Mental Math Game


This is my most favorite mental math game. I shared it awhile ago and you guys loved it!


You can use this game with random facts, addition, subtraction, times tables or all of the above! All I do is get popsicle sticks and write start on the first stick and then I write down the facts on each stick with the answer  to the previous problem on the end of the stick.  I give my students a timer and give them one minute ( or a different time based on the ability of the student.) It is an instant workstation or can be used for independent practice.

mental math game

You can use this strategy not only with math but with language arts also. You can add nouns, verbs, and adjectives or math facts! I make this for almost every concept we study. When you use them for language arts it takes a little longer because they must figure out the exact order they go in depending on the skill. I get creative with the skills so I am sure you will too!


For the higher students give them a shorter time frame and for the lower kids give them a longer time frame. I have even had them keep track of their time and try to beat it every time as they play this game over and over in their workstation. The repetition will have them mastering those facts in no time!


Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 5.50.00 PM

Next up on the blog hop is Corinna from Surfing through Second Grade! Be sure to check her out!


  1. 1

    What a clever idea! It’s so quick and easy and I love that it could be used for any subject. I have some very large hourglass timers that would be perfect to use with these. My kiddos will love it, thanks so much for sharing such a bright idea!

  2. 3

    This is such a great idea! I love how versatile it is. Older kids could make their own to review a unit or concept. Thanks for sharing!

  3. 5
    Monica Mitchell says:

    I can’t wait to do this with my resource class.

  4. 6

    Interesting. I could see this being very useful if you really planned meaningful ways to use it in language arts! Thanks for sharing this tip!

    Buzzing with Ms. B

  5. 8

    Super Clever, Jenaya!!!!!! Thanks for sharing!

  6. 10

    I guess I’m missing something, are the sticks glued, or how do they stsy in order?

  7. 12

    Hi, love this idea – so the students solve the answers and put the sticks in the correct order. What are the numbers on the end for? You arrange them in that order then the students rearrange them? Looks slightly confusing but I guess students get the point with practice. How would you use the language ones?

    • 13
      The Lesson Plan Diva says:

      The numbers on the end are the answers. The kids love them and use them all of the time. Once you teach them how to use them they get it. Language Arts is the same way put the answers on the end and the questions on the stick.


  1. […] Lesson Plan Diva shares instructions for creating a mental math sticks game. I can’t wait to try this activity during our lesson […]

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