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What Games Do You Have in Your Math Center?

by Early Math Counts

I can’t help but look through each classroom I visit to see what kinds of materials make up each center.  Sometimes it feels like snooping as I try to ascertain whether or not the math center is also the science center or if there is a math center at all.  In some rooms, there are shelves near a table and there are materials on those shelves that may or not be math materials.  If I can’t tell, then there is a problem.

Math Centers should be rich with a variety of engaging, open-ended materials that children can explore on their own, with their friends or in groups.  They should be specifically presented and used for math investigation (even though they may clearly use them for other explorations as well.)

I really like to see a wide variety of developmentally appropriate games in the math center as well.  Ideally, a good math center will have:

Checkers and Chess

Bingo (all varieties)

Dominos (with pictures and pips)


Chutes and Ladders ( a.k.a Snakes and Ladders)


Snail’s Pace

Hi Ho Cherry-O

Connect 4

Shut the Box

Chinese Checkers

Guess Who?


This list is far from complete, but it is a good start.  Many of these games are too sophisticated for younger children, but they will find ways to play with them, if allowed.  They will develop into them with experience, over time.  Remember, three-year olds need an older peer or adult to support them as they begin to develop interests in games with rules; so offer to play with them.  Encourage them to count the dice, move their pieces themselves, and match their cards, etc.  This is how they develop the skills necessary to play unassisted with their classmates.

What other games can we add to our list?

13 Replies to “What Games Do You Have in Your Math Center?”

  1. I have made some file folder games that involve counting and pieces for them. I like to add a little creativeness to my math center. Maybe look into adding some of them on your list because you can make different counting games and all my kids love them.

  2. I have a question what is a lotto game? I have never heard of it. These are great examples of items in a math center.

    1. Lotto games are like Bingo – I think the word \”Lotto\” was originally used when the Bingo card had numbers or numbers of items rather than other matching pictures.

  3. Hi, I am still learning about math centers and how to make them more interesting. I also just realized we don\’t have any games in our math center like these, except for the ones we see in the lakeshore math category. Thank you.

  4. Thank you for reminding us to pay attention to our math centers and their materials. We should include material for counting, measuring, pattering, graphing, and geometry materials. We should also create attractive, colorful materials ourselves.

  5. we have colored bears, circles, number folders, many of the games listed above.
    we also have numbered beans within contact paper. the children can see the number as well as count.

  6. I have several math file folder games. These games include patterning, number recognition and counting. I also have math books in my math center.

  7. My center does not have defined math center but we do have math materials all around the classroom and buckets full of open ended materials for play. I also adore making games for children to play with.

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