math game math activity classroom math activity math jumpMove over crazy textbook math with your repetitive format and sleep-inducing paper-filling homework assignments. The pedagogical world has crossed over to a different Math altogether: a math class inclusive of numerous math activities that are fun, lively, and engaging.

A very common picture is of a teacher teaching math class and the distracted students staring at the clock. Let this not be happening to your class! Do you want to make your math class roar with enthusiasm and cheer while you teach basic core Math? Would you prefer to teach your child Math in a fun and creative way? Well, search no further, we have plated up a very dishy DIY Math activity — Jumping Math: jump to solve and solve to jump!

DIY Math Activity  – Jumping Math

Supplies required

  • Class full of students
  • 20 sheets of paper with random numbers written on them,
  • Timer
  • Operation Indicator

How to make the Operation Indicator?

You can use any of the below techniques to create the Operation Indicator for this DIY math activity.

operation indicator2
  • The Operation Dice – Take a big dice, a Rubik’s cube, or any cube prepared during Art class. Cover the six sides with the mathematical operations using small sticky notes. Use it as the Operation Indicator.
Operation indicator1
  • Spin the bottle – Write the mathematical operations in a circular manner on the floor and spin the bottle to decide the math operation.
drawing lots
  • If you are short on supplies and prep time, just use folded papers with the mathematical operations written on them and draw lots.

Do not restrict to just one mathematical operation on the operation indicator; use 2 or more to make this DIY math activity easy. For example, division and multiplication; addition and subtraction.

Choose these operations depending on the grade with whom you are conducting this math activity.

Grades that can enjoy this DIY math activity

As this math activity is quite simple in concept, it can be conducted throughout first grade to middle school. Albeit with necessary syllabus-related modifications (read below for further information).

Arranging the groups

grouping kids

A great way to form the groups is by using the conventional number method. For four groups, have the students say numbers from 1 to 4 in iteration: all the ones being in one group and so on. If you have enough time to prepare, you may create groups which will have a combination of students like bright, average, slow, distracting, and non-attentive for this math activity.

The timer

AYJG8J Stopwatch

Ensure to assign timer responsibility to a co-teacher or a non-biased student. Time is the deciding factor. Write the time taken to complete each turn for every group on the board for clarity and to avoid allegations.

Pre-activity preparations

  1. Arrange the paper sheets with random numbers written on them in a grid of 5 x 4.
  2. Place them face down so that the numbers are not visible.
  3. Ensure that the distance between two paper sheets is at least 30 cm.
  4. Divide the class into 4 groups.
  5. Assign a single row of the number grid to each group.
  6. Appoint one student in each group as the “jumper.” The jumper from each group needs to stand at the beginning of his respective row. This point becomes the starting point.
  7. The rest of the group will place themselves at the other end of the row. This becomes the ending point.

How to play Math Activity Jumping Math?

header 4
  1. Firstly, allow a member of the group to use the operation indicator in order to decide the mathematical operation used in the first step of the activity.
  2. Let the jumper unveil the first paper sheet before him to show the number to his group.
  3. The group comes up with an equation using the chosen mathematical operation. The crux of this activity is that the answer of the equation should be the same number on the paper sheet. And all this to be done within a specified time say 3 mins. For example, the group rolls the dice, and “division” comes up as the operation. The jumper opens the paper sheet bearing 5. Now, the group forms an equation using division such that the answer is 5. That is 20/4 = 5.
  4. A member of the group writes the equation on the board for the teacher to check. If she is right, the jumper gets to jump to the next paper sheet in the same row. If incorrect, the jumper stands at the same place till the next turn.
  5. The other groups follow suit, turn by turn: choose the mathematical operation, unveil number, form an equation, and get it checked.
  6. The group whose jumper reaches the ending point by finishing the entire row of numbers first wins.
  7. Ensure to note the time for every turn of every group to decide the winner. Chances of every group solving all equations are quite high.

Who goes first?


This is a very tricky question. You may let the alphabetical order of the jumper’s name be the deciding factor. If that is too controversial, may be the group placed east most or near the window starts and the turn rotates in clockwise direction.

Who is the winner?


The jumper and the group who reaches the ending point by solving all equations for their row and using the least amount of time is the deserved champion.

Things to note

  1. A big class could have a grid of 7 x 5. If this activity is conducted in a small mid-class break, you may have the grid reduced to 3 x 3.
  2. You can alter the time based on the complexity of operations and levels of grades. Preferably, 5 minutes for Grades 1–3 reiterating basic addition or subtraction. A revision class of decimals and percentages for Grade 4 and above can have the time frame of 3 mins.


For Grades 1–4

  1. Start off with numbers as multiples of tens on the paper sheet. Complex numbers mean complex calculations.
  2. Set up easier mathematical operations. To avoid repetition of the limited operations, you could add in extra elements or tips for the equations. For example, the indicator could show operations like addition; addition using 0; subtraction; subtraction using 1, etc.

For Grades 5–8

  1. The numbers on the paper sheet could be slightly difficult. For example, these numbers could be greater than 100, odd numbers, decimal numbers, fractions, etc.
  2. You could make this activity a little tough by setting a variable. Variable is the number of sub-equations they could use to form an equation. For example, if the teacher gave them the variable 3, the mathematical operation indicated addition and decimal: then the expected equation would be 10.5 + 5.5 + 4 = 20
  3. The combination of mathematical operations could be slightly on the difficult side. For example, percentages and multiplication, addition and square roots.

Plus points of this DIY math activity

plus points

Get a grip on Math

As you must have already taught these mathematical operations before hand in their math lesson, this activity acts as an amazing revision class.

Role reversal

Generally, it is you giving the math problems and students giving the answer. With this activity, it is the other way around. This would be fun!

Team spirit

Let aside the commotion, this activity serves as a great bonding time. Haven’t we heard, a class that solves together stays together.

Time management

Coming with a solution with the clock ticking away adds the challenge aspect.

Boosting the slow learners

With the entire group racking up their brains to come with an equation together, slow learners will learn a lot just by observing their class mates solve equations.

Improve Math thinking

This activity not only boosts a child’s ability to solve math mentally but also encourages them to think and act quick.

Math time fun time

Learning how to solve regular math problems in a fun way is most welcomed by students. Add fun elements to this activity, e.g., you could name the groups as renowned Mathematicians or make the jumper stand on one foot till the timer is stopped.

Math skills that can be honed with this math activity

Grades 1–2

Making sums and differences, single digit subtraction, visually estimate sums and differences, adding double and triple digits, and missing number addition.

Grades 3–4

Quick and mixed digit multiplication, estimating quotients, single into double digit division, percentages, and decimals.

Grades 5–8

Complex division, fractions and rewriting fractions, adding mixed numbers, finding square root, and ratios.

Lastly, a few pointers

  • Syllabus-sized bites

Ensure the mathematical operations are well taught and fairly understood by the class before this math activity. This activity will be disliked if the concepts are considerably new as the students would be struggling with the equations.

  • Sweet and sour

Avoid a combination of difficult mathematical operations as well as complex numbers on the paper sheet. Arrange the activity so that 75% of it is easy and doable.

  • Mix them up

Ensure the groups are a mixture of bright, average, and slow students. This would lead to fair play.

  • Re-use

You could re-use old one-side printed papers for this activity.

  • Re-iterate the math lesson

Try helping the stuck ones by re-iterating the math lesson to the entire class then and there.

  • Reward and recognition

This as well as every activity should be followed by an RnR ceremony. Reward the fast solvers, recognize the effort takers. This would brighten up the mood and the activity would be thoroughly enjoyed.

  • Takeaways

Have a takeaway paper distributed in the class post the activity. This would include any easy tips to remember about Math (checkout our awesome collection), some few tricks (get inspired by these!), and a few practice sums. (Optional)


Can the jumper help?

  • Yes, he most certainly can involve himself in the discussion. Ensure he does not leave his spot.

Who uses the operation indicator for every turn?

  • The team should decide in unison. If unable, let group members start alphabetically.

Who writes the equation on the board?

  • Preferably, the same member who used the operation indicator.

Should the jumper unveil the number to only his group and not the others?

  • No, secrecy is not required here. The jumper can unveil the number to the entire class including the teacher.

Do we still score if the answer to the equation and the number on the paper sheet vary by a small margin?

  • No, the answer should be exactly the same. You will lose a turn if the answer is incorrect.

Can we use a scribble pad/paper to prepare the equation while discussing in the group?

  • That is the teacher’s choice. She may or may not allow usage of paper during internal group discussion.

How is the time calculated?

  • The timer starts when the paper sheet is unveiled and stops when the equation is presented on the board. The time required for the teacher to check the equation will not be included.

Can we pass the turn?

  • Yes, you may. But you will miss a turn.

Do we get an additional turn if we solve a passed turn?

  • No.

Do we get bonus points if we solve a passed turn?

  • No.

Do we get another chance at coming up with the equation?

  • No. Once the equation is presented, it is the end of your turn.

Can we use a calculator?

  • No. Using a calculator or any other device will be termed as cheating. Cheating may lead to penalty of missing your turn.

What if there is a break/distraction in the middle of a turn?

  • That time will be negated and additional time will be provided.

What if the teacher prompts/helps with an equation?

  • The teacher could help stuck students by giving clues. For every clue, 20 seconds are added to the overall time.

What if the paper sheet is unveiled by cheating or wind beforehand?

  • It will be replaced with a different number.

What if other groups are distracting?

  • It is a part of the activity.

What if there is a tie?

  • There will be a tie breaker.

What is the tie breaker?

  • The jumper would be asked to solve an equation for a new number and it will be timed. The group whose jumper solves it first wins.

Hope you enjoy this activity as much as we loved creating it for you.

If you loved our creativity, have a look at some more of our amazing Math games and math activities. Feel free to provide your feedback and keep us encouraged!

Happy playing!