Now that students actually like math, encourage them to keep practicing math problems by playing free online math games.
Math Standards for Grades 3-5
The math standards listed here are simply a break down of the more extensive list of math standards listed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. They are listed here as a basic list of topics to seek out when looking for age-appropriate free online math games.
Here are the five math standards used for all grades, each with specific age-appropriate math topics for students who are in Grades 3-5. Students in this age group should understand the following:
- Number and Operations Standard: base-ten numbers, decimals, fractions, negative numbers, classes of numbers, and multiplication/division.
- Algebra Standard: numeric patterns, understand and create graphs, identify “properties as commutativity, associativity, and distributivity.” (NCTM)
- Geometry Standard: congruence and similarity, properties of 2-D and 3-D shapes, and use coordinate systems.
- Measurement Standard: unit conversions, understand perimeter and area and find areas of various shapes.
- Data Analysis and Probability: exploration of data collection and data sets, categorical vs. numerical data, and median.
Best Free Online Math Games for Grades 3-5
For any age group, the preferable type of free online math games are those run by schools, teachers or educational institutions.
Cyberchase is the companion web site to the popular Cyberchase show on PBS. Students will enjoy playing the Virtual Coin Toss, Sleuths on the Loose, Bugs in the System, and others. This site is colorful, kid-friendly, and free of advertising.
Harcourt School’s Elab – Free online math games for Grades 3-5 cover addition, area, bar graphs, division, equivalent fractions, hundreths, money math, multiplication, number patterns, subtraction, symmetry, time math, and more. The free online math games are published by Harcourt Shool Publishers, a commercial educational publisher. Harcourt’s free online math games are also available in Spanish. The math games require accompanying “recording sheets” to be printed.
Kids’ Place Brain Teasers is part of Education World. Find weekly math brain teasers for Grades 3-4 and Grades 5-6. The questions and answers are archived. This site is run by publisher Houghton Mifflin.
MathCats is an award-winning math site. MathCats has free online math games and math crafts for students in grade 3 and up. The site is free of advertising. You may need to download the free MicroWorld web player.
Math Playground is a both a commercial and promotional site with free online math games for grades K-6. In addition to math and logic games, the site includes word problems. Free online math games highlight addition/subtraction, area/perimeter, fractions, multiplication/division and more. Popular games include Math Millionaire and Math Olympics. The advertising is text only, and does not distract from the free online math games. The site is run by Enopi Math, an after-school learning program.
The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives. To find the free online math games for Grades 3-5 go the Virtual Library and select 3-5. The free online math games, cover all four math standards. Fun math games for Grades 3-5 include Pie Charts, spinners, a Ladybug maze, and Tessellations. Run by: Department of Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the Utah State University. Required: A Java-enabled browser.
nRich Mathematics Problems, Games and Articles refreshes its content monthly, which will keep students coming back for more free online math games. Students in grade 3-5 will want to check Stage 1 (math you use before the age of 8) and Stage 2 (math you use before the age of 11). The free math games and problems are also marked with one to three stars to indicate the challenge level of each problem and game. The site is operated by the University of Cambridge.
Rainforest Maths is colorful and visually interesting. For Grade 3 find 120+ games, 130+ for Grade 4, and 130+ for Grade 5. Adobe Flash Player is needed to play these free online math games and activities. This free uses colorful drawings ofrain forest animals which keeps the online math games colorful as well as fun. Run by: an Australian primary school teacher (math standards will differ from U.S. math standards).
Shodor Interactive offers a large number of free online math games and activities. Math topics covered include Algebra, Discrete, Geometry, Modeling, Probability and Statistics. Find an age-appropriate list of activities by conducting a search through the math topics and their sub-topics. Or click on “Browse By” to select “Audience and click Grades 3-5. Then narrow the search further by selecting Activity under the Resource Type pull-down menu.
There are 60 free online math games for grades 3-5. This may not be the easiest site for children to navigate, as it takes a little searching to come up with a list of age-appropriate games. This site is free of advertising and the free online math games run on Java. These free online math games are operated by Shodor Education Foundation, Inc., a non-profit a research and education organization.
Students in Grade 3, Grade 4 and Grade 5 will enjoy these educationally-minded free online math games.