Long before the fidget spinner, was the board game spinner that we used to make our way through a game board. Using a spinner was and still is a great way to strengthen fine motor skills, practice number identification, build number sense, and be a part of a probability experiment without even knowing. Including Math spinner games in your Math center is a low-prep way to practice so many different Math skills!
You can use spinners from old board games, an interactive spinner on a smart board, or click here to make and print your own spinner to use with a paper clip.
Have you ever bought anything at the store and you had no idea what you’d do with it but knew you’d come up with something? That is just what I did with these spinners at the local dollar store (4 for $1). There are SO many ways you can have so much fun learning with these spinners.
Spin and Hop
Spin and then hop, step, or roll that many times. Set up a finish line with sidewalk chalk or painters tape and see how many spins it takes to get to the end.
Spin and Build
Put a pile of blocks on the floor and count out or stack how many you spin. Is it hard or easy to balance that many blocks? Try to spin and add to the structure. How many spins did it take until your block tower falls?
Spin and Match
Put dots or pictures on cards and find the card that matches the number you spin. This activity encourages counting and number sense. When you collect all of the cards, you win! You can use any type of sticker or stamp to make these cards.
Spin and Find
Make a color spinner using the printable spinner and find a toy or card in the room that matches the color you land on. This is a fun activity to take on the go while you are waiting. Spin and spy something in the room that is that color. It’s a fun variation of I-Spy.
Spin and Record
Make a color spinner. Spin and record what color you land on. See which color has been landed on the most after 10 spins. This is an opportunity for graphing, analyzing results, and working with combinations of 10.
Spinner Math Games
Greater or Less Than
Spin two spinners (or spin the same spinner twice) and figure out (using blocks if needed) which number is lower or higher, more or less, greater than or less than.
Spin Down the Number Line
Draw or print a number line. Use a small animal, peg doll, or Lego character to race down the number Line. Start at 0. Spin and move that many spots on the number line. Cross the finish line (10 or 20 depending how long the number line is) to win.
Make a huge number line inside or outside to spin and hop down. You can use sidewalk chalk, painters tape, or a long piece of butcher paper to make a life size number line.
Spin and Add a Tally Mark
Spin the spinner and write that many tally marks on your paper. Decide on a winning amount (10, 20, or 50). The first player to collect and write that many tally marks is the winner.
Addition and Subtraction Games
Spin two spinners, count out blocks for each number and add or subtract them. Write the addition problem or subtraction problem on a recording sheet.
Use three spinners or spin the spinner three times to make the biggest three-digit number you can. The player with the biggest number gets a point. This is a fun game for a small group in Math stations. This variation can also be done with two digit numbers or four digit numbers depending on which place value concept you are working on.
These printable math games are some that we have used with dice in the past, but they can also be used with a spinner to practice addition and subtraction.
Use two spinners, multiply the two numbers together. The player with the highest sum gets a point. After 10 rounds, the player with the most points wins. You can also use this game to subtract or add depending on which of the basic operations you are working on.
Practice multiplication facts by always multiplying the number you spin by a certain number. For example, spin ten times and always multiply the number you spin by 2. Or multiply the number by 10 each time. This is a quick way to practice Math facts.
Make a color spinner. Make a prediction about which color you will land on the most in 10 spins. Chart your results. Were you correct? Why or why not? How could the game be changed to give you a better chance of winning? Depending on age, it may be a good idea to make a spinner with more of one or two of the colors so a clear pattern occurs.
Even and Odd
Make a chart. Player 1 gets a point if the spinner lands on an even number and Player 2 gets a point if the spinner lands on an odd number. The player with the most points after 10 spins is the winner.
Depending on age, it may be a good idea to make your own spinner with more even (or odd) numbers so a clear pattern occurs.
- Which player was the winner?
- Did each player have an equal chance of winning?
- Was the game fair?
- How could the game be changed so that one of your two had a better chance of winning than the other?
Using two spinners, create a fraction with the numbers that were spun. Give a point to the person that makes the largest fraction. The person with the most points after 10 rounds wins.
For beginners, have manipulatives available to build the fractions and decide which way to use the numbers to build the best fraction. This is the perfect way to observe if a student understands how to make a fraction bigger by putting the correct number as the denominator and numerator.
Whether you are making a spinner center or using one of these ideas for a one time Math activity, your children and students will love working with a spinner to make learning fun.