By contributing writer Marci

Flash cards might seem old school, but they are very effective teaching tools. These simple, portable cards are great for memorizing facts and can be used on your own or in a group.

Another benefit of flash cards is their flexibility. Of course, you can use them the traditional way, or you can play games with them. Here are some fun flash card math games to try with your kids.

### The Stair Game

This can be done with one or more students. Start at the bottom of the stairs. Each student gets the opportunity to answer a flash card. They go up one stair for every right answer and go down one for every wrong answer. The first student to the top or to the top and down again wins or play until a single student reaches one of those goals.

**Option:** You can use this as a speed drill with 2 or more students competing against each other and have the winner go up one stair. Winner gets to the top first.

### Sum It Up

This is a fun game for more than one student or with a parent and a child. Divide flash cards evenly between all players. Each player solves the problems on his or her flash cards and keeps track of their answers on a piece of paper. Players total up the numbers on their paper and the highest total wins.

### Make Math Families

Give the student a stack of multiplication flash cards and a stack of division flash cards. Their job is to match up the multiplication card with their corresponding division cards and make math families. **Example:** Match 6×7 with 7×6, 42÷6, and 42÷7.

### Model It

This game is especially good for young learners. Give the student a flash card, then give them a manipulative such as Legos, candy, or beads. Let them represent the equation on the flash card with the manipulatives. If the equation is 2 + 3, the student should have a group of 2 items and a group of 3 items. This lets the students “see” the math. They can find the answer by counting. This is great for moving from concrete to abstract thinking.

### Match Game

Write the answers to the flash cards on index cards and scatter them on the table or floor. The student’s job is to match the flash cards with the answers.

What flash card games do you like to play with your kids?

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