quick and easy math game: strike it out!

strike it out I’m always on the hunt for ways to make math more fun over here, especially since math is not my forte.

So when Maddy came home with ‘play game with someone’ as her assignment one day a few weeks ago, I was all for it.

Mommy! I get to play a game for homework tonight! Let’s start it right away!!

Music. To. My. Ears.

And the more we played, the more I loved it. And the more we played, the more Owen wanted in on the fun and the more my husband wanted in on the fun.  (And I’m betting if there were jewels or glitter somehow involved, I could rope Cora in as well.)

Here’s the skinny:

  • Quick and Easy Math Game–Strike it Out: It’s called ‘Strike it Out’ but if you ask me, it’s far from a strikeout. Quick, easy, and a game to be played anywhere, even on the fly? Love it.

The premise is simple: players use the numbers on a number line to try to prevent their opponent from being able to make a move, and moves are made by creating addition or subtraction problems using the available numbers.

easy math game strike it out

1.  Start by drawing a number line from 0-20 like this:

easy math game strike it out 

2.  The first player chooses a number on the number line and crosses it out.   The same player then chooses a second number and crosses that out, too. Finally, he or she circles the sum or difference of the two numbers and writes down the calculation.

easy math game strike it out3. The second player must start by crossing off the number that player one has just circled.  He or she then chooses another number to cross out and then circles a third number which is the sum or difference of the two crossed-off numbers.  Player two also writes down the calculation.

easy math game strike it out

4.  Play continues in this way with each player starting with the number that has just been circled. For example, player one could then have a turn which would leave the game looking like this:

easy math game strike it out

easy math game strike it out

yes! there’s a typo: 20-4= 16 *yikes!*

5. The winner of the game is the player who stops his or her opponent from making a move.

Huge thanks to the 2nd grade team at our elementary school for ‘giving’ us this game!  I love, love, love it, and it’s become a sneaky way to get Maddy and Owen playing with numbers and practicing addition and subtraction.  These teachers are incredible, and we are so thankful.


If you want Strike it Out as a quick and easy printable (with a few blank number lines to use!), it’s here as a pdf: Strike it Out!

Nothing like a game like this to play while waiting in lines, at doctor’s offices, restaurants, or the like!




  1. says

    fun! always looking for fun creative ways to practice basic facts! btw, any ideas for teaching divisibility rules–’cause you won’t BELIEVE what came home from school :(

    • amy says

      OH. MY. GOSH. Dana, seriously? How about you figure out something for divisibility rules and then help me? Sorry, girlfriend. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. :) Buena suerte!!

  2. Brandy says

    LOVE the game. Cora sounds like my Jeb. I can rope him into anything if it has a sword or cars or legos involved. Ha!

    Here’s a game Annabelle and I like to play that is similar, but not really: It’s called Euclid’s Game. All you need is a hundred’s chart. We also like playing Nim. It is AMAZING what all both of us have gleaned from playing this game (Euclid’s game) and it’s not just subtraction The patterns and algorithms are so fun to see. Save your game boards so you can compare and contrast what is happening. Seriously, it fun. Here is a site with instructions. So totally easy! We use a game board that has 4 hundreds charts on one page so we can see patterns in math that evolve.


    http://letsplaymath.net/2007/11/12/hundred-chart-nim/ (this game is fun because it involves strategy…which we love around here!)

    • amy says

      BRANDY! I love you for so many reasons. Thank you thank you thank you for sharing Euclid’s Game (similar but not really!) and the Hundreds Chart Game. I cannot wait to try these with Maddy and Owen. You are so totally awesome. xoxoxo

  3. says

    Does your daughter do the Everyday Math curriculum? I taught second grade, and I feel like this was one of their games. I love, love, love Everyday Math, and of course I had to supplement and make my own materials based on class/individual needs, but as a whole, it was my favorite math program. I still have some of my materials and have been saving them for my kids. By nature, I am not math-inclined, but I actually enjoy teaching math more than reading. I wonder why that is!

    • amy says

      Micaela–I’m not sure. I can ask her teacher, though–now I’m curious. That’s so interesting that you enjoy teaching math more than reading!! If you’re up for sharing something that works for your kiddos, let me know!! I need all the help I can get! :)

  4. says

    fun and easy math game | teach mama is a fantastic illustration for article advertising. Article marketing is the particular method of writing and submitting articles for the main goal of integrating anchor backlinks to your website and it is one of many quickest and most effective link building methods around the world.

  5. Robin says

    Wonderful idea for my bright math girl. Thanks for sharing. Smiles… 20-4=16. Looked like there was a typo: )


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