Fun Math Games for 2nd Grade

Instructor: Felicia Landry

Felicia has a bachelor's degree in journalism and has been a writer for the past 23 years.

As part of the second grade curriculum, students are typically expected to master adding numbers, counting coins and telling time. Read on for some math games that allow students to sharpen these skills in a fun and engaging way.

Fishing for Tens

For this game you will need a deck of cards. The object of the game is for players to make pairs equaling 10 with the two cards.

  • Start by removing the tens, jacks, queens and kings from the deck. The ace equals 1. Each player gets five cards and the remaining cards are placed face down in the center.
  • The game is played by one player asking the other players for a card that would total 10 when added to a card already in their hand. If the player asks for a card that no one else has, he has to 'go fish' from the center pile.
  • The game is over when there are no more cards in the center. Should a player run out of cards before the game is over, he or she draws two new cards from the center pile to continue on in the game.
  • Once the game has ended, each player will show their pairs and check each other's math. Whoever has the most pairs of 10 wins the game.

Make Money Make 'Cents'

To play this game you will need pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters in either real coins or play money. You also need a die, paper and pencil.

  • Begin by taking turns rolling the die once per turn. Each dot on the die represents one cent. After their turn, have the player draw the number on the die as well as record each turn on the sheet of paper next to his or her name.
  • Players should circle the coins that they can trade for a larger coin when able. For example, a player can trade in five cents for one nickel if they have seven cents, they can exchange 10 cents for a dime, etc.
  • When making trades, the player should draw and record what the trade looks like. The first person to trade in their coins for a quarter is the winner.

Your students can get additional practice counting money by reviewing the lesson How to Skip Count. They can learn more about the value of coins through our Coins: Number Value & Letter Name lesson.

Minute Math: How to Estimate Time

This game will help children learn how to estimate the passing of a minute without a clock. The exercise of these activities will help them understand just how much can fit into 60 seconds.

  • Explain to students you will be timing them to see how many activities they can do in a minute. This can include jumping jacks, hopping on one foot, counting to ten or clapping their hands.
  • Review with the students how many seconds are in a minute. Tell the students when to start and stop counting, and using a clock or watch, time them for one minute as they count the number of jumping jacks.
  • Repeat this process while your students perform the other activities. When they can grasp the concept of elapsed time, have them attempt to guess when the minute is up.

For more helpful math resources, explore our Math for Kids course. Each chapter consists of brief text and video-based lessons designed to improve kids' math skills. Even better, the self-paced format makes it easy to stop and start lessons according to your schedule.

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