17 Maths Warm Up Games

Some maths warm up games and ideas that I have used over my time teaching maths to get you started for the new year, hope they are of some use!

1) Shoot the Sheriff

Children stand back to back and take five paces. You fire a question, first one to turn and shoot the other with the correct answer wins. Winner stays on, how many in row can they win? Children could ask questions.

2: Splat

Write around 10 numbers on the board. Two players stand in front and you ask a question, first one to find the answer and splat it by covering it up is the winner. Add decimals and negatives for more challenge. Winner stays on.

3. Related number facts

Write one number on the board. Children work in pairs to write all the facts they can think of about the number eg factors, multiples, halves, doubles, addition and subtraction facts, squares, roots.

4. Countdown Numbers

A classic, children work in pairs or solo on whiteboards. 10 points for spot on, 9 for one away, 8 for two a away etc. Tip: get them to write out the 75 times table first. Online version here that are always solvable here: https://t.co/Saz7eyc1qj

5. Countdown Fractions

Same principle, but more challenging! Difficulty can be set by level. https://t.co/jkf3yqRsZR

6. Broken Calculator

Can children make the target numbers using any certain keys on the calculator? Eg just a 5, 3, 2 and a +, x and =. Good starting point here:


7. Transum Starter of the Day

Great problem solving starters for Y5/6. All topics covered, one for every day of the year. https://www.transum.org/Software/SW/Starter_of_the_day/

8. Area Challenge

Can the children complete the grid by working out which boxes go where to fill it, given the area of each box? Five different grids to try. https://www.transum.org/Maths/Puzzles/Area_Wall/default.asp

9. Number Bingo

Children choose 6 numbers from a twenty number range. Teacher says a question and children cross out if they have the answer.

10. Traffic Jam

Aids problem solving and forward planning skills. Can they move the red car out if the traffic jam by moving the others around? https://m.coolmathgames.com/0-parking-panic

11. Back to Back

Prepare pre drawn shapes or pictures using shapes. Children sit back to back one has picture and one has whiteboard. Children with pic has to describe it to their partner. When finished look and see how accurate. Encourages language like opposite, diagonal etc.

12. Four a Day

One addition, subtraction, multiplication and division calculation to solve. Can give three sets of questions for different levels of challenge.

13. Kim’s Game

Write ten number facts of the board eg 3 x 8 =24, 7 is the third prime number, a hexagon has 6 sides and give the children 2 minutes to memorise. Take one away and get children to write down which fact disappeared. Remove one every 30 seconds.

14. Multiplication Grid

Children have a grid with numbers 1 – 36 on, two dice and coloured counters. Children roll dice and cover up the answer to the two dice multiplied together. Whoever had most counters at end is winner. Use 9 sided dice and bigger grid for more challenge.

15. Number Slide

Draw pentagon with circles on corners. Draw another circle in middle, connect to all others. Num 1-6 in circles, random order. Chn start at 0, take turn to slide around adding the number they slide to. Can’t go back to prev num. Chd who makes it show 25+ loses.

16. Calculator Countdown

Start displaying 50. Children take it in turns to take off a number from 1-9. Whoever makes it show zero is the winner.

17. Odd One Out

Write three numbers in the board. Children have to find the odd one out and give a reason why.

Published by @secretHT1

Primary HT. Using this as a space to write honestly and freely about the state of education currently.

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