math game oh snap summer learning at home

Oh Snap! Math Games

oh snap math games summer learning

Teachers and other learning professionals often recommend reading and practicing math facts during the summer break in an effort to stop the “summer slide.” You could pick up some workbooks or pull out the flash cards, but those aren’t your only options for math facts practice! Why not play games instead?

For more ideas about summer experiences you can do while learning at home with your kids, visit the main page, Charter a Summer of Learning.

Oh Snap! As a Math Game

I learned “Oh Snap!” as a game to practice sight words. It’s a fun, quick game that you can make at a home in a short amount of time and is easily adaptable to other subjects. You will need popsicle/craft sticks, a pen to write on them (I found that Sharpie bleeds and makes the writing illegible) and a small, opaque container to store the sticks. Since this is a homemade game, you get to determine which skill(s) you want your child to practice by playing.

The game can be played with two or more players. Players draw one stick during each turn. Once drawn, the player reads what is written on the stick and provides the answer. If the answer is correct, the player keeps the stick. If the answer is incorrect, the player returns the stick to the container. If the player draws an “Oh Snap!” stick, he must put all his sticks back in the container and the game continues with the next player’s turn. The game is played until all the sticks have been drawn. The player with the most sticks wins.

Math Games for Different Ages

For preschool children, write a number on one end of each craft stick. Each player will state the name of the number written on the stick. This a great, no- stress way to practice number recognition with young children.

This game can be used to practice math facts with elementary children. Write a math fact on each stick using one of the four operations (2+5, 6-4, 3×2, etc). You may want to make a game for each operation and practice the skill your child learned most recently. However, playing with different types of facts can be good for students who have learned all four operations but need an occasional refresher or a reminder to look at the signs!

“Oh Snap!” is an easy to create and flexible option for teaching a variety of skills. Many more options are available online at

Both free and paid content are available. Prodigy is a free, adaptive math game for students in grades 1–8. I often assign Prodigy to my math students for homework. Math games for tweens and teens can be found at

Math games such as “Oh Snap!” are a great way for your child to practice math skills and have some fun at the same time. Why not spend some time playing math games with your child this summer?

For more ideas about summer experiences you can do while learning at home with your kids, visit the main page, Charter a Summer of Learning.

About the Author

Vicki Leach is the owner-operator of Tutorsaurus Rex, which focuses on reading and math tutoring for K–5 students. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, hanging out with her family, and playing various games.


Jun 05 2020


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