Math Playground Review

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Free to use, standards-aligned and with a wide range of fun and interesting educational and casual games to play, the Math Playground website can be a great way for students to get important practice without the stress.

What We Like

Free to use
Easy to use, straightforward
Common core aligned with clear connections
Tons of different style games to play
Games are well-made, fun and fairly modern
Also offers logic, casual and strategy games
COPPA-compliant, child-safe ads

But watch out for

No user accounts, progress tracking
Contains on-page ads

What Is Math Playground

Founded in 2002 by former math teacher and long-time educator Colleen King, Math Playground is a website designed to supplement traditional and homeschool math learning for preschool through elementary-aged students. 

To help kids practice their math skills, the site offers a wide array of different interactive video games that are centered around mathematical thinking, logic, strategy and standards-aligned math concepts.

Math Playground is free to use, being supported by COPPA-compliant ads. 

What Ages or Grades Is Math Playground Intended For?

Math Playground is aimed at students in K-6 and is aligned to Common Core standards for these grades, with games and puzzles that touch on:

  • Basic operations
  • Fractions and decimals
  • Geometry
  • Algebraic thinking and pre-algebra
  • Word problems
  • Mathematical logic
  • And more

That said, given the wide variety of interesting games available on the site, from action to sports to classics like Tetris- and Battleship-clones, we feel that Math Playground can appeal to slightly older students as well, as its colorful, game-based practice can be less embarrassing and frustrating to use than standard remedial worksheets. 

One thing parents of older students might have to keep in mind, however, is the fact that there is a fairly prominent series of buttons labeled “K-6” at the top of the main page, which can be a little awkward for some kids. 

Homeschooling parents should also keep in mind that, as a practice site, Math Playground does not offer any placement tests or skill-gap finding tools and so they will typically benefit from having a general idea of where students need help or practice before using the site. 

Math Playground Look and Feel

Math playground is essentially a website that hosts a number of video games that students can play to reinforce math skills and mathematical thinking.

The site is, unlike ABCYa and some other sites we’ve seen, completely free to use.

That means there are no premium accounts or options that parents are encouraged to purchase, with the site being paid for through ads.

The site contains several banner ads on each page, usually along the borders or between elements, as well as small pop up videos that appear on screen (often in the corner) from time to time. 

The use of ads and this particular ad layout is typical of most free to use websites and, while it wasn’t overly distracting to us, may be a bit annoying to some users, particularly when it comes to pop up video ads. 

screenshot of small video ads that pop up on math playground

That said, and to Math Playground’s credit, the ads are COPPA-compliant and child safe, which means that they shouldn’t contain anything particularly objectionable or unsafe, which is always a good thing with an educational website for kids. 

Beyond the ads, however, we found the Math Playground website to be quite easy to use and navigate through. 

Users have a number of ways to access the site’s practice games, as well as find those that are relevant to their needs. 

Games are organized by type (arithmetic, logic, word problems, etc) across the top of the screen.

screenshot showing type navigation on math playground website

Below this, the site offers a selection of clearly-marked buttons marked with grades, each of which leads to a specific page containing math games relevant to the skills developed at that level. 

screenshot showing grade level navigation offered on math playground website

For example,the Kindergarten page contains a variety of games covering operations, counting, geometry, shapes, basic logic and more. 

screenshot showing kindergarten page standards aligned layout and organization on math playgrounds

This grade level grouping can, in our opinion, be especially useful for homeschooling users who want to integrate Math Playground into their regular study, as it gives easy and immediate access to relevant and common core aligned practice resources.

In addition, users can also choose to find games by specific topic, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, geometry and more.

These topics are represented as large and easily identifiable buttons that lead to their own page with games grouped by skill, something that we feel can be useful for those looking for immediate and focused practice on a particular concept.

screenshot showing ability to navigate by math concept on math playground website

Finally, the games are also grouped by game type, such as action, adventure, sports, animals, word problems and more, which can of course be good for casual practice and for those who enjoy specific kinds of games more than others. 

screenshot showing different game types offered by math playground

Interestingly, and perhaps quite helpful for homeschooling students in our opinion, the site also contains a section called “Teaching Math,” which offers a number of fairly detailed and easy to understand pages with tips on how to use the site’s games to work on certain skills and areas of math, such as how to model word problems, work on fractions, develop algebraic thinking and more. 

