Here are some awesome first grade math games that you can play with decks of cards! All of these games are addition math games. Two of the games use regular playing cards, and the other uses Uno cards.
My first grader REALLY enjoyed all of these games! It’s awesome when they can play a game and actually be memorizing math facts at the same time.
Game #1: Addition Challenge
This game is a simple challenge between partners.
Use a regular deck of cards, and remove the face cards and jokers. Give each player two full suits (well, minus the face cards). This way, each player is starting with an equal amount of cards, and they also have the same assortment of cards. Ace is worth 1.
Game play is quite simple. Each partner turns over two cards. They should turn over their cards at the same time as each other. Whoever has the larger sum gets to keep all four cards.
You can decide how long the game will last! You can just play until you’re tired of it, but a better idea might be to set a timer. Decide on a length of time for a round (4-5 minutes), and then when the timer goes off, each player can count their cards. The player with the most cards wins!
Game #2: Making Ten Match-Up
For this game, you’ll need a regular deck of cards. Remove the face cards, the jokers, AND the 10’s. You’ll be left with cards that perfectly match up to make sums of 10. Ace is worth 1.
Shuffle the deck and deal 5 cards to each person.
How to Play: At the start of your turn, match up any 10’s that you can make out of your hand. Start a face-down pile of matches of 10. (Ours are face up for the sake of the photo.)
Once you’ve made the 10’s you can, you may discard two cards in front of you. You’ll be able to use these later.
Now it’s the other player’s turn. They can make 10’s out of their hand. They can ALSO make 10’s by matching up a card from their hand with one of the cards that player #1 discarded.
Like player #1, player #2 will start a face-down pile of the 10’s they have matched up.
Player #2 will end their turn by discarding two cards in front of them.
Now it’s player #1’s turn again. Their turn starts by drawing however many cards they need to in order to have 5 in their hand again. They can make 10’s by using the cards in their hand, the two cards in front of them (that they discarded last time), or the cards that player #2 discarded.
Once all the cards have been used (they’ll match up evenly), the player with the most cards in their stack of 10’s wins!
Game #3: Uno Sums
The point of this game is to practice making the sums 1-18. It’s a great way to explore making sums in different ways (for example, 4 + 8 and 6 + 6 are both ways to make 12).
This game requires a little prep work in making the game board, but it’s so much fun! It’s also a great game for kids to play by themselves.
You will need one game board for each player. If you’re planning to have more than 2 players, you’ll need a second deck of Uno cards in order to have enough cards.
The game board is very simple to make. I cut a poster board in half. Then I made a cardboard pattern by tracing an Uno card. I used the pattern to trace 18 cards on the board. Then I outlined them with a Sharpie and numbered them.
How to Play:
To play this game, remove the special cards from the deck (the reverse, draw 2, etc.) but don’t remove the plain wild cards. Keep those. Shuffle the cards and deal 6 to each player.
During each turn, a player may play their cards anywhere on the board to create sums. If they use all 6 cards in one turn, they can draw 2 more.
Wild cards can become any number.
The first player to fill all the spaces on the board wins!
Or, make it a solitaire game! Give your child a deck of Uno cards and have them work to fill their game board by looking through the cards and creating sums. Much more interesting than a worksheet!
Need more first grade math games?
Here’s a Free Printable LEGO Math Pack that is perfect for first grade.
Take learning outside with these Sidewalk Chalk Math Games!
Evija Balode Nov 28, 2020
Thank you for many great ideas! We just started First grade and many math games with lego made math so much fun!
Jenjo Games Feb 12, 2021
Educational games and activities like these are perfect for making learning fun for kids. It helps them to cement their knowledge. Thanks for sharing these games, it's really helpful!
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