There are thousands of math games available free online. Here at Math Chimp we take pride in posting the best games we can find. By listening to the thousands of students that have played games on Math Chimp, we’ve learned a lot about what our players enjoy and what makes a great educational math game.
Finding games that are classroom-ready isn’t an easy task. Here are our secrets for finding the best math games online.
Early in Math Chimp’s history, we were happy to post any math-related games we could get our hands on. Nowadays we’re more picky about the games we post. There are three game attributes that we think make an enjoyable educational experience: true educational value, a simple plotline, and age-appropriate game play.
1) Educational Value
A great math game is built on a foundation of math skills and practice. There are literally thousands of free online math games out there and many are incredibly engaging. But if the game doesn’t espouse mathematics, then we have to pass. Lee Briggs explains it well in his blog Tales From a 21st Century Teacher.
2) Simple Plotlines
Here at Math Chimp we’re not looking for the next epic game. Rather, we view games as a tool for practicing math skils. Simple plot lines keep the player focused on math — which is the point after all. On the other hand, complex plot lines take time to absorb, distract the player from core math practice and typically require multiple game sessions. If a game keeps the player involved and focused on math, then we think it has great potential.
3) Age-Appropriate Game Play
Games with simple mouse movements are better for younger students. But games requiring hefty mouse activity are better for older students who have the physical dexterity to move the mouse quickly and accurately. In essence, a game requiring mouse-mastery doesn’t make much sense for a 1st grader working on addition.
Let us know if you find games that you think meet our three secrets of great online math games! Send us a link at email@example.com or DM us on Twitter. We’ll be happy to post it here at Math Chimp and we’ll include your name or Twitter handle on our homepage if you’d like!