Stop the Summer Slide with 7 Free Math Games

Towards the end of the year, most teachers have a couple of things on their minds... First, how to survive the end-of-the-year chaos, and second, how to prevent the summer slide! If you're nodding your head in agreement, I've got a special treat for you. Today I'm sharing 7 FREE math games that are perfect for classroom and home use to address both of these dilemmas. 

Use math games like these to help your students retain everything they have learned in math this year over those long summer months away from school.

What is the 'Summer Slide'?

You've probably heard some of your colleagues complaining about the summer slide. This is a dreaded occurrence that can cause your students to "lose" a big chunk of what they learned throughout the school year due to a lack of practice over the summer. We all know that students need continued practice to maintain and expand on skills, so if they go all summer long without working their brains, it can be very problematic!

Stopping the Summer Slide

All year long we work hard to ensure our little learners get what they need to be successful. With engaging morning work, carefully planned small groups, and hands-on learning in centers - we've covered it all! But what happens in those final days as we're trying to wrap up the year? And even scarier... what happens once those kiddos are out of school?! How do we ensure the dreaded summer slide doesn't affect our kiddos?!

Math games are a great way to keep the learning going in a fun way all summer long.

If you've been wracking your brain for solutions, I've got you covered! I've created 7, low-prep math games that are not only simple and easy to use in a classroom setting, but perfect to send home for summer practice! These activities will help your students practice key math skills in a fun way over summer break. No more worries about your kiddos forgetting everything they've learned with these games! 

And best of all? They're FREE! Yes, you heard that right, these games are absolutely free for the taking! Let's take a closer look at what's included. 

1. Sweet Tic-Tac-Toe 

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Is there anything more quintessentially summer than ice cream? I don't think so, which is why my first math game has a fun ice cream theme to excite your students. In this activity, kiddos will work on place value in an engaging way. 

Use this sweet Tic-Tac-Toe math games set to help students practice place value.

This tac-tac-toe game is simple to prep - just print and go! Laminate for durability if you'd like, or simply pass them out and you're off to the races! To play, kiddos will use a paperclip to spin and read the number they rolled. Then, they search their board for the square that displays the matching number of base ten blocks. The player covers this square and then the next player spins. This continues until one player has three in a row! 

This game can also be played independently as tic-tac-toe, or "blackout". There are 4 versions included so you'll have plenty of options to use with your kiddos or send home for summer practice!

2. Addition Pool Party 

Summertime means it's time for a few days at the pool! This game will have your students practice 2-digit addition with multiples of ten using a pool theme they'll love. To prep these boards, print them on cardstock and laminate them or place them in a clear cover. Provide kiddos each with a game marker and 1 die per board. 

Get your kiddos in the mood to practice addition this summer with these summer math games set.

To play, students will roll the die and move that number of spaces. As they land on a space, they must complete the equation. If they correctly find the sum, they stay on the spot. If they are incorrect, they must go back to their original square. I've included an answer key for easy reference. I like to assign this game to a small group with a parent helper towards the end of the year. They can help check answers and facilitate the game with students. At home, parents can supervise and kiddos can play with a sibling or another family member. 

3. Chilly Addition and Subtraction 

Next up, let's practice mixed addition and subtraction for adding/subtracting one and ten. This is another board game-style activity that students can play with a parent at home or a partner at school. Each child gets a game marker of some kind and each group will need a die. 

This is a summer math games set your students will think is cool as they practice addition and subtraction.

To play, students take turns rolling the die and moving that number of spaces. Then, they complete the equation. After they solve it, they cover the matching popsicle in the middle of the game board with that number. If they answer incorrectly, they must go back and the next student gets a turn. Students will continue until all the popsicles are covered! 

4. Sweet Numbers Spin and Cover 

In this game, students will work with a hundreds chart to practice place value tens and ones. Each child needs 20-25 small markers such as buttons, small bingo chips, or tiny erasers. Each child's set should be the same color to ensure they can easily identify which markers are their own. You'll also need the printed game boards, as well as paperclips and pencils to use as a spinner. 

This sweet number spin and cover math game is perfect for kiddos to play with partners or small groups.

