I'm looking for K-8 math games that can be played with relatively few manipulatives, on a chalkboard, or done mentally, that people enjoy and recommend. It's for an afterschool, multi-grade level program I run... Any skills and age group would be fine,.

This game is for two players. It is great for practicing those facts!

You need:

1 copy of the game board
2 paperclips
2 different kind of place markers (beans, color rocks, small game pieces)

The first player takes the two paper clips and places each of them on a number (2-9) at the bottom of the board. That player than says the multiplication sentence (ex. 4 X 7=28) and places one of their markers on the product.

The second player then gets to move only one of the paperclips to make a new multiplication sentence. That player calls out the multiplication sentence and put on of their markers on the product.

Play continues as players move one of the paperclips making new multiplication sentences, calling out the fact, and marking the product. The first player with 4 of their markers in a row (up, down, or diagonal) wins.

If someone’s marker is already on the product, you must come up with a new multiplication sentence.

Paperclips can be stacked on top of each other for number sentences such as 8X8.

If all products are covered moving only one paperclip, both may be picked up and placed on new numbers.

My class plays "Jail" with addition, subtraction, and then eventually multiplication and division.

You need two teams-it's better if you have a classroom do it, but it could work with fewer.

two people come up front and you show them a flashcard. The person that gets it the fastest, wins-then decides whether to send the person from the opposing team to jail or free someone from their own team. Obviously if there's no one from their team in jail, they can't free anyone. They love deciding and sending other classmates to jail. We just set a designated area in the room for the jail area.

The first team that has everyone in jail loses. The kids catch on really quick and beg to play!

I have a simple one I play when we have an extra 5-10 minutes. I'm up front with 2 dice. Each student gets a piece of scratchpaper and writes B U S T across the top. It doesn't mean much, but we play one game under each letter.

I roll 2 dice and call out the 2 numbers I rolled. ("5, 3") Depending on your grade, you can either have the kids add, subtract, do one positive and one negative, multiply, etc. They jot down the answer as fast as they can in the first column (let's say "15"), and I roll again. I try to push the speed as fast at they can do it. If I roll doubles, the game ends and everyone loses the points they've gotten to that point. So the tricky part is that they have to anticipate when I'm going to roll doubles, and stand up to show they're freezing their score. Once they're up, they have to stay up. But if they're sitting when I roll doubles, they go bust and their score becomes 0 for that game. Then everyone who was standing up adds up their list of numbers and the one with the highest (or lowest if you're doing negatives) wins that round. With older kids, it can lead to a discussion of probability as well -- what are the possible rolls and how many of them are doubles? After how many rolls is it reasonable to get a little nervous about upcoming doubles?

All I do for a prize is let the winner hold my little stuffed dog toy from my desk during the next game. They're thrilled with that. I have 7th graders, but we've played a variation with 3rd graders, too. Nothing too tricky, and also not too openly competitive face to face, which I appreciate. No one is on the spot!

I use an ordinary pack of playing cards, take out the Jacks, Queens and Kings and make the Ace a "1". The children play the game like Fish. If they're holding an 8 they need to ask someone for a 2. If that person doesn't have it they "Go Fish."