10 Practically Fun Math Games and Activities for Your Preteen


This is a guest post by JC Ryan from MyCollegesandCareers.com

Math is the universal language and affects almost every facet of life. Reinforcing your preteen’s math skills with practical exercises and activities enhances proficiency and boosts self-esteem in a fun and engaging manner.

From fractions to decimals to geometry and measurements, simple games and activities can incorporate every basic math skill, building a solid platform for life.

Below is a list of 10 games and activities that either inherently use mathematics or can easily be adapted to stress math applications, sometimes without your child knowing they’re learning!

Primarily indoor math activities include:


1. Math folding: Origami

Because it is an exacting activity that entails precise shapes and proportions, origami is a prime activity that enhances geometry. Triangles, squares, rectangles and more are inherent in the activity; origami would simply be a crumpled wad of paper without geometry.

2. Math for fashion: Sewing

The primary math application involved in sewing is measuring. Checking length and size of the material is imperative in this activity. Additional benefits involved in sewing include patience, small motor coordination, and attention to detail.

3. Building math: Fort Building

Geometry leads the math skills enhanced by fort building for many of the same reasons as sewing. Measuring length, shape and angle of the wood and other material is absolutely required as well and involves both whole numbers and fractions. Additional skills include hand-eye coordination and large motor coordination.

4. Crafty math: Beading

This arts and crafts activity entails making jewelry, decorating clothing and accessories as well as creating artwork. Recognizing and creating geometric and other patterns, counting and measuring lengths are the basic math skills reinforced. Small motor skills are also reinforced in this popular pastime that can appeal to both boys and girls.

5. Puzzling math: Tangrams

A Chinese puzzle gaining in popularity, tangrams incorporate geometry as its math-oriented skill. The pieces form a square that involves five triangles, a square and a rhomboid. The pieces can be rearranged or combined to create a wide variety of other shapes, limited only by a child’s imagination and pieces availability. All puzzles in general incorporate both geometry and basic counting skills.

6. Competitive math: Board Games

Every board game requires at least a rudimentary ability to count, add or subtract. If it’s a purchase game, use of play money enhances counting and possibly multiplication and division in addition to addition and subtraction.

7. Sharp card math: Card Games

Counting, addition, subtraction and geometry are the top math-related skills utilized and reinforced in any card game a child likes. Having the right number of cards to recognizing card suits and card hierarchy use several math skills that children need.

8. Tasty math: Baking

Volume measurement, weights and counting are the primary math skills involved in baking. Knowing the difference between a liquid ounce and a weight ounce, for instance, is a supplementary math skill that also plays an important part in baking and cooking in general.


Outdoor math games and activities include:


9. Jumping math: Hopscotch

This game enhances and reinforces a child’s geometric acuity. The game sketch includes squares, triangles and circles or arcs. Proportions and distance judgment are equally utilized as well. A tremendous non-math benefit of this game is that it’s terrific exercise.

10. Hit the goal math: Football

Football utilizes the math skills of distance and length measurements and counting. From determining yardage and number of players on the field, football cannot be played without using math.

Shapes, sizes, amounts, sequences, and spaces, mathematics is a crucial field to know. Too few children enjoy learning and especially learning math. Whenever parents can maximize exposure to and utilization of a child’s math skills, the child benefits, and the child’s world expands. Use these and additional games and activities to enhance your child’s math skills whenever possible.

How does your preteen use math in their play?

About the Author

JC Ryan is a freelance writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them understand which online colleges and online courses they can choose from to reach their goals.

Caroline Mukisa
About The Author: Caroline Mukisa is the founder of Maths Insider. A Cambridge University educated math teacher, she's been involved in math education for over 20 years as a teacher, tutor, Kumon instructor, Thinkster Math instructor and math ed blogger. She is the author of the insanely helpful ebook "The Ultimate Kumon Review" and insanely useful website "31 Days to Faster Times Tables" You can follow her math tips on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @mathsinsider

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

4 thoughts on “10 Practically Fun Math Games and Activities for Your Preteen

  1. Great article — great blog. I’m trying to teach my daughter the multiplication tables. We have tried computer math minutes, flashcards (old school and triangles), school house rock and other multiplication songs on youtube. Any ideas???? I would love to see something like this as an article. I would love, even more, to host such an article on my blog. I’m subscribed to see what good tips you have. Over from WeAreThatFamily.

  2. Hi,
    when i was a kid (a long time ago), our math teacher had us prepare a base and then we nailed pegs into it. using a mathematical sequence, we threaded until we had a finished product ~ a 3 dimensional eclipse {ellipse} to gaze into; it looked like an eye to me. multicolored thread made the most beautiful impact. I was hoping you might be familiar with the concept and could afford me the dimensions so that I might re create one.

    hopeful in Victoria

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