One thing we feel could be a bit more helpful for parents, however, is a search function.

Rather than being able to look for specific games or for games that touch on specific skills or standards correlations, parents have to click around a bit and find them through the aforementioned navigation options, which can take a bit of time. 

In terms of the games themselves, Math Playground offers users a fairly extensive variety of video games and puzzles, which are used for math practice. 

We found these games to be pretty diverse overall, both in terms of gameplay and style, as well as topical coverage. 

The site offers, for example, educational drawing games, platformers, strategy games, racing games, tower knockdown games, sports games, classic games and more, and these games are used to hone a wide range of K-6 math skills, as well as in general logic, computational thinking and strategy, which we think is kind of cool. 

The games are also quite diverse in terms of their look.

Although all the games are colorful and well animated, in our experience, some tended to have a simpler, old-school feel (similar to older internet flash games), while some have a more modern, bright and mobile-style style to them.

screenshot showing colorful cartoon graphics found on many math playground games

Some of the games even had fairly impressive (for a free site) 3D graphics that were kind of cool and actually pretty fun and quite addictive, even for adults.

screenshots showing 3d graphics found in some math playground games

On the whole, while the site’s games probably won’t compete with the latest and greatest console and PC games out there, they certainly aren’t boring and, with their different styles and looks, can appeal to most students, especially those raised on mobile devices and on-demand gaming services.

Perhaps more importantly, the games are also generally pretty tightly associated with specific abilities, skills and concepts, which tends to make them more relevant and useful for daily math practice, something we appreciate. 

One issue that homeschooling families might have, however, is the fact that Math Playground does not offer any real account management functionality, unlike ABCYa and some other sites out there.

Being a free to use, as-you-need-it resource, the site does not offer any real progress tracking, game saving, reporting or analytic tools, which can make it a little bit trickier to consistently integrate as part of a yearly curriculum in our opinion. 

Math Playground’s Approach to Practice

Game-based learning

Math Playground contains over 500 math and logic games for students to try, usually (although not always in the case of puzzles) centered around a particular skill or topic. 

Similar to sites like STMath, ABCYa and others, these games are designed to help students practice their math and critical thinking skills in a more fun and engaging manner than their usual drill and workbook activities.

As we’ve mentioned, there is a wide variety of games on the site, from 8 bit classics and platformers to adventure, sports and action games. 

In one example we tried, Alien Addition is a classic Invaders-style game that has students shoot down slowly-descending flying saucers before they land. 

screenshot of alien addition game on math playgrounds

The twist, however, is that the student’s cannon is labeled with a particular number (6, for example) with each shot and students must fire it at a corresponding equation (e.g. 1+5) in order to blow it up. 

In this way, students get vital practice on their additional fact fluency in a way that’s more enjoyable and interactive than flashcards or drill sheets, yet just as effective and in a way that naturally encourages speed and accuracy. 

Interestingly, Math Playground doesn’t simply focus on pure math skill, but also has games and puzzles that work on a broader array of related logical and critical thinking skills, as well as some that are just for fun. 

screenshot of logic game found on math playground

The former games, which often test a player’s ability to plan and strategize their way through levels, can develop key skills that students may find helpful in math, school and life, while the latter can be a fun break or reward for practice well done. 

screenshot showing skills and knowledge developed from strategy game on math playground

The inclusion of casual games, however, does mean that parents using the site for self-study may have to pop in from time to time to make sure students stay on track and are practicing, rather than just playing. 

Standards-aligned material

The math topics and skills practiced on Math Playground are, on the whole, Common Core standards-aligned..

In fact, the math-oriented games included on the site often have a small section below them that helpfully outline the essential skills covered, as well as their specific Common Core connection for their intended grade level. 

screenshot showing learning connections and standards alignment for a math playgrounds game

As a result, the games can be more easily integrated and used for directed and focused practice with a standards-aligned homeschool curriculum, making it a lot easier for parents to understand their relevance and plan their use accordingly. 

Independent Practice

Math Playground can be a fairly effective tool for independent practice, particularly in math. 

The site is fairly easy to navigate, which means that even younger students should have an easy time using it, and the games tend to do a pretty good job at explaining their controls and purpose with easy to read instructions, demonstrations and, frequently, symbols.. 

