Mathematical Gift Ideas
Here are some ideas that are fun and promote mathematical awareness.
They make good presents.
BOOKS AND POSTERS
- M. C. Escher--a poster or a book of his
works raises an awareness spatial sense and symmetry
- DELL® Pencil Games--contains Quizzles (logic problems) and other pencil games, many of which are arithmetical or mathematical in nature
- Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside
School, by Louis Sachar. A book of logic problems with a twist.
- There are numerous books about counting and number sense for young
children. Look in your favorite bookstore or
order one of our favorites.
- Yahtzee®--teaches probability and number sense
- Monopoly®--teaches counting, addition, and money sense
- Clue®--teaches deductive reasoning
- Cards--(a great stocking stuffer or party favor) opens up possibilities for many games involving logic, probability, and number sense
- Mastermind®--a game of logic using pegs for clues. It comes in a travel edition which is very portable.
- K'nex®, Tinker Toys®, Legos®, Lincoln Logs®, Erector® sets, develop spatial sense and construction skills
- Dominoes®--develops number sense
- Rubick's® cube--a geometrical, three dimensional puzzle
- Kaleidoscopes--demonstrates changing symmetries in a colorful, magical way
- Jigsaw puzzles--are great to develop spatial sense, pattern matching, and shape matching
- Checkers and chess--are classic board games requiring logic
- Origami--the art of paper folding develops spatial sense and the sense of symmetry
- Beading looms--develop symmetry, spatial sense, the need to perform simple calculations Give your child some graph paper as well to make her own designs
- Drafting tools--compass, protractor, triangles, curves, straightedges, and even a T-square for geometrical constructions
Most of the above games, crafts and toys can be ordered online from
There are a wide variety of computer games which develop logic and reasoning ability in addition to computer comfort. Here are only a few:
- SimCity 2000®--the player does problem solving in a simulated city, allocating resources to provide services
- Math Blaster® and Algeblaster®
- Myst®--an adventure game that is gripping way to solve a mystery
- Flight Simulator® and Space Simulator®--for the would be pilot or starship captain
- Microsoft Windows®--comes with several interesting games and tools, including Paintbrush for producing color drawings, Solitaire to play cards electronically, Minesweeper (a logic game)
--by Jerre McQuinn, Math Coach
- Calculator--a simple four function calculator will remove the tedium from calculations
- Scientific calculator--good for middle school or even intermediate grade students
- Graphing calculator--a possibility for your middle school or high school student
- Abacus--is useful in illustrating place value of numbers