These teacher-tested math time fillers are great classroom activities to have in your back pocket. If you have a few spare moments in your day, try using one of our math time-filler activities!

If you would like to share one of your own, simply COMMENT HERE, and tell us (and explain how to play) a math “time filler” (short but educational activity) that your students love to play.

Here are a few Games already shared:

Math File Folder Games

Get as Close as You Can!

Here is a quick time filler math activity you can use with your class:

  1. PICK A RANDOM NUMBER in the thousands and write it on the board. You can tell students it is your TARGET NUMBER.
  2. WRITE 5 RANDOM numbers to the side of the target number.
  3. INVITE students to use any of the five numbers with any math operation, or a combination of operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) to write an equation with an answer that is as close to the target number as possible. The closest student wins!

Example: Target # is 1350, Write 10, 26, 54, 115,130

Tara Militello

Team around the world

I divide my class into 2 teams. They line up facing each other. The first person in each line face off against each other. The winner of each round keeps the flashcard of the math fact they answered correctly. In the event of a tie, the pair goes again until someone wins…& the winner gets ALL cards that accumulated during the tie. Once you get through the line, each team counts how many cards they’ve collected to determine who wins. I also give bonus cards to teams who demonstrate appropriate behavior or as a consequence for inappropriate behavior of the opposing team. Sometimes, i go through the line a few times before the teams count their cards

Sarah Mefford

Numbers in my Head

give them 5 numbers and have them create as many math equations that they can. 1 point for every correct equation and 2 points for every equation that no one else got.

Carol N Louis Torres

quiz, quiz, trade cards

I create my own quiz, quiz, trade cards for the math concept we are working on. My kids live this game because it gets them up and moving and they get to practice what they know and learn.

Brookdale Schottenstein

24 Game

Also, we sometimes play 24. There are pre-written cards and have to use any operation to get to 24. Kids sometimes make up their own. Can get tricky if kids use decimals/fractions https://www.24game.com/

Myra Ru

Mad 24

I also play Mad 24. I write 4 different numbers on the board and the students have to use each number once and only once, using any or all of the 4 operations to come up with 24. With my lower functioning classes I use the numbers from 1-9, with the higher functioning I use higher numbers as well.

Monica Wilson McNeeley

Starting with a Number ___

This is all mental math: I tell the students I am starting with a number ___. Add __ Multiply by ___ Subtract ___ Divide by___ and continue until I have done at least 6 operations and then ask them for the final answer.

Jennifer Palmer

Math Duel

We’re 1:1 so my kids have IPads….. There is an app called Math Duel that two people can face off against each other on the same IPad. It’s for fluency within your basic math facts . Normally I just have them play the person across from them for about 5 minutes to warm up the day. Well, since we are in the middle of March Madness I decided to do it tournament style (with a losers bracket too) kids loved it and have been begging me to do it again!

Cassandra Bradshaw

Beat the Teacher

We play beat the teacher-it’s all about place value… We play up to millions, so put 6 lines _ _ _ _ _ _ on the board… then I use a ten sided dice and roll a number. The students have to put the digit on one of the six lines in order to make either the smallest or biggest number (I tell them before we start which one) They can either put the digit in the same place I do or somewhere different… Continue rolling the dice until all of the lines have something written on them. Then see if anyone beat me. My kids love it.

Johannah Stokes

I’m thinking of a _______

I’ll tell the children I’m thinking of something (number, polygon, etc.) and then give them clues about it. Often it has more than one correct answer.


I’m thinking of a number that is a multiple of 7. It is greater than 50 but less than 70.

I’m thinking of a quadrilateral that has 2 sets of parallel sides and no right angles.

Joy Kleinberg Kuchinsky

Waiting in Line

While waiting in line to a specific destination I will ask them various multiplication questions that I differentiate based on their ability level. I could ask three students in a row and I have to keep track of the answers I have expecting, or if one student doesn’t know the answer I will ask the next student.

Christine Betley

Pico Fermi Bagel

Choose a number at least 3 digits (the more places the greater challenge) students can play in teams or go around the room guessing the number. A guess with no correct digits get “bagel” as a response. A guess with correct digits in the wrong place gets “pico” repeated for the number of correct digits. I guess with correct digits in the correct place gets “fermi”. Ex. a guess of 214 for the correct number 243 would get the response “pico, fermi” meaning two correct digits one in the correct place.

Pico, Fermi, Bagel

Samantha MK

Closest to 100

I put up 6 two-digit numbers on the board and then pick 4 students who think they can get closest to 100. The one who does goes onto the next round and 3 new students get to participate with 6 new numbers.

Gay Eskew

100’s Chart

I have a huge plastic 100’s chart. 2 students throw a beanbag at a number( I tell them what the range of the number needs to be… depending on student’s level but it is always a 2 digit number). I then explain whether they need to add or subtract the numbers. They love it !!

Laura Strawn Stokes


I like to pull out the card game SET. It is a great thinking game that even my non-mathy kids feel that they can excel.

Brookdale Schottenstein

GDP = Guess Digit Place (Mathtermind )

I play GDP which has various names and is also known as Mathtermind (after the old game, Mastermind).

GDP = Guess Digit Place.

(1) Draw three columns on the board, Guess, Digit, Place.

(2) Write down, in a place where no one can see, a 3-digit number.

(3) Rest of class takes turns guessing three digit number (we play no zeros and no repeating digits, but there are many variations and you are welcome to modify).

(4) Student with the number fills in the number under the column “Guess”, the amount of correct digits (0, 1, 2, or 3) under the column “Digit” and the number of correct digits in the correct place under the column “Place”

(5) Students take turns and deduce correct number…

Robin Helms


I play what I call the digits game which is a lot like Mastermind, but with numbers.

Terresa Holley Clark


We play “POP” using multiples. Kids count in a circle and when it comes to the multiple of the “magic” number they say pop. And we do a lot of Mental Math ie: 6×7+5-13/2=.

Victoria Morgan Holcomb


Buzz: I play this with any age student, any level, even with my own young children. 1) pick a number as the buzz number. 2) count to 100 3) the person who doesn’t mess up is the winner. Variations include using prime numbers, multiples of a number, all odds, etc.

Misty Young

White Buzz

White buzz, beep a game practicing multiples, or a game about lining up to prime numbers!

If you would like to share one of your own, simply COMMENT HERE, and tell us (and explain how to play) a math “time filler” (short but educational activity) that your students love to play.