Addition Games

Old Main Game (#A4)

This game is spin off of the popular child’s game Old Maid. Rather than pairs being matching cards, pairs are two cards that add up to ten. This helps the children learn and practice their math facts. More importantly, this will provide an application for the newly learned facts.

For each player, use a set of cards from 1 to 9, making sure there is an equal number of 5s. Without looking, remove one card from the deck and set it aside. This will become the unmatched “dead end” card that is to be avoided. Deal all cards to the players. If someone has one more card than another, that’s just fine.

In turn, each person will pick a card from the player on their left. If the new card creates a match (two cards equally 10), they may lay down the pair. If not, the second person will pick a card from the person on their left. Play will go round and round until the one “dead end” card remains.

One mom says “I had my friend’s two daughters (6 and 9) over today for a couple of hours, and with my own two (5 and 8 ) I thought it would be a good time to play a math game. It’s our first one with the kids. We picked Old Main (where the pairs make 10).

“It was a pretty big hit. I cruised around helping a bit, and they played a few hands quite happily. I was particularly relieved that no one was upset to have the last (dead end) card. Instead, our emphasis went to “Oh, Hannah has the mystery match! Okay, so what must the mystery card be?” The older two shouted out what the missing card had to be, we flipped it over, they were happy, and we went on to the next hand.

“Abigail (6) was the cutest. As we first dealt the cards, she said, ‘My mom is starting to do math with me this year. Maybe this will help us learn something!’ Raised eyebrows, I said, ‘Imagine if that happened, how cool would that be?’”

Go to the Dump Game (#A3)

Another game that is dearly loved by children is Go to the Dump. This is the same format as the ever popular Go Fish game. If you would like to see the game in action, click here.

Matches are facts of 10 and players ask for matches to the cards they have in hand. If the requested card isn’t available, the player is sent to the “dump”, the stack of cards in the center of the group.

Dia writes, “Kodi and I played the Go to the Dump game. She got four 1s and then got the giggles so bad, she was crying! All she could ask was ‘Got a 9’? What a fun time to spend with her!”

How much fun is Dia having with her daughter? Do you think they’d have as much fun doing worksheets?

Another mom writes, “Today we played Go to the Dump. Pretty easy stuff for a 10 year old who’s finished Grade 6 math, right? Well, he asked to play it again THREE TIMES.”

Assessment Tool

Games also provide an assessment tool.

Sandi writes, “We are playing the Go to the Dump and Old Main. I want to let you all know that I love this program. My daughter loves it too. I like that in interacting with her during the games, I can see if she understands a concept or not and start addressing before frustration sets in. It is great to play games to let a concept set in and not have to drill or do worksheets over and over to try and understand something. RightStart™ is laid out exceptionally well.”

I like to equate math card games to hugs. You can’t hug your child too much; you can’t play enough math card games. So, go play a math card game!



  1. My kids love these games!!

Speak Your Mind