Math Card Game to Teach Fractions

Kids practice fractions with a simple math card game

My oldest son is a math nerd and I’ve previously shared some of the math based card games we play, like Tens Go Fish  and Make Ten.  Last year, my son began to learn about fractions in school. To reinforce his learning and also for fun (because we are nerdy), we’ve been playing a simple math card game called “Reduce It!” Reduce It helps kids recognize which fractions can be reduced (you probably figured that out already, you’re so smart) and gets them practicing simple division skills.

What You Need:

A deck of cards with face cards (Jack, Queen, Kings) removed.

How To Play:

1. Shuffle cards and deal out the entire deck between 2 players, face down.

2. Each player turns over his or her top card and places it in the center of the table. The numbers create a fraction, with the smaller card as the numerator and the higher number as the denominator. (Aces count as 1) For example, if the cards are 4 and 8 the fraction is 4/8.

3. As soon as the cards are revealed, players quickly determine if the fraction can be reduced. For example 4/8 can be reduced to 1/2.

4. As soon as a player determines if the fraction can be reduced, he slaps the cards and calls out “Reduce it!” The first player to correctly slap the cards and reduce the fraction gets to keep the cards, adding them to the bottom of his pile to be played again later. If the player is incorrect, the other player gets to keep the cards.

5. If the fraction can not be reduced, players continue to add new cards until a they form a new fraction that can be reduced. The player who wins that hand gets to keep all the cards.

6. When one player has collected all the cards, the game is over.

Tips for Playing:

Determine ahead of time if a player can slap the cards and call out “reduce it!” either when he recognizes a fraction can be reduced or not until he figures out the reduced fraction.

Since the purpose of playing the game was to practice reducing fractions, it made sense for me to let my son take his time to figure out the reduced fraction after he called out “reduce it!” I let him take as much time as he needed to figure out that 4/8 = 1/2 after slapping the cards. He got a big smile on his face every time he recognized a reduce-able fraction before I did. That lent him confidence and encouraged him to do even better.

We found this wonderful fraction game in the book, Fabulous Fractions: Games, Puzzles, and Activities that Make Math Easy and Fun (this is an affiliate link), which includes all sorts of DIY fraction games at a variety of skill levels.

 I’m rejoining the After School Linky with several other bloggers. Long time fans (kiss kiss) may remember I was an After School co-host when it first started up a few years ago. I’m pleased to be back. This also means that every Tuesday I will be posting a learning activity I’ve been doing with one or both of my boys. This year I have a kindergartener and a third grader. (My how time flies.)

snap 1 from lessons learned journal

Last week’s linky included another math card game from Lesson’s Learnt Journal: Snap +1. It’s perfect for kids learning to recognize and count numbers (i.e. kids whose knowledge of fractions is years away!)


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  1. teachingyoungchildren says:

    Great to be coming back together :) Love this game, will definitely try it at home.

  2. Clever, clever, clever. I love math games for kids- I feel like more kids would like math if half the class was spent on math games. Hmmmmmm

  3. What a great game. I love games that you can use regular decks of cards for. My son would love this game. I’m sending him over to learn how to play. He’s not doing fractions just yet, but I still think he would love to learn to play this game.

  4. We’re just starting to talk about fractions with our 5yo daughter, so this is perfect timing! Thank you for sharing. :-)

  5. This sounds like a game my kids will eventually enjoy, but subtraction is still a struggle in my house. I need to invest in some math games!

  6. This is a great game idea. Loving this link group! Thanks for hosting and have a great weekend.
    ~Cool Mom/Christine M.
    Tech Support for Stanley & Katrina

  7. I just love all your games posts. This is a great one for pulling out when my daughter’s ready for it. Thanks so much for sharing!

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