Number Rings: A Cool Math Game

Years ago, I was introduced to the Number Rings game. It’s one of my favorite math games for middle school. I love it because it’s incredibly fun and effective.

I have to say that there is no tool I use more frequently for math drills.

Plus, it’s a game that grows with your kids, which is a huge bonus.

number rings a cool math game educationpossible

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Math Facts Practice

The math program we use puts a lot of emphasis on subject mastery. This means that my kids need to be able to quickly solve basic equations, like 2+2 and 8-6, before moving on to the next set of skills.

I love this approach, however; it does entail an awful lot of review, which can get very boring. I’ve tried worksheets and flashcards (yawn!).

Now, instead of looking at Number Rings as a fun math game to play occasionally, I use it regularly to help with this repetitive review.

To begin the game, every person chooses a section of the board, which has the numbers 1-18 in a specific color, and the corresponding colored rings. The goal is to place a ring around all of your numbers before your opponents do, by rolling three dice.

number rings a cool math game EducationPossible

Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division

What makes math games like this one so wonderful is that once you roll your dice, you choose which math function(s) you are going to use.

If your child is working on addition, use addition facts to cover your numbers. If your child has moved all the way through division, then let them use any and all math functions to come up with their final numbers.

For example, let’s say I roll a 2, 4 and 5.

  • I can use addition and cover 11 (2 + 4 + 5 = 11).
  • I can add two of the numbers, (4 + 5 = 9) and cover 9 and 2.
  • I can use multiplication and subtraction to cover 18 (4 x 5 = 20 – 2 = 18).
  • I can use division and multiplication to cover 10 (4 ÷ 2 = 2 x 5 =10).

I love that Number Rings helps with mental math and makes kids think on their feet!

When you start playing, usually you’re only focused on putting rings on your own numbers.

Once your kids are ready, you can add another layer to the game – offensive strategy.

number rings a cool math game EducationPossible

You can start putting your marker on an opponent’s side. This means that when I roll my dice, I can place a ring around an opponent’s number instead of my own. Then they will have to roll the same number combination to get my ring off and roll it another time to put theirs on.

As I said, Number Rings is a game that grows with your kids! Ready to get working on those mental math skills?

More Math Games for Middle School

Math is fun! Do you use games to work on math concepts and skills?

Megan Zechman
I love homeschooling! Learning is a way of life for our family. Most days you will find us exploring our Central Florida community, having fun while learning. I am constantly looking for new and interactive ways to engage my older children.
Megan Zechman
Megan Zechman
Megan Zechman

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  1. This is a creative game for sure. My son LOVES math and has seems to mastered addition & subtraction, but I think this would even make him quicker on his feet. And surely help with M/D! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Glad you found us Mathe! This is hands down one of my favorite educational games. I’ve played it with my kids for years because it is so adaptable. If you get one, I hope you like it as much as we have.

  2. Where did you get the game board? Did you make it or is this from a different game that you bought and then use it in this way? Love this idea!!

    1. Hi Jenni. It’s actually an all inclusive game. You get the board, dice and rings when you buy the game. I got it from Discovery Toys many years ago, but they sell it on Amazon now too. My kids love playing the game and it’s been a great help with their mental math skills.

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