Serious Play Books


Serious Play games bring the fun and excitement of game play to the important study of operations properties, the principles that govern addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Each game has number-set versions for optimum use with students of varying ability levels. Serious Play books are available in two grade-level versions: K-5 and 5-8.

Game Components

There are 11 games in Serious Play K-5 and 13 games in Serious Play 5-8. Each game includes the information needed to produce every version of that game:

  • Generalizable game description
  • Generalizable play instructions
  • Thumbnail previews of each version’s game board and/or cards
  • Answer keys for each version
  • Blank game board and/or cards for teacher-generated versions

If you prefer to mail in your order, please fill out an order form accessible here.


  • Regular classroom
  • Centers & stations
  • Small-group instruction
  • After-school programs
  • Intervention
  • Tutoring
  • Home schooling

Math Content and Content Levels

  • Levels vary according to game content.
  • Addition properties (commutative & associative) are the focus in games involving number sets 0-10, 0-18, 0-100, beyond 100, fractions, integers, and rational numbers.
  • Multiplication properties (commutative & associative) are the focus in games involving number sets 0-18, 0-81, fractions, integers, and rational numbers.
  • The distributive property is the focus games involving number sets 0-81, 0-100, 0-500, 0-5000, fractions, integers, and rational numbers.

Features and Benefits

Serious Play Games . . .

  • engage students in active learning.
  • focus on concepts central to arithmetic and algebra.
  • incorporate the “fun factors” of chance and strategy.
  • promote abstract and quantitative reasoning.
  • include versions for a range of content knowledge and skill levels.
  • provide mental math practice.
  • prompts reflective thought about properties.
  • introduce key vocabulary.
  • facilitate “math talk.”
  • support, reinforce, and enhance classroom learning.
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