# Maths Together 20 number games to play Year 1

```Maths Together
20 number games
to play
Year 1
Pick a pair
You will need
 Pack of playing cards - select a number of matching pairs of cards
How to play
Shuffle, and spread all the cards out face down on the table between
the players (you can either choose a random arrangement, or lay the
cards out in grid form; the latter makes it easier to remember where
cards are placed).
The object of the game is to find matching pairs. Players take it in
turns to turn over 2 cards. Let both the players see them and study
them. If they are not a matching pair, try to remember what and
where they are, then turn them back over. Play then passes to the
next player. If they are a matching pair, that player removes them
from the table and keeps them, and then has another turn.
When all cards have been removed from the table, each player
counts up the number of cards they have collected. The player with
the most cards is the winner.
Step up the challenge
Use more pairs of cards – up to the whole pack of 52!
Three or more
You will need
 Five dice
How to play
Players in turn roll all five dice and score for three-of-a-kind or
better. If a player only has two-of-a-kind they may re-throw the
remaining dice in an attempt to improve the matching dice values. If
no matching numbers are rolled a player scores 0.
Players score the following number of points accordingly.
3-of-a-kind: 3 points
4-of-a-kind: 6 points
5-of-a-kind: 12 points
A set number of rounds are played (say 5) and the player with the
highest score at the end of a game, is the winner.
Fairy tale castles
Jack in the box
Six dwarves
You will need
 1 die
 One of the game boards on the next few pages
How to play
Each player takes it in turns to roll a dice. They then place their
counter on the picture with that number.
Give each player a stack of coloured counters. Players take it in
turns to roll a dice, and place one of their counters on the picture
with the corresponding number, then pass the die to the next player.
If there is already a counter on the appropriate picture, you miss
your go. When all the pictures are covered, count up the counters.
Whoever has placed the most counters is the winner.
Step up the challenge
Create your own game together by writing the numbers (digits or
words) on your own pictures. Or play be writing in the number
digits or words.
Mouse!
You will need
 1 die
 Pencil and paper
How to play
The aim of the game is to be the first to complete a Mouse. Each roll
of the die enables a particular body part to be drawn as follows:
6 = body
5 = nose
4 = whiskers
3 = eyes
2 - ears
1 = tail
The body must be drawn before the other body parts are added to
it, so players must therefore roll a 6 to start. Once the body has
been drawn, the other parts of the mouse may be added in any
order. If you roll a number which relates to a part you have already
Step up the challenge
Use 2 dice. After each roll, add the two to determine the total. For
this version, players must roll a 12 to draw the body, 10 for the
nose, eight for whiskers, six for eyes, four for ears and two for the
tail.
Three or more
You will need
 5 dice
 Pencil and paper to keep score
How to play
Players in turn roll all five dice and score for three-of-a-kind or
better. If a player only has two-of-a-kind they may re-throw the
remaining dice in an attempt to improve the matching dice values. If
no matching numbers are rolled a player scores 0.
Players score the following number of points accordingly.
3-of-a-kind: 3 points
4-of-a-kind: 6 points
5-of-a-kind: 12 points
A set number of rounds are played (say 5) and the player with the
highest score at the end of a game, is the winner.
Farmyard
The more hands-on practice young children have with counting, the
easier it becomes to visualize numbers and give meaning to them.
This farmyard game makes early learning fun! If you don’t have farm
animals, use dinosaurs, cars, or anything else you have to hand, or
print out our animal counters.
You will need
 1 die
 Toy farm animals
How to play
Put the animals in the center of the table where everyone can reach
them. Draw a field per player.
Each player rolls the die and selects the appropriate number of
animals to go into his field.
The first child to 20 wins. Encourage lots of counting along the way
and ask plenty of questions (“How many more animals will Mary
need to get to 20?”).
Challenge me!
Turn the game round and start with 20 animals in a field.
Board games
You will need
 A counter per player
 A die
 A game board (e.g. the one overleaf)
There are lots of great board games out there. Do not feel restricted
to these ones!
Track games
Make a number track to 20, or longer. Make it relevant to your
child’s interests – sea world, space, monsters… Then play games on
it.
