First Grade Math Games to Teach Basic Skills


Photo Courtesy - Cheryl

When your first grader is just starting to learn math, he needs as much practice as he can get. Here are two easy games that teach counting, sorting, number recognition and other basic math skills. Easy to put together and fun to play - what more could you want out of a first grade math game?

You will need
• 10 plastic jars or small containers that are safe to play with
• Craft foam in different colors or sandpaper.
• Glue or tape
• Scissors
• A large quantity of small objects such as die, beads, marbles, buttons, tiny toy cars, etc. Try and use as many kinds of objects as you can.

• Cut out the numbers 1-10 from the craft foam or sandpaper and glue them onto the tops of the jars.
• Fill the jars with small objects corresponding to the number on top. If you’re adapting this first grade math game for a younger child, make sure the objects in each jar are the same color. For older kids, you could try and put a variety of colors or types of objects in each jar.

First Grade Math Game # 1 – Learning Numbers
Note – If your child has mastered the numbers 1-10, use bigger ones instead.
Take a jar and ask your child to trace his fingers on the number on top, the way he would write it. Have him say the number out loud and spell it. Next, ask him to tip the contents out and count them back into the jar, calling out each number as it goes in. Tip the contents out again and help him arrange them in different patterns on a table. Show him that regardless of how the objects are arranged, their number remains the same when you put them back into the jar.

First Grade math Game # 2 – Sorting and Classifying
Tip out the contents of 3 jars and have your child sort and classify them into groups; encourage him to use categories like color, shape, type, etc. Once he’s done, ask him to count them back into their respective jars. If your child is advanced for his age or loves a challenge, tip out the contents of all 10 jars together on the table. Now, challenge him to sort them out correctly, if he can.

These first grade math games can be tweaked to suit the learning needs of different ages. We would love to know how you used them!


I am an assistant teacher and my aim is to curate unique learning tips and techniques customized towards kids.

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