Maths for mums and dads: take the pain out of maths homework (involves magic and gambling)

I’m rubbish at maths so when sons’ school had a Maths Day recently I nodded off at the thought. But they pulled it off in a really clever and engaging way – using card tricks, bingo and ‘magic’ numbers.

I’d like to share with you a couple of tricks we learned.



Needs 2 people to participate.

A referee.

And a pack of playing cards.

1. Each player takes a card, without looking at it, and sticks it on their forehead using the miracle adhesive that is a child’s sweaty brow. The card needs to show its face.

2. Now each player can see the other’s card but they can’t see their own.

3. Referee tells the players the total value of the cards combined.

4. Then each player has to guess the value of their own card.




Try this for yourself.

1. Think of a number. Any number.

2. Double it.

3. Add 10.

4. Divide by two.

5. Take away the original number.

6. And I bet I can guess what you’re left with.

It’s FIVE, isn’t it?

At the end of the Maths Day we bought a book that contains lots of games like this to help your kids get interested in numbers, called Maths for Mums and Dads by Rob Eastaway and Mike Askew. Google it. I’m sure it will be on Amazon.







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2 Responses to Maths for mums and dads: take the pain out of maths homework (involves magic and gambling)

  1. Jude.x

    I’m one of those geeky people who loves numbers (I sometimes think I should have trained to be an accountant!) but explaining stuff to the primary age little ones is really hard, isn’t it? I love “What’s on my forehead”! :-) My MIL used to play Gin Rummy with my children – they had to learn to count really quickly so she didn’t beat them every time (and she used to beat them – no sweet little Granny there. lol)
    Have you ever played “car cricket” when on a long journey? You look out for the names of pubs; if it has “legs” the legs are your score; no legs and you’re out (so the Lamb Inn is 4 runs, pass The Crown and you’re out). We used to pray to pass the “Duke of York” when it was our turn. LOL One parent HAS to be referee because when you pass The Queens Arms you’ll get fights!

    • keithkendrick

      Car cricket is a fantastic idea, and the other stuff, too. We’ve got a long car journey coming up soon, so will try these out. Many thanks.