 Throw a dice. Move along that number of spaces. BUT before you
move, you must work out what number you will land on. If you
are wrong, you don’t move! The winner is the first to land exactly
on 20. Now play going backwards to 1.
 Throw a dice. Find a number on the track that goes with the
number thrown to make either 10 or 20. Put a counter on it, e.g.
you throw a ‘4’ and put a counter on either 6 or 16. If someone
else’s counter is there already, you may replace it with yours! The
winner is the first person to have a counter on 8 different
numbers.
Secret numbers
You will need
 Pencil and paper
How to play
Write the numbers 0 to 20 on a sheet of paper.
him / her some questions to find out what the secret number is, e.g.
o Is it less than 10?
o Is it between 10 and 20?
o Does it have a 5 in it?
He / she may answer only yes or no.
Once you have guessed the number, it is your turn to choose a
For an easier game, use numbers up to 10.
Step up the challenge
For a harder game, use only 5 questions, or use bigger numbers (up
to 100).
War
You will need
Standard deck of 52 cards (you may want to remove the picture
cards)
How to play
To start, the cards are dealt to the players and kept face-down.
Neither player must look at their cards.
Then, both players turn over the top card in their piles and put them
face-up in the centre, next to the other player’s card. Whoever has
turned over the higher ranking card, never mind which suit it is of,
takes up both cards and adds them to the bottom of his pile.
This then continues until two cards of the same value (eg 2 fours)
are placed down together. This constitutes “War”. Both players then
take two more cards and put one face-down on top of the card they
have already placed in the middle, and one face-up. Whoever puts
down the higher ranking face-up card wins all six.
If, of course, two more same-ranking cards are put down, the state
of “War” continues until there is a winner.
The game is won by the player who manages to collect all the cards.
Another description of ‘war’
Basic War—Each player turns one card face up. The player with the
greatest number wins the skirmish, placing his own and all captured
cards into his prisoner pile. Whenever there is a tie for greatest
card, all the players battle: each player lays three cards face down,
then a new card face up. The greatest of these new cards will
capture everything on the table. Because all players join in, someone
who had a low card in the initial skirmish may ultimately win the
battle. If there is no greatest card this time, repeat the 3-down-1-up
battle pattern until someone breaks the tie. The player who wins the
battle captures all the cards played in that turn.
Endgame
When the players have fought their way through the entire deck,
count the prisoners. Whoever has captured the most cards wins the
game. Or shuffle the prisoner piles and play on until someone
collects such a huge pile of cards that the others concede.
Variations
For most variations, the basic 3-down-1-up battle pattern becomes
2-down-2-up. For advanced games, however, the battle pattern is
different: in case of a tie, the cards are placed in a center pile. The
next hand is played normally, with no cards turned down, and the
winner of that skirmish takes the center pile as well.
Addition War—Players turn up two cards for each skirmish. The
highest sum wins.
Subtraction War—Players turn up two cards and subtract the
smaller number from the larger. This time, the greatest difference
wins the skirmish.
Sevens
You will need
 Standard 52-card deck
How to play
The entire pack of cards is dealt clockwise and face-down around the
group.
The players then sort their cards into sequences in each suit. The
player who holds the 7 of diamonds starts by placing this card down
in the centre. The game then continues clockwise, with each player,
if they can, adding a diamond card to the sequence. This can either
go up (8, then 9, then 10 etc) or down (6, then 5, then 4 etc). Any
cards played are placed on either side of the 7, as appropriate, so
that the diamonds form a row. A player can also start a new
sequence in a different suit by placing any of the other 7s below the
7 of diamonds so that a new row can be built in that suit. If a player
can do neither, they simply skip a turn.
The winner is the first player to use up all his cards, although if you
wish you can continue to play until all the cards have been used up
and all four rows are complete.
Beat that!
You will need
 2 dice
How to play
Roll the dice and put them in order to make the highest number
possible. If you roll a 4 and an 6, for example, your best answer
would be 64. Write down your answer, pass the dice, and challenge
the next player to “Beat That!”
Play in rounds and assign a winner to each round.
For a change, try making the smallest number possible! This is a great
game for reinforcing the concept of place value. If you are playing
with younger children, explain your reasoning out loud and
encourage them to do the same.
