Now that your kids are older, are you wondering whether you can keep using math games for middle school or if you should only focus on the more formal lesson plans now that your kids are finished with elementary school?
My answer is a resounding, YES. Continue using these fun and helpful tools with your older kids. They’re a great addition to any middle school math curriculum.
Math is one of those subjects that can be challenging to teach as kids get older and boring to review no matter what grade your child is in. That’s why I will use a math game, whether it’s a board game, dice game, or card game, whenever I can.
My kids seem to learn better when they’re having fun and there’s less pressure.
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Why Should You Play Math Games?
Let’s face it, math can get boring for most tweens. The process is the same no matter what the level. Learn a lesson, complete problems. And that’s before you start the review process.
You need to add some fun math activities to your lesson plans.
Games engage tweens in a way that standard math practice doesn’t. They offer kids a unique way to review concepts and helps them understand them better. They also allow tweens with different learning styles the chance to learn in their own way.
Along with math skills, games also help kids build their problem solving and strategic thinking skills.
Most kids are worried about failing, so they get stressed out when they’re trying to learn new concepts or master old ones. Games are a fun and low-key way for them to learn without feeling the pressure of perfection.
The more they practice math facts, the better they get and the more confident they become.
So it’s definitely time to play some math games in your homeschool.
Why Does Mental Math Matter?
Mental math is the ability to complete calculations without the aid of any tools, like a calculator. While you may be thinking to yourself, why bother when my kid can just use a calculator? Mental math still matters.
- There will be times when your teens won’t be able to use a calculator, so while it’s a helpful tool, it’s important that they can do the calculations in their head or longhand.
- Math builds on itself. So if your tween still struggles to come up with solutions to basic math calculations, they’ll have a hard time with more advanced math concepts.
- As they progress through math, problems get more extensive and complicated. If they can’t immediately solve basic math equations, it will take them much longer to finish their math lessons, which can lead to frustration.
- Along the same line, there will come a time when their math tests will be timed. Teens don’t want to miss problems because they were spending too much time working through parts they should be able to do in their head.
How to Improve Your Mental Math Skills
Mental math is a lot like anything else, the more you practice, the better you become. This is part of why kids hate math. It takes a lot of repetition to master the concepts. And that usually means more worksheets and flashcards, which are extremely boring.
That’s why it’s important to add fun math activities into your homeschool, especially games.
Math games are fun, so tweens don’t mind playing them frequently. Often they either don’t realize how much math they’re doing while they’re playing or they just don’t care because it’s better than sitting down and “doing math.”
If you haven’t been purposefully working on these skills with your older kids, the first few times you play some of these games might be challenging for them. But the more often you play, the easier it will get as your tween develops more confidence.
How to Use Games for Math Class
Math games should not take the place of a complete middle school math curriculum, like CTCMath. Instead, they should be one of the many resources used to build your tween’s math skills.
There are a few ways you can utilize math games in your homeschool.
- If your tweens are struggling with a math lesson, instead of pushing through, possibly to the point of frustration, take a break and pull out a math game. Then, after they relax, have some fun, and build some confidence, encourage them to go back and finish their problems.
- When your kids blow through a lesson, but you’d like them to spend a little more time on math, play a game. They’ll still be working on math skills, but since it’s fun, it won’t seem like they’re just doing more math.
- Add these games to your family game night rotation. We can all use mental math practice and your tweens will get a kick out of beating you in a math game.
- If your schedule leaves a lighter day at the end of the week, spend some of that time playing educational games together. That way they’ll still be learning, but in a very relaxed manner.
It’s easy to incorporate games into your week and the more you do, the more confident your kids will become in math.
Math Games for Middle School
Here are some of the best math games for tweens, especially for working on mental math skills.
It may seem strange to play a game that is based on basic math facts like multiplication and division with older kids, however unless they shore up those skills, they’ll struggle with advanced math concepts, like algebra.
Now is the time to make sure their math mastery is solid.
To work on mental math skills, add some of these middle school math games to your homeschool day. There are over 50 to choose from, so I know you’ll find something that will engage your tween.
Don’t have a lot of time? Use these quick math games.
Make math interesting with the Prime Climb board game. You can play it as a part of your homeschool or it can be a fun addition to your next family game night.
Use online math games for middle school as a part of your lesson plans.
Take the classic game, BINGO, and make it math-related with this printable Mental Math Bingo Game.
My kids and I have played Number Rings as a part of school for years. It’s a fun math board game that will definitely help your older kids build their mental math skills.
Math Dice Chase is a game you’ll want to add to your math lessons. It’s called “mathematical hot potato” and is a great substitution for flash cards for mental math mastery.
Sumoku is a fun game that will really test your child’s math skills. Players must try to lie down tiles that connect multiples in this crossword-style math game. There are a bunch of ways to play, so your tween won’t tire of playing.
Here are some of the best math board games you can use in your homeschool. They definitely make math fun for tweens.
Play these fun math games with dice as part of your lessons.
If you need a break during math, play this quick, DIY game – egg carton math. It’s a simple way to review math facts without your kids breaking out in tears.
You can use these order of operations math task cards as the basis of a quiz game with your tweens.
More Math Games To Play With Tweens
Here are some other math board games you can add to your math toolkit.
- Proof! math game is a fast-paced card game where players race to find equations in the cards laid out on the table.
- Sumoku is a crossword-style game that has players trying to gain points by playing math equations with their tiles.
- Players rush to build stacks of $100 in Clumsy Thief before their opponents steal them.
- Fraction War is a card game where players try to throw down the best fractions.
- There are tons of ways you can incorporate Fraction Dice into your math lessons.
- Smath is another crossword-style game where tweens try to use their tiles to build math equations.
- The object of 24 Game Double Digits is to use all four numbers on your tile to get to the number 24 using various math operations.
- Race to Infinity combines math and strategy in a game that kids will enjoy playing.