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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Fun math and money board games to play with grandkids

Oct 31, 2023 01:03PM ● By Kimberly Blaker

“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.” - Diane Ackerman

Looking for some fun games to play when grandkids come to visit that also serve a purpose? 

Math is one of kids’ least-loved subjects because it’s often an unpleasant experience of boring lessons, memorization and testing that isn’t always conducive to learning authentic information and understanding important concepts. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The following board games make learning math and money concepts more fun from preschool to high school. They’re also a fun way to spend quality time with grandkids.

Hi Ho! Cherry-o (Ages 3-6) is an excellent game for young children to naturally practice counting, addition and subtraction skills. The concept is simple as each player spins to see how many fruit pieces to pick or remove from their basket. 

Feed the Woozle
(Ages 3+) is a game for practicing preschool skills, including
counting up to 12 during silly and cooperative play. It offers three different play levels to challenge growing children as they work together to feed the Woozle. 

Sum Swamp (Ages 5+) helps players become more fluent in addition and subtraction as they try to safely cross the swamp. Special spaces like evens, odds and numbers add an extra challenge. 

Cloud Hoppers (Ages 6+) works on subtraction practice, starting at 50 then counting down, as players embark on a quest to help their alien get down to the ground. 

Buy it Right (Ages 6+) is a shopping game where players buy, sell and set prices for items using fake money that mimics real coins and cash. Players practice counting out change and learn the value of money during play, with different levels of difficulty possible.

Mathological Liar (Ages 6+) is a detective game where players solve mysteries using math. Each player gets a suspect card and must determine if the math in their alibi is correct. There are boxes for each grade level, from 2-6.

Three Sticks (Ages 8+) is a geometry game that operates in a similar way to Scrabble. Players take turns trying to create shapes on a board while using only two sticks of various lengths during each turn. 

Monster Sock Factory

(Ages 8+, but can be adapted for
younger players) is a game to introduce and practice multiplication and division concepts. Players try to determine how many socks to pack and ship from the factory for monsters with different numbers of legs. 

Monopoly (Ages 8+) deals with money and economic concepts. You buy properties, pay rent and manage your money as each player tries to take control. There are countless versions of this game to match a range of ages and interests. 

The Game of Life (Ages 8+) teaches how the choices we make affect our finances and life, while surprises can affect even the most well-thought-out plans. Players use practical math skills while learning about life-long economic impacts, helping kids think about their financial futures. 

Managing My Allowance (Ages 8+) teaches players about money management and budgeting. Players make choices about how to spend or save the money they earn. The game uses play cash for players to handle as they count out changes to their total and try to save money for college. 

Zeus on the Loose (Ages 8+) is a fast-paced math game using number cards to climb Mount Olympus and catch Zeus by getting the number total to a multiple of 10. Players use strategy, addition, and subtraction while managing other gods and goddesses’ effects along the way. 

Proof! (Ages 9+) is a game that works for a wide range of ages and abilities, depending on the players, to support mental math practice. The dealer lays down nine cards while players look at the cards to create an equation out of at least three available cards. It can be made more or less challenging with variations on the basic game and can even be played solo. 

The Stock Exchange Game (Ages 10+) teaches players about the stock market and related concepts during strategy-based play with three play levels for varying difficulty. The game uses play money and stock coins along with extras like world event cards that affect results. 

Prime Climb (Ages 10+)uses prime numbers, factorization, multiplication, and division along with strategy. Players roll the dice, move, and draw cards while navigating around other players to get both of their pawns to exactly 101.  


The idea of Monopoly as a game was originated by Lizzie Maggie of Brentwood, Maryland to illustrate the potential exploitation of tenants by greedy landlords. Maggie’s game was published in 1906 and called “The Landlord’s Game.”

In 1934, Charles Darrow created an enhanced version based on Maggie’s game, which he presented to executives at Parker Brothers, an American-based toy and game manufacturer. He was initially rejected, but after selling 5,000 homemade copies of the game, Parker Brothers reversed their decision and bought the game in 1935.

Since then, the game has been played by over one billion people, has local licenses in 111 countries and is available in 43 languages.