To play, the first student will spin one number from the tens spinner and one number from the ones spinner. They name their number and cover it on the hundreds chart with a marker. For example, if they roll a 7 and 0, they will cover 70 on the hundreds chart. This process continues, back and forth between players. If a player answers incorrectly, they lose a turn. Whoever has the most numbers covered at the end wins! 

5. Sandy Numbers 

This next game is a hands-on activity that I know you and your students will absolutely LOVE! Included with this game, you'll find a set of sandcastle number cards, number-building mats for tens and ones as well as hundreds, tens, and ones, and recording sheets. 

This sandy numbers math game gets kids excited to work with 2 and 3 digit numbers as they review math facts this summer.

To play, each child gets a number-building mat. You can decide if you want to work with 2 or 3-digit numbers and give them the correct mat. Each child also gets a recording sheet. All of the sandcastle number cards are mixed up, stacked into a deck, and flipped upside down. Students take turns drawing the correct number of cards (2 digits or 3 digits) and build the largest number possible on their mat. They record their number on their recording sheets. Then, they compare and see who's was larger. They color in the pail on their recording sheet to show who had the bigger number. The player with the most at the end of the page wins! 

6. Sweet and Sour Skip Counting Game 

Do your students need help reviewing skip counting before school is out for summer? If so, you'll love this next game! This game includes 18 playing cards, optional cardbacks, and a gameboard. Prepare the cards and game boards in advance and gather up 10-12 mini-erasers for each student. Each eraser set will need to be different for each child in every group so they can tell which ones are their own. 

Sweet and sour skip counting is fun and easy with this summer math game.

To play, players take turns drawing a card from the deck and finding the lemonade glass on the gameboard that continues the skip-counting sequence. They cover the number with their game marker and the next player goes. Playing continues until all cards are played. The player with the most covered lemonade glasses wins. 

7. Fishing Fun 

This last game is perfect for summer vacation and any fishing enthusiasts in your group! In this game, students will practice greater than, less than, and equal to. Each child gets a game marker and each group gets a die and gameboard. 

Fishing fun is the name of the game with this die and game board summer math game.

To play, students will take turns rolling the die, moving that number of spaces, and determining if the equation is missing the greater than, less than, or equal sign. If they answer incorrectly, they must go back and then the next player gets a turn. The first student to reach the end wins! 

How to Use These FREE Math Games 

The great thing about these free math games is that they're super versatile. I like to take the time to prep and laminate each one for classroom use before the end of the year. That way, I have some go-to math review activities on hand for when prep time is short towards the end of the year. Plus, they can be used again and again each year! 

Use free math games to stop the summer slide with your students this year.

I love using these for morning work, center time, and fun Friday games in my classroom. Each of them can be played with a partner, or independently for extra practice. I've also made sure to include both full-color and black-and-white games to allow for the most flexibility in your lessons. 

Send Games Home for Summer Practice 

My favorite way to extend the learning and prevent the summer slide is to send some of these games home with parents. I love to send home practice packets with no-prep worksheets for summer, but a few games like these are a great option too! Chances are, your students will be more excited about these than worksheets anyhow! 

Summer math games like these are perfect for parents too because they give students the opportunity to practice key math skills at home in a fun game-like way parents will love.

To do this, simply choose a few that require minimal prep such as numbers 1-4, and print them off for students. You can use the color versions, or use black and white options. Then, make sure each child gets a copy of the instructions page for each game. Tuck all of these items in a large mailing envelope and let parents know that you recommend choosing a game to play a couple of times per week to prevent the summer slide! Communicating to parents about the importance of continued practice over the summer is key to helping students to be successful! 

Grab These FREE Math Games 

Ready to get started? Grab these FREE Math Games here! Whether you decide to use them for classroom learning before summer break, at-home learning with parents, or both, I know you won't be disappointed! Grab your set of free math games for 7 different options to review important first-grade math skills such as place value, addition, subtraction, and more! 

Grab these FREE summer math games to use with your students this summer.

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Not ready for summer learning just yet? Pin this post on Pinterest so you remember to grab these summer math games when you're ready! 

Looking for fun ways to help your students stop the summer slide in math this summer? Check out these FREE summer math games you can give to your students to help them review and practice everything from addition to subtraction and more. Be sure to sign up to get your FREEBIES today! #thechocolateteacher #stopthesummerslidemathgames #freemathgames #freesummermathgames #summermathgamesforkids

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