Generally speaking, we feel that most students who have at least some experience playing mobile games should find the games easy and familiar enough to use, although pre-readers may need their parents to help go things from time to time to get a handle on a game’s objectives and controls. 

One thing to note is that, because the site lacks a search engine and an user account system, parents may also have to organize and plan student practice a bit more by finding relevant and interesting games for their students (rather than assigning and scheduling practice automatically), as well as check in to make sure that students don’t accidentally click off the site or close a window, which would lose their game data. 

How It Works

As a math practice website, Math Playground is pretty simple and straightforward to use. 

The games are completely free to use and accessing them is simply a matter of navigating to the website and finding a game that is of interest and/or that is relevant to a student’s learning. 

As mentioned previously, there are a number of ways for parents to find games.

While there is no search function, parents can browse games by:

  • Topic type (math, word games, multiplayer, logic and so on)
  • Grade level (K-6)
  • Skill (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, etc)
  • And game type (action, adventure, animals, sports, racing and so on)

Once a game is found and clicked on, the user is taken to a specific page where the game will load in a window, although users can expand it to a full window if they so choose. 

The general gist of the game is typically written out as a short sentence just above the game window, with instructions for gameplay being offered by the game itself during play.

screenshot of general math practice instructions found above each game in math playground

At the same time, any connections to math skills, knowledge and/or common core standards are located below the game window. 

screenshot showing learning connections in a math playground game

The educational math games offered by the site can vary quite a bit in terms of their gameplay and design, although they all essentially work the same way when it comes to practice. 

Students advance through these games’ levels by solving or otherwise working with math problems and concepts, which in turn provides them with key math drill and practice that is masked to some degree by the games’ entertaining graphics, music, action and interactive play. 

screenshot showing practice hidden in gameplay on math playground games

As we’ve discussed, as the site does not offer individual accounts for users, the games don’t save a student’s score or progress, and these will be lost if and when a student ends the game or leaves the site. 

Pros and Cons



Math Playground is an extremely affordable math resource…in fact, it’s free and therefore very easy to fit into any homeschool budget. 

Tons of different games

Math Playground offers students a wide array of games to help them practice their math, including sports games, adventure games, action games and more, meaning there’s something for just about any student to enjoy.

In addition, the site also offers games that can help students work on their general logical and strategic thinking skills, as well as those that are simply fun to play.

Games are well-made, well-designed

Unlike some other educational sites we’ve seen, Math Playground’s games are actually quite well made, with modern and high quality graphics and enjoyable, often addictive, gameplay. 

Easy to use, navigate

Math Playground is fairly easy to navigate around and does a good job at providing parents and students with a number of different ways to find the games and topics they need, making it a fairly user-friendly experience on the whole. 

Math games are comprehensive and standards aligned

Math Playground offers games covering a huge array of math topics and does a good job at outlining their connection to individual math concepts and common core math standards, making them relevant and pretty easy to integrate into homeschool learning, in our opinion. 

Ads are child-safe

While it does make money off of ads, Math Playground does a good job at making sure that its ads are child-safe and contains no objectionable material.


Contains Ads

Math Playground is an ad-sponsored website and its banner ads and occasional pop out videos can be a bit distracting for some players.

No ability to set up user accounts

Math Playground does not, at time of writing, allow users to create their own accounts and thus lacks certain features that some homeschoolers may desire, such as progress tracking, game progress and saving, student analytics and more. 

Who is Math Playground Ideal For?

Those looking for fun math practice with less drill

Math Playground uses fun video games and puzzles to help students practice key math skills, as well as to hone their logical and critical thinking skills. 

As a result, it can be a lot less stressful and actually more enjoyable for students compared to traditional math drill and workbook exercises. 

Fans of video games and game-assisted learning and practice

On the whole, we found Math Playground’s games to be well-made, well-designed and fun to play, meaning they should be a good option for those who enjoy video games and those who do well with game-based learning. 

Homeschools following a common core aligned curriculum

Math Playground does a pretty good job at aligning to Common Core standards and clearly outlines how each of its math games relates to particular concepts and connects to particular standards. 

Consequently, we feel it can be fairly easy to integrate and use alongside a Common Core aligned homeschool math curriculum. 

Homeschools on very tight budgets

At the end of the day, Math Playground is free to use and so can be a good practice resource for families on very tight budgets. 

Who is It Not Ideal For?

Those looking for a solution with full progