I love using the same resource in a variety of ways. At the moment, we have been doing lots of games with playing cards. The children enjoy the games and don’t realise they are even doing Maths.

Bigger Number/Smallest Number/Place value

This game is really easy. Divide the deck into equal bundles (depending on the number of players – 4 is probably the max). Each child takes a turn to lay out their first card. The child with the biggest number/ smallest number wins.

For older children this could be made into a game with place value. Each child gets 2/3/4 cards and makes the biggest number using these cards.

Switch/Solitare

This well known game can be played with 2 players. The children have to quickly organise their cards in descending or ascending order. They can work together or in competition. For example if number four is drawn – then a child could put a 3 (number below) or a 5 (number above) on top.

Cards are laid out as follows; (1 set for each child)

• Face
• 1 back. 1 face.
• 2 back. 1 face.
• 3 back. 1 face.
• 4 back. 1 face.
• 5 back. 1 face.

2 decks in the middle. Children can only move one card at a time. The ‘back’ cards can’t be turned over until the top card (face) is moved.

Dealer has a deck of cards. Calls two players. Says add/subtract. Shows two cards – players say the answer. Winner keeps the cards. (The game continues until all cards are gone – winner has the most cards.)

Multiplication

Dealer has a deck of cards. Calls two players. Shows two cards – first player to say the answer wins the cards. (The game continues until all cards are gone – winner has the most cards.) Can be played with up to 6/8 players. (Use two decks of cards).

Division (with remainders)

Dealer shows two cards – making a two digit number. Then shows 1 card. Children must divide the 2 digit number by the 1 digit number (most of the time there will be a remainder). First player to say the answer wins and keeps the cards. ((The game continues until all cards are gone – winner has the most cards.)

Magic Number is …

Children play ‘Go Fish’ choosing 2/3/4 cards to make the magic number.