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2nd Grade Math games and math puzzles are great ways for students to work on second grade math concepts through hands-on activities, specifically, through my favorite type of activity, MATH PUZZLES.

In this post, you’ll find examples of 2nd grade math games {puzzles} that incorporate spiral math review of all 2nd grade common core math skills, along with social studies and science content integration.

If you’re a 3rd grade teacher, you can find the THIRD GRADE blog post here.


Boredom Led to These 2nd Grade Math Games

I HATE when people use this word BUT…DARE I SAY IT….I get BORED easily from doing the same lessons/activities year after year, so I’m always looking for ways to add more engagement in my classroom, while keeping up with the rigor of the standards.

Student Engagement and rigor are two words that describe my teaching philosophy. I love love love incorporating math games into my daily math routine to hit that student engagement box!

…buuuuut after using the SAME math centers and math games YEAR AFTER YEAR, I knew I needed to shake it up a bit and do something different..for my sake AND for the kid’s sake! That’s when I came up with this twist on math games for my 2nd grade classroom. Seriously so excited to share these with you!!

2nd Grade Math Games that Integrate Other Content Areas

Okay let’s be real…there’s never enough time to teach everything that needs to be taught, especially for everything that’s required of us nowadays. I’m always looking for ways to integrate science and social studies into MATH and ELA..like many other teachers! We barely have enough time during the day to fit all the 1.3487 thousand things we have to teach, so when we can tie in a little social studies or science into our math lessons, we’re gonna do it! Am I right?!!

math games and math puzzles for second grade

Spiral Review Math Games for 2nd Grade Math Skills

This idea came to me in the middle of the night, as all of our best teaching ideas do, and ever since that night my brain wouldn’t turn off, I’ve been creating several monthly spiral math review units for it! I call it… UNLOCK THE FACT. I created a 2nd grade version and a 3rd grade version. I’ve loved using these hands-on math games during my Guided Math rotations. My students have been excited about revealing new facts during math stations!

Math Games Align with 2nd Grade Common Core

The math skills included in the units are all aligned to the common core. The common core standards are placed in the upper left corner of each puzzle. This allows teachers and admin to easily identify the skills and standards. This is the perfect “proof” that answers the question…”Are you teaching the standards?” “Why yes…yes I am.” 🙂

Self-Correcting Math Puzzles

One of my favorite things about these puzzles is that they are self-correcting. #AllTheHalleluiahHands

Students will have to determine if the fact revealed makes sense and sounds right! See what I did there…integrating a bit of reading for meaning & comprehension. If the fact DOES NOT make sense, look right, or sound right, the students will remove the puzzle strips that look out of place and solve the problem again.


Another teacher said, “Umm… these are SERIOUSLY AWESOME! I am always looking for fun, engaging math activities to add to centers (that won’t make me lose my mind to prep). These are awesome, and low prep. My kiddos are going to love these! I cannot say enough about these. I’ve never seen any other items quite like them out there, and these are so cool! I’ll be adding them to my classroom right away!”


Due to the puzzles being self-correcting, this means I’m able to meet with my guided math groups while the other students in the room are engaged and working quietly during their math games or math stations rotation.

How Do These Math Games Work?

First, students answer the math problems or math facts on the cards. Next, they put the puzzle together by ordering the answers from least to greatest. If done correctly, an INTERESTING FACT is revealed!

Here’s a short video from my Instagram stories where I talk about and show you examples from the 3rd grade March edition or go ahead and keep scrolling to see step by step images on how this works.

Step 1: Print the Math Puzzles

The prep for this resource is super low, which is one thing I love about it! And once it’s fully prepped, you’ll be able to use it year after year.

First, print the puzzles on colored paper or cardstock. I use astrobrights colored paper.

In this next step, I place each puzzle in a basket along with a dry erase marker. These baskets are wonderful and they were super cheap. I bought them from the Dollar Tree…3 baskets came in one set. I think I purchased 7 sets, for a total of 21 baskets! Such a good deal, right?!!

Step 6: Answering the Math Problems

Here’s where the student work begins. The students answer all 9 questions in random order. Using a thin dry erase marker, students will write the answer in the rectangular or square box. Below is an example from my 3rd Grade Camping Themed Activities Unit.

Step 7: Arrange the Strips in Order

After your students have answered all 9 questions, next they will put the puzzle strips in order from LEAST to GREATEST. If they have answered the problems correctly, and have placed the numbers in order correctly, an INTERESTING FACT will be revealed!

I LOVE being able to tie in so many skills at once! {solving the spiral math problems on the card PLUS ordering the numbers from least to greatest.

BAM. Two math skills in one.

Accountability for Math Puzzles

Next, I hold my students ACCOUNTABLE for everything so I have them record their answers on the recording sheet. I don’t grade these because I already have 2.1 million papers to grade, instead, I have my students check their answers using the answer keys provided in the file.

Final Step: Write the Fact {Optional}

Sometimes I have my students keep track of their facts in the “Unlock the Fact” booklet. It’s fun to have your own little booklet filled with fun facts, plus it’s an easy way to sneak in a little writing! Parents enjoy seeing the booklet, too! Alternatively, you can have your students write their facts in a math journal or writing journal. I like using the booklet. Some teachers don’t have their students write the facts at all—it’s completely up to you if you want to add in that component.


Printable Cut and Paste Option

There’s also a printable cut and paste option included in the bundle as well! I like to use both the laminated math centers option and the printable option in my classroom. It’s nice to switch it up sometimes! Some teachers use the printable version for interactive notebooks, morning work, math warm-ups, for a sub, and even for homework.

Below is an example of a page from my 3rd Grade unit.

Examples from March Unlock the Fact Unit



Examples from the February Unit

I hope you enjoy this twist on 2nd grade math games. It’s something different to incorporate into your classroom to shake it up a bit and engage your students even more! If you’re interesting, you can purchase the 2nd or 3rd grade bundle below.

Click here to purchase 2nd Grade.

Click here to purchase 3rd Grade.