Many parents and teachers would agree that teaching math to children can be tricky. It takes lot of effort just to get them interested in the subject, and then there’s the problem of teaching them different concepts in a relatable way. However, if math is taught in a fun way, all of this can take a back seat. Rather than sitting them down with books, incorporating games and other everyday activities can help children learn math more quickly and effectively.

Children enjoy playing games, and one of the basic games that can teach them many different primary mathematical concepts is cards. Yes, you read that right! A deck of cards is an excellent tool for teaching your child arithmetic, from basic addition and subtraction to advanced decimals. The best part about using card games to teach math is that your child will learn how to apply the concepts in real life. And as a result, they will also understand and apply math more effectively in their classroom.

1Card games can be played in a variety of ways, each of which can be used to explain math concepts. However, besides math, card games can also teach your children essential skills, such as critical thinking, logical reasoning, and quick thinking. They are also known to improve memory, boost confidence, and enhance fluency.

Since card games are so beneficial, this article will explain how you may utilize the deck of cards you have at home to teach math to your children.

Games and Activities With Cards That Help Children Learn Math Better1,2

As mentioned, a deck of cards can be used to play a variety of games. However, if you are trying to teach math to your child, you should make it enjoyable. Furthermore, you do not have to limit your child to playing games; you can assign simple activities to your child using cards that need math application. This will be easy and fun. Also, you don’t have to spend your time explaining the rules.

  • Card Sorting

Card sorting is an easy and fun activity to teach your child to count numbers. You can ask them to sort the cards either by numbers or by colors, and then assist them while they are on it. Just lay all the cards on a surface and make sure to help only when they are stuck.

This activity is especially effective if your child has trouble remembering numbers. In the beginning, they might be slow at sorting the cards, but their speed will increase with multiple attempts. Furthermore, doing this activity over and over will also make them remember better. To avoid making this activity boring for your child, switch up how you sort the cards by color. 

  • Arranging Cards

Teach your child the concepts of ascending and descending with the help of cards. Explain the terms “ascending” and “descending” to them first , and then have them arrange the cards accordingly. Be an invigilator while they do it, and help them out when needed. With this activity, not only will they enjoy arranging the cards, but they will also do better in their math class.

Arranging the cards in a particular order will teach your child to identify the values of the numbers. They will be able to quickly grasp which number is small or big, which is the basis for solving mathematical problems. 

  • Card Lineups

Basic calculations is the next lesson that children learn after they learn about numbers and their values. While the previous two activities focused on numbers, letting your child indulge in lining up cards will teach them calculations. There is no one way to do this activity; you can simply ask your child to line up the cards that add up to a certain number, such as 10, and see what happens. Subtraction can also be used in place of addition in the calculation.

For this activity, start with small numbers to add and then move up to big numbers and the comparatively complex subtraction. If your child is older, you can even use this game-like activity to teach multiplication and division.

  • Finding Patterns

With advanced mathematics having geometry concepts, it is better to keep your child in the loop about shapes and patterns from an early age. This activity with cards precisely focuses on teaching your child about patterns. Start by letting them explore the different shapes present in a deck of cards. After that, encourage them to identify each of the patterns. Explain to them about the different shapes and get them involved if they find it difficult or uninteresting.

Once your child can identify all the patterns, you can level up the activity by asking them to find similar patterns. For example, shuffle a set of cards and place them upside down. Then ask your child to randomly guess the patterns in the card and find similar ones. This activity can help your child develop the skill of quick thinking without them knowing it. 

  • Seek the Product

An important math activity in early childhood is learning timetables. It is one of those elementary topics that come in handy throughout your life. Thus, teaching timetables to your children is highly essential. While children might not like studying and learning timetables from books, this activity can teach them the same thing in an interesting manner.

Seek the product is an easy-to-understand duo or team game. All your child needs to do is flip two cards from a line of cards kept upside down and multiply the numbers. Whether in a group of two or multiple players, whoever gets the highest number gets to keep the four cards. Play a series of rounds, and whoever has the most cards at the end wins the game. Remember to remove the action cards before the start of the game.


Math is a practical subject that, when taught properly, can be very interesting. Apart from the concepts taught in the games mentioned above, cards can also be used to introduce topics like fractions, decimals, and probability to children.3 You only need to be a bit creative in coming up with math-related activities that will keep your child engaged.

If you benefitted from reading this article, do let us know in the comments. For more creative ways to teach children math, visit the BYJU’S FutureSchool blog.

110 ways playing cards helps children with maths | TheSchoolRun. (n.d.). Retrieved April 7, 2022, from
2Math Games with a Deck of Cards. (n.d.). Retrieved April 7, 2022, from
3Here are some fun math games your children can play using just playing cards. (n.d.). Retrieved April 7, 2022, from or

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