One. two, three – show me!
On the count of 3, the players throw their fist out in front of them
with anything from 0 fingers to 5 fingers extended. At the same time,
one player (take it in turns) calls out a number. If the fingers
extended add up to that number, the player wins.
Obviously, the player must call out a number which might come up.
So with 2 players, the numbers can be between 0 and 10. Players
must be careful to throw their fists on time, too, so that no one can
be accused of changing their fingers after the number is called!
Players will soon learn that if they are displaying zero fingers
themselves they should call low, etc.
Takings
For this game you will need a dice and a collection of small things
such as Lego bricks, sticky shapes or dried beans. You will also need
pencil and paper.
 Take turns.
 Roll a dice. Take that number of beans. Write down the number.
 Keep rolling the dice and taking that number of beans. BUT,
before you take them, you must write down your new total.
For example, Sally has 7. She throws 4. She has to work out how
many she will have now. She starts counting from seven: eight,
nine, ten, eleven. She writes 11.
 You can only take your beans if you are right.
 The first person to collect 20 beans wins!
Dicey circles
You will need
 1 die
 pencil and paper
How to play
 Each of you should draw four circles on your piece of paper.
Write a different number between 2 and 12 in each circle.
2
6
8
9
 Roll the dice twice. Add the two numbers.
 If the total is one of the numbers in your circles then you may
cross it out.
 The first person to cross out all four circles wins.
Greatest sum
You will need
 2 dice
 10 counters or toys – the winning player is the one with the most
of these when all have gone.
How to play
Roll both and add – greatest sum wins
The winning player takes one the toys. Rather than using counters,
find a collection of 10 small toys which are close to your child’s heart
and rename the game to match.
Step up the challenge
Greatest difference
2 dice
Roll both and find the difference – greatest difference wins
You will need
 3 dice
 Pencil and paper
Going to Boston
How to play
Roll the dice and keep the highest. Roll the remaining dice and again
set aside the highest. Roll the last die, and add up your total. Write
How to play
Each player in turn has three throws of the dice. On the first throw
the highest number is put to one side. If two or more dice show the
highest number only one is kept. The remaining two dice are thrown
again and the highest is put aside once more. The final die is rolled
and the total of all three is the player's score. The player with the
highest score, after each player has had a turn, wins that round. A set
number of rounds are played and the player who takes the most is
the overall winner.
You will need
 1 die
 paper and pencil
Dice game
How to play
 Take turns.
 Choose a number between 1 and 10 and write it down.
 Throw the dice and say the dice number.
 Work out the difference between the chosen number and the
dice number, e.g. if you wrote down a 2 and the dice shows 5, the
difference is 3.
difference between the two numbers.
Sum and difference
You will need
 Pencil and paper
This game is from Nrich
How to play
Start by drawing a number line from 0 to 20 like this:
The first player chooses a number on the line and crosses it out.
The same player then chooses a second number and crosses that out
too.
Finally, he or she circles the sum or difference of the two numbers
and writes down the calculation.
For example, the first player's go could look like this:
The second player must start by crossing off the number that player
1 has just circled.
He or she then chooses another number to cross out and then
circles a third number which is the sum or difference of the two
crossed-off numbers.
Player 2 also writes down their calculation.
For example, once the second player has had a turn, the game could
look like this:
Play continues in this way with each player starting with the number
that has just been circled.
For example, player one could then have a turn which left the game
looking like this:
The winner of the game is the player who stops their opponent from
being able to go.
Totality
You will need
 Totality game board
 A counter
The first player names a 'score' and this is the total that both players
try to reach.
The second player places a counter on the board over one of the
numbers and says that number.
The first player moves the same counter in any direction along a line
segment to a neighbouring number and announces the total of the
two numbers.
The second player moves the same counter to cover a neighbouring
number, adds on that number, and announces the total of the three
numbers.
The players take it in turns to slide the counter to cover a
neighbouring number and to add that number to the total. The
players must move when it is their turn and no 'jumping' is allowed.
The winner is the player who makes the total to be exactly equal to
the 'score' declared at the start. Making the total go above the
'score' loses the game.
With thanks to Nrich.
The game can be found online at http://nrich.maths.org/1216
```