.
This Math Board Game
will ensure kids get a lot of mental arithmetic practice! Good for grade 4 and up. This site also has a Times Table Board Game... see below! Extra Materials Required :
while playing? Just a good brain for sums!
This Set Of Tiles
can be used to help teach kids how to add and subtract numbers of more than one digit. Good for, say, first to third graders, or anyone who just doesn't 'get' the idea of carrying and borrowing 1's. Extra Materials Required :
scissors, to cut out the tiles.
This Kindy Subtraction Game
goes hand in hand with the Kindy Addition Game elsewhere on this site
. It lets you teach kids the idea of subtraction using something dear to their heart - yummy snacks! Extra Materials Required :
more yummy snacks!
In a Cryptarithm
puzzle, each digit of an arithmetic sum has been replaced with a letter of the alphabet. The aim of the puzzle is to restore the original sum. These puzzles are sometimes called alphametics
. You can get many more such puzzles from the resources available at www.cryptarithmania.com
. Extra Materials Required :
a pencil, and lots of scrap paper!
To complement the online version
, I've prepared a Printable Version of Color Switcher
. Color Switcher is a puzzle game - you start with some beads on a board, and the goal is to change the colors of all the beads using a series of jumps. This web page has ideas for how you can prepare your own color switcher puzzle set, and has links to printable puzzle booklets with dozens of puzzles to try to solve. Extra Materials Required :
an othello set - or some glue, cardboard, a chessboard
In this puzzle, the goal is to cut a Heart-Shaped Biscuit
into three pieces, so that each piece contains only one color of
sprinkles. The cuts will be very twisty and wiggly, but that's fine for this puzzle. Because of the shape of the biscuit, this puzzle is perfect for around Valentine's Day, but it can also be used at any other time of the year. Extra Materials Required :
scissors, or a pen.
Here's a fun game that is almost guaranteed to make your kids love math, particularly addition. They'll love it for one simple reason - food! To play the game, you only need a printout of the colorful picture provided (there's also a black-and-white version), and a supply of small yummy snacks. Sultanas worked best for my son. Full instructions, and tips on how to avoid behavior pitfalls, are provided
. Extra Materials Required :
Do perform this Magic Number Spelling Card Trick
, you need to get the special set of cards provided. Then, the trick is simple - a card is selected, the number on the card is spelled out and the cards are sorted into their two different colors. Then, work out the total of the numbers in each pile. The difference between the two piles is the number first drawn! The web page for the trick
contains links to downloadable sets of cards, or places you can buy a full color set, and a link to a video demonstrating the trick. Try it out! Extra Materials Required :
a pair of scissors
The Dot Joining Game
is not a join-the-dots puzzle, but a two-player paper-and-pencil game. I've described the game, and also described how you can help your fourth, fifth and sixth graders to unlock the hidden mathematical patterns behind the game. Extra Materials Required :
Well, that's all for now! No matter how "online" our world becomes, pen and paper remains an important part of how kids learn. Perhaps once, in the past, every child had a stick of chalk and a piece of slate, perhaps one day in the future, every child will have a stylus and a table PC, but for now, we need printable games and resources to run a classroom. They're indispensible! That's why, when I started this site, I made a special effort to include as many printable games and resources as I could.
Don't forget to explore this site, to find out the other games available. And bookmark this site, so you can check back from time to time to see what printable math games I've added!
Yours, Dr Mike...
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