Looking for easy ways to review those tricky math facts without ending in tears? Use this simple, low-prep game to practice math facts with kids of any age and stage!
Are you constantly fighting negative attitudes or tears when it comes time to practice math facts? Whether you are a homeschooling parent, or helping your child with their homework, there are inevitably times when your child is reluctant. Or maybe you face this every single day. While it may be tempting to just plow through and get it done, that’s only going to exacerbate the problem. Instead, try taking a step back to evaluate where the frustrations are coming from. Is your child lacking confidence? Are they bored? Maybe you’ve been so stuck in a routine, it’s just not fun for anyone anymore.
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No matter the underlying issues, this post will give you a fun idea that can help increase your child’s math fluency, boost their confidence and have fun at the same time.
And the best part? You can use this with any age, to practice any math skill at all!
Tic Tac Math: A Fun Twist to Practice Math Facts
If you’re looking for a fun and simple way to play math together, create a Tic Tac Math game board.
Why Tic Tac Math? Well, it’s super simple to set up, and every child already knows how to play.
Once you’ve created a game, you probably won’t even have to explain the directions.
Setting Up Your Game:
Start by drawing a Tic Tac Toe board on a piece of paper.
Then write a math problem in each of the 9 boxes. This can be whatever type of math you’re currently working on. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, etc.
My son is working on addition within 20 right now, so I set up a game accordingly:
Then you’re ready to play!
Start by letting your child choose where they’d like to go. In order to win that space (and mark it X or O, or cover it with a counter) they must correctly solve the math problem.
If they don’t solve it correctly, they don’t get to play that round and it’s your turn.
You would then solve a problem and mark the space. Be sure to talk through it as you solve so you can model good problem solving strategies for them.
You might also provide a mini white board for them to write out steps, draw a picture or any other visual they need to solve the problem.
If you have two kids of different ages, you can write two different problems in each space and let them pick one of their problems in order to mark the space.
For example, you could have a single-digit addition problem and a 3-digit addition problem in each square. Then the younger child would complete the single-digit problem and the older child would complete the larger problem.
You could give the other player a calculator in order to check each other before they get to mark an ‘X’ or an ‘O’.
Continue taking turns until one of you gets three in a row!
It’s really that simple, and I bet your kids will love the competition. And if they’re really up for a challenge, let them design the next game board, and then play again!
Looking for a way to simplify the prep even more?
Download one of the Tic Tac Math apps in the iTunes app store!
Then your kids can practice any time, at home or on the go. Plus, they can play against each other, or the computer. And you’ll never run out of game boards.
Or if you don’t have an apple device (or just prefer pencil and paper games), you might like one of the Tic Tac Math ebooks full of reproducible game boards:
Again, this makes prep even easier, because the work is done for you. Just print and go!
Tic Tac Math Classic includes games with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division with whole numbers.
Tic Tac Math Fractions includes games with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division with fractions.
And Tic Tac Math Algebra includes games with linear, quadratic and exponential equations, as well as systems of linear equations.
Or try this Tic Tac Math Variety Collection, which covers tons of math concepts for grades K-8.
Both the printable ebooks as well as the apps include 3 levels of play: Easy, Advanced and Expert, meaning you can play these games with kids of all ages and abilities.
Looking for more easy math games to practice math facts? Check out these ideas:
Never Run Out of Fun Math Ideas
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Oh wow, I like the tic-tac math idea! We’ll be using that very soon. Thanks for the wonderful idea.
You are so welcome! I hope your kids love it!
Love the Tic-Tac-Math idea! Tried it with my daughter and she is doing integers so it was fun coming up with math problems for that board!
My peer developed a unit where I was able to
Purchase a tic-tac-toe game in support of one of her students and integrated it into my practicum. It was a great interactive game that allowed my students to talk about the math concepts they were learning about