Mental Maths Games: 5 Card Games to Learn

Ever wondered how you can make maths more interesting for your child? Mental maths games are ideal for teaching maths skills in an interactive way. 

Through fun card games, younger kids can learn to identify and sequence numbers while older children get a chance to practice addition, subtraction, division and multiplication. 

Educational researchers have found that playing mental maths games helps kids develop confidence and perseverance. These games also assist with social and emotional development because children must learn to be patient, take turns and behave graciously when they lose. 

Here are five fun card games children will enjoy.  

1. Builders Paradise

Goal: To be the first player with no cards. This game helps kids learn to order numbers. 

Instructions:  Remove all face cards from the deck and place the 4 sevens side by side on the table. Deal the remaining cards evenly to the players. Players must place the next highest cards and next lowest cards in their hand above or below the sevens according to the suit. In the first round, players will get rid of their sixes and eights. The person who is first to get rid of all their cards is the winner. If it reaches a point where no one can play a card, the person with the fewest cards is the winner. 

2. 21 

Goal:  The player whose hand adds up closest to 21 without going over this number is the winner. This game teaches kids to add quickly in their heads.

Instructions:  Deal each player two cards to begin. Each player can choose to take another card to improve their hand, however, if the combined values exceed 21 they get no points. The player who is closest to 21 in each round gets one point. In cases of a tie, all players with the same score get one point. A player who gets 21 with their first two cards receives two points. The first person to reach 10 points wins. 

3. Nifty 50 

Goal: To come up with an equation with an answer closest to 50. This mental maths game is excellent for developing problem solving skills. 

Instructions:  Deal all the cards. Each player must turn over four cards to make a plus or minus equation (two digits plus two digits, or two digits minus two digits). Aces are worth one point, while 10s and face cards are worth zero. The player whose answer is closest to 50 wins one point. An equation equalling exactly 50 is worth two points. If players have the same closest answer, no one wins a point. The first player to get five points is the winner. 

4. 24

Goal:  To get an answer of 24 using four cards to create an equation.

Instructions:  Remove all face cards. Deal four cards to each player face down. Players turn over their cards at the same time and use up to three maths operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) to come up with an equation with an answer of 24. Parentheses can be used once. Aces are worth one point. The first person to get an answer of 24 wins a point. No points are awarded if no one gets 24. The first player to reach five points is the winner. 

5. Fraction War  

Goal:  To have the largest fraction. This is an ideal way to teach students about comparing fractions. 

Instructions:  Deal two cards to each player to be used as a numerator and denominator. A pencil is used as a fraction line. Players place one of their cards face down above the line and one below, turning them over at the same time. The player with the largest fraction wins. The winner takes all four cards and play continues until there are no cards left. If players have equivalent fractions, they draw two new cards each and the winner takes all the cards. The player with the most cards at the end is the victor. 

Mental Maths Games Put Fun into Learning

Card games for kids are a great way to keep their minds active. They also help the brain to retain knowledge because kids learn more when they are enjoying themselves. Boredom, on the other hand, is extremely detrimental to learning

Kids who struggle with maths in class are often bored and unmotivated. Playing fun mental maths games is a great way to get kids interested and motivated, but games can only achieve so much. A tutor can also help to make learning enjoyable and relevant by creating a learning plan to meet your student’s specific needs. 

 Contact us and schedule a session with one of our private math tutors near you.