5 Low-Prep Math Games You Can Make in Minutes

Math can be the bane of a homeschooling parent’s life. Kids who hate math might put off their schoolwork, lose their focus during math lessons, or become frustrated when trying to learn a new concept.

A simple way to make math easier for children is to use math games. Rather than running to the store or placing an online order, try these low-prep math games you can make at home in just minutes! They’re super easy to put together and they’re a nice way to switch up math class for the kids while reducing math anxiety. You will increase the learning component if you include your kids in the creation of the games, too. Make the set-up part of your homeschool math lesson, and your kids will anticipate the fun to come and take pride in their creations. These ideas work with any math curriculum.

1. Math Hopscotch

This game can be played indoors or outdoors. If the weather is nice, draw a traditional hopscotch court on the sidewalk with chalk. Replace the numbers 0-9 with mathematical expressions: exponents, algebraic terms, or even multiplication problems.

Toss a beanbag onto the court. The player who tosses the bag skips ahead to the square where the beanbag lands and tries to solve the equation or problem. If playing this game indoors, mark off the court with masking tape on a hard floor and use flashcards to represent the mathematical expressions.

5 Low-Prep Math Games You Can Make in Minutes • homeschool math activities

2. Graphing Multiplication Shapes

This is a good game to play when teaching children about multiplication. You’ll need graph paper and colored pencils. Use a simple multiplication problem and show the kids how to draw each problem on the graph paper.

For example, show the problem 3 x 5 by tracing three squares down and five squares over. Then complete the rectangle and color it in. Once the kids have learned how to do it on their own, recite each multiplication problem and challenge the kids to see who can draw it first.

3. DIY Tangrams

Cut out small triangles, rectangles, squares, and diamonds. Laminate them for durability. Then toss them onto a table and challenge the kids to make simple animals: ducks, dogs, horses, and more using these shapes.

4. Flashcard Toss

If your kids are feeling active, here’s a good math game to burn off some energy. Use index cards to make arithmetic flashcards. Write a problem from your recent math lessons on each card. Toss a flashcard in the air. Whichever child catches the flashcard has to answer the problem!

5. Shape Sticks

Working on geometry with kids? Try this quick activity. Draw a shape on a white board or a chalkboard. If you don’t have either one, a piece of paper will do. Toss a bunch of colored craft sticks on the floor. Challenge the kids to try to recreate your shape within five seconds. The first one to do it successfully wins!

The next time a math lesson comes up, try adapting one of these games to use with a new concept. You might be surprised at how much the kids enjoy it. And the same kids who were math-phobic before may end up begging for math class from now on!

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