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Smart Math Games

These are the math games we all love - fun, exciting, but not contrived versions of classroom math.  Check out the 24 Game - this is one of our favorite dinner-time diversions, as well as a great game with math-peers.  Card Golf travels as easily as a deck of cards, and varies as widely as the pars on your local or favorite golf courses.  And SET... a perpetual hit for all ages, but doesn't even require reading.

Find great math games for gifted kids at Toys at Amazon.com, MindWare and Discovery Store! and many more - all the links on Shop Hoagies! - are all Hoagies' Gifted Education Page affiliates. Purchase through Hoagies' Page links, and these stores give a small percentage to Hoagies' Page at no cost to you. Thanks!

Board Games Card Games Classic Games Construction Toys Party Games

 
1-2-3 OY! and A-B-C OY! card games (numbers or letters) for the younger folks, multi-player or solitaire... lots of fun!
 
The 24 Game Recommended
Create the number 24 from the four numbers on a game card. You can add, subtract, multiply and divide. Use all four numbers but use each number only once. Available from simple addition and subtraction, right up to fractions, decimals and algebra. Click for 24 Challenge tournament schedule.  Decks listed in order of difficulty
bulletAdd / Subtract Primer bulletIntegers
bulletMultiply / Divide Primer bulletFractions / Decimals
bulletFactors / Multiples Primer bulletFactors / Multiples
bulletSingle Digits bulletAlgebra / Exponents
bulletDouble Digits bulletVariables
 
24/7 The Game by Sunriver Games (ages 8+)
An exciting strategy game that combines elements of luck and skill. Using durable plastic tiles on a full color game board, players take turns laying tiles on a 7×7 grid and score points for adjacent tiles that create runs, sets and sums of 24 or 7...
 
4 Way Countdown
Practice +-*/ skills by using the numbers on the dice. The first to flip over all 10 numbered keys wins the game... Also try 4 Way Spelldown
 
7 Ate 9 Recommended by Out of the Box
This short math game looks simple, and turns into a ton of fun for kids of all ages, and their parents!  Try it, you'll like it!
 
Albert's Insomnia by RJB3 Games (ages 8+)
Albert can’t sleep and he needs help counting his sheep. A mental math game that requires players to think and solve equations. Practice mental math, math facts, learning order of operations, critical and creative thinking skills. Can be played in small groups or collaboratively in a large group or classroom...
 
Architecto (or from Barnes & Noble) and Equilibrio (or from Barnes & Noble) all by Fox Mind Games
Use the 18 precision-cut blocks to construct 3-D structures illustrated in the challenge booklet: 50 illustrations in each game, ranging from simple shapes, requiring only a few blocks to complex ones. As players develop stronger notions of perspective and geometric concepts, the challenges become more demanding...
 
Battleship
Classic strategy game, adored by gifted kids as young as 4 or 5...  Also Battleship Folio (Travel)
 
Blink
Sharp eyes and fast hands, but with handicapping to even the game for the most diverse 2 or 3 players... no reading required
 
Card Golf Recommended
Play golf with a deck of cards?  You bet!  There's a course provided, but you can play ANY golf course in the world - all you need is the distance and par for each hole.  Use the deck to play and score your holes, and see if you can beat par.  We had fun playing it with teens and adults; good beginning as young as kids can add 3 digit numbers.  Not bad for quick mental math practice, either!  Easy to carry and play almost anywhere...
 
Cashflow 101 by Rich Dad
Give your child a financial headstart by raising their financial I.Q. This game teaches your family the key principles of how to get out of the rat race & how to create wealth.  From the authors of Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money--That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!
 
