Math Games With Sports Cards

We have a ton of sports cards. Most of the cards feature players with visible numbers on their jerseys. This turned out to be a good way to play math games, and talk about numbers.
Learning math

My kids love sports. They love watching, playing, discussing, reading about, and looking at pictures of people playing sports. You name it, if it involves sports, they are in! It comes as no surprise that we have a ton of sports cards.

Our collection includes everything from women’s volleyball to hockey, but most of the cards are baseball, football, and basketball. With the jersey numbers, we put numbers in order, how to determine which numbers are larger/smaller, and how to count to 100. 

Jersey Numbers Math Games

  • Counting: We began by placing players in order of their jersey numbers. We started at the beginning, arranging from 1-10. To work on larger numbers, I give him a stack of players whose numbers are in the same group of ten (a stack of 20-29 or 30-39, and so on). He then places them in order.
  • Counting by tens: We’ve also started to work on learning to count by ten. We started with the multiples of 10, and he would order them 10, 20, 30, 40, etc… Then to add a challenge, I gave him a stack with 9, 19, 29, 39, 49 to work on. (I set this up before calling him over, as I have to look through the cards to gather the correct numbers.)
  • Fine Motor Addition: Sometimes he also puts the cards into the plastic card sleeves in the number order of their jerseys, which is a good way to give those little fingers some fine motor activity.
  • Sports Card War: We also play a game to identify larger numbers. We each take a stack of cards, and play by each putting down one card at the same time. We switch it up by playing for the smaller number sometimes as well.
  • Free Play: The picture at the top of this post is my 4 year old developing a game where you play not just by the number of the player, but also based on which team the player is on (he had the Phillies ranking above the Red Sox, who ranked above the Orioles).

math games

In case there are any collectors out there cringing over all this handling of cards, my husband removes the “good” cards to save for when the kids are older.

Play math games using your sports card collection

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