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Maths Games With Playing Cards

Maths is fun, especially when you’re playing with your toddlers. So much focus goes into learning to count and recognise number succession but there are games that can be created using simple playing cards that will allow all these things to come naturally to our children. 

Obviously, most playing cards have an Ace, not a number 1, but as soon as the kids understand that for these games Ace = 1, there shouldn’t be any problems using this easily accessible tool. Here are some simple games that you can play at home.


It might seem like a boring and unexciting game but playing snap is not only good for maths skills but also for reactions and recognition.

Split the pack and take turns to place a card down. When you get a match in number, the first to shout ‘snap’ get the pack.

** If your little ones are too young to recognise numbers, then try matching suits, or simply colours.

Go Fish

This is a really simple game that tests the memory skills to their limit as well as prompts recognition skills.

Place the cards face down on the floor, and take turns to choose 2 at a time. Those who are clever enough to remember which cards were revealed and where they are will collect pair after pair.

** To make it a little simpler, just use 2 suits or as above, use less cards still and match suits or colours.

Number Snakes

Using your best arts and crafts skills, draw a big snake head and a tiny snake tail. Using number 1 to 9 in the same suit, work together to make a huge number snake, getting the numbers into the correct order.

** The snake can be as wiggly and jiggly as you like.

Make Your Own Cards

This is a great way to nurture a good memory for numbers and sequences. Using regular card stock, draw or paint the suits on them and get your children to draw on the numbers.

** Laminate the cards and kids can practise writing the numbers over the card tops with a white board marker.

Matching Dice & Cards

Using a 6-sided dice, choose cards from Ace to 6 in one or all of the suits. Roll the dice to match to the number of dots on the dice to the number of dots on the card. This is great to help associate patterns with numbers.

These games can be as complicated or as tricky as you like, but making them fun and rewarding with praise will help any learner to understand and recognise single digits. For more great math games and some free math printable resources, check out some of the games here from our friends over at Juni Learning.

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