The Curse of the Ruby Rhino, a Dastardly Dice Game by (ages 6-12)
Behold the Ruby Rhino! The most coveted of ancient treasures stands inches from your grasp but a curse makes it nearly impossible to capture. Roll the dice and try your best to corner this elusive jeweled beast. Watch out for a bevy of fake gold that will get in your way... (counting and visual discrimination)
 
Descartes' Cove Recommended by Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (6 CD set for gifted grades 6 through 8)
In a leaky lifeboat, students survive an ocean storm and become marooned on a deserted island once inhabited by Rene Descartes. They discover his parchment notebook, pick up a map and other gear, and begin their journey through the island tunnels, volcanoes, underground rivers, jungles, abandoned mines, sunken ships and many more surprises. At each step, they solve increasingly difficult puzzles and math challenges, earn gold coins, and make entries in their own journal. As they master each math concept, they prepare to tackle the final quest...
 
Double Shutter by Blue Orange
Combines basic arithmetic skills with strategy for great family fun!  Be the first to shut the box... Also available in wooden Vintage Double Shutter
 
Equate Recommended
Strategic math thinking game.  Don't forget Junior Tile Set  for more integers, or the Advanced Tile Set for negative numbers and exponents.  Also Equate classroom set  available, too!  Equate Activity Notebook Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3...
 
Farkel (ages 6 and up)
Exciting dice game for the whole family, two or more players. Two minutes to learn; luck, guts and strategy to win... Farkel comes in Green, Blue, Purple, Red (purchase score pads seperately), as well as Pocket versions, 2" high and complete, in Purple, Blue, Green, Red (roll-up score pad included) and even Spicy Farkel!
 
Flip 4
Combine arithmetic and strategy, roll the dice and play a square on the board, but watch out for your opponent when he "flips" you off the board!  A fun way to sharpen your math skills...
 
FlashMaster by FlashMaster, Inc.
A toy, a learning tool... both.  FlashMaster replaces flash cards for +-*/ math facts.   Use it with or without the timer (or make it longer, for kids who need some limits, but a little more time), with or without sound effects, problems that are missed can be run separately in "missed problems."  Change the format of the problems, putting the "variable" in any position.  This is a great tool, that's great fun, even for our twice exceptional friends... PC Magazine review
 
Granny Apples (ages 8 and up, or as soon as a gifted child can add and subtract halves!) (or from Amazon)
Quick counting game using 1/2's and wholes, addition and subtraction.  Watch out for the worm!
 
Head Full of Numbers
Players roll six dice out of the brainiac-shaped cup and combine the resulting digits using addition, subtraction, multiplication or division. Whoever comes up with the greatest number of unique, correct equations wins!
 
Hisss the Colorful Snake-Making Card Game (2-5 players, ages 3 and up)
As each Hisss snake slithers its way across the playing area, it introduces color identification and visual logic: Does it make sense to have a snake with two tails and no head' Are those two colors the same or not' Even elementary counting skills come into play during scoring at the end of the game. No reading required...
 
Ivan Moscovich's Mastermind Collection
Diabolical puzzles from the undisputed king of recreational mathematics.  Leonardo's Mirror, Hinged Square, Shoelace Problem, Monty Hall Problem, Fiendishly Frustrating Brain-Twisting Puzzles, and Deviously Difficult Mind-Bending Puzzles.  Get one title or all six!  Or order them all from Amazon, Knotty Number Problems, Leonardo's Mirror, Perplexing Pattern Problems, Perplexing Pattern Problems, The Hinged Square, Tough Topology Problems, Peerless Probability Problems, Brain-Flexing Balance Problems, Cunning Combination Problems, The Shoelace Problem, The Monty Hall Problem, and Loopy Logic Problems
 
Kakuro Challenge 1 and Kakuro Challenge 2 by Alastair Chisholm
More challenging than Sudoku (also called Cross Sums), Kakuro are a mathematics crossword puzzle!
 
Klutz Books Recommended
From paper airplanes to Legos, marbles and jacks, from juggling to peg solitaire to desktop football, from knitting and sewing to watercolor art to thumbprint art... There are so many of these great books, they get their own Hoagies page!
How to Tell Time
Among the topics: How come time stops at the dentist? Why do grown-ups care so much about the time? What exactly happens when the short hand disappears behind the long hand?
Stop! the Watch: A Book of Everyday, Ordinary, Anybody Olympics
Some spectacularly ordinary Olympic events -- like switching your shoelaces -- done for time...

Krypto: Family Arithmetic Game
Use the 5 cards in your hand and any the math operations to get to the randomly dealt solution. Also Primary Krypto, and Krypto Fractions supplement (requires original Krypto)
 
Mad Math
They'll forget they're practicing math.  Tic tac toe, where you roll the dice and multiply to position your pawn.  Three in a row wins (including addition game for younger kids)
 
Martin Gardner's Mathematical Games
The entire collection of his Scientific American columns on one CD.  "Mathematical Games" column ran in Scientific American from 1956 to 1986. Here Gardner introduced hundreds of thousands of readers to the delights of mathematics and of puzzles and problem solving. His column broke such stories as Rivest, Shamir, and Adelman on public-key cryptography, Mandelbrot on fractals, Conway on Life, and Penrose on tilings. He enlivened classic geometry and number theory and introduced readers to new areas such as combinatorics and graph theory...
 
Mastermind
Classic logical deduction game.  Also Deluxe Travel Mastermind, Attaché Mastermind and Mastermind for Kid
 
Math Blaster ages 6-12 (age 5)
Up-to-date version of the first educational software, learn math facts through interactive games...
 
Math Dice Recommended (ages 8+) by ThinkFun
Add, subtract, multiply, divide, square or cube to get closest to the Target Number. Comes with dice, storage bag, instructions and sample challenges.  We've been playing at dinner, and the storage bag makes it a great travel game!
 
Math Shark
Quizzes kids on addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fraction, decimals, or percentages with eight skill levels in each category
 
Math Twister
Deal the cards, create an accurate equation, score points for winning the round. Three challenging variations for play with the family or in the classroom!
 
The Mathematics Calendar 2012 by Theoni Pappas
A problem a day, all year long!  Plus facts, curiosities, and challenging problems... 
 
Maya Madness (ages 10 and up, or as soon as the gifted child is ready to play with zero!)
Among their many achievements, the Mayan civilization was the first to understand the power of zero. Maya Madness uses their principles and symbols to bring math alive for kids and help them understand positive and negative numbers. All tokens and cards feature both Arabic numerals and Mayan number symbols. Your goal is to add and subtract your cards to reach your secret token number. But be careful or you may plunge into the world of negative numbers!
 
Mille Bornes 
First published in 1962, Mille Bornes (pronounced "meel born," French for "milestones") is an auto racing card game whose object is to be the first to complete a series of 1,000-mile trips - another favorite from my childhood!
 
Muggins Math (or from Amazon)
Hands on manipulatives that facilitate the learning of complex mathematical tasks, while being both fun and challenging.  Great for the visual learner!
 
Noble Celts
  Chess in the round...
Chess was played on a circular designed board centuries ago but mostly disappeared during the Dark Ages. Only in recent years has this form of chess been rediscovered...
 
Q-bitz by MindWare
Visual dexterity, Cubed. Players puzzle over how to recreate the patterns on the game cards using their set of 16 cubes. Three fast-paced rounds of play require different skills each time, quick thinking, lucky breaks and memory muscle... also Q-bitz Expansion Pack with 100 new challenges!
 
Roll 'n Multiply and Roll 'n Subtract and Roll 'n Divide
Roll the dice and multiply (or divide or subtract or add) the numbers to place chips on the board, get four-in-a-row (or a triangle or tic-tac-toe) to win. But watch out for your opponent's chip strategy!
 
SET Game Recommended The Family Game of Visual Perception (or from SET Game)
Purchase this great card game, or play the on-line version that changes daily, plus resources for teaching with SET
 
Speedy Eddy
Master math and logic skills while you roll the dice to help your snail progress. Watch out for mole holes, dodge flying carrots, and beware of the strong winds as your snails may lost its shell! Without a shell on its back your snail goes slower, so use the two dice with a touch of ingenuity to get a shell back on your snail and get back in the race. And win the famous Speedy Eddy Trophy!
 
Sumoku by Blue Orange Games
Arrange numbered tiles in rows or columns that add up to multiples of a number shown on the die, in this crossword-style game.  Five variations in one game!
 
Swish Recommended
Spatial card game that challenges you to be the first to make matches, or “Swishes”. Swishes are made by layering 2 to 12 cards so that every ball swishes into a hoop of the same color. The cards can be rotated, and must be placed on top of each other in the same orientation, and no ball or hoop can be left unmatched. It's addictively fun!
 
ThinkFun (was Binary Arts) great logic puzzles and games for all ages (mostly labeled 8 years and up, but great for gifted kids much younger)
Math Dice Recommended Add, subtract, multiply, divide, square or cube to get closest to the Target Number
Sudoku 5x5 hands-on Sudoku puzzles for the younger set...
GRIDWorks place the pieces by visual logic clues...
TipOver Recommended Topple a path from here to there... or Spiderman TipOver
Subtrax a new twist on classic peg solitaire...
Rush Hour Recommended
Rush Hour Card Set 2, Set 3, Set 4 (or from Amazon, Set 2, Set 3, Set 4)
Rush Hour Jr. 40 junior challenges
Railroad Rush Hour Recommended 2 exit choices, and blocks that move in two directions!
Top This Players create identical shapes using different game pieces. Seemingly simple game is not only loads of fun, but can also be surprisingly tricky!
Swish Recommended Spatial card game that challenges you to be the first to make matches, or “Swishes”. Swishes are made by layering 2 to 12 cards so that every ball swishes into a hoop of the same color...
Tangram
seven-piece Tangram puzzle is the world's oldest and most well known silhouette puzzle, pieces crafted in metal and filled with vivid blue enamel
4 Cube Puzzle 4 cubes, 12 puzzles, lots of challenge!
See Smart Toy Companies: ThinkFun for the whole list!

Times Tables the Fun Way! and Addition the Fun Way! by City Creek Press
A fun pictorial method of learning the multiplication facts, and addition facts...
 
Toss Up! (ages 8+)
Pocket- or purse-size game of chance in it's own case, great for those unexpected delays... toss the dice, try to get as many greens as you can... but don't get stopped by a red!  Great addition practice, keeping score to 100, and risk-taking practice, should you roll, or take the score you already have?
 
WFF 'n Proof learning games and puzzles
focus on developing fundamental reasoning skills and higher-order problem-solving abilities in logic, mathematics, social studies, scientific reasoning and experiment, and the logical structure of English language...
 
Yamslam by Blue Orange Games
Yamslam starts like Yahtzee, but then changes. And players practice math skills in the scoring process! Even a fun solitaire version... or try Pocket Yamslam
 
Yahtzee
The classic dice game, soon to be 50 years old!  Or try the Deluxe Edition, or Yahtzee Folio (Travel)
 
Zometools Recommended Hyperdo, Bubble Kit, Explorer Kit, Adventurer Kit, Pioneer Kit, DNA Kit, Creator 3 Kit, and Advanced Creator Kits from triangles to DNA strands, the smart building toy...
Great math learning tool, too! Available lesson plans, model instructions, on-line manual. My kids (and their parents) love this stuff! Plus literature including lesson plans for K-12, Kepler's Solid essay and more.  Additional Zome kits are available from the Zometool website, also a Hoagies' Page affiliate!
Zome Geometry Hands-on learning with Zome Models
Great new book to accompany Zome System, particularly for the advanced Zome user, studying Geometry and beyond!
 

Mensa Select!

Last updated June 17, 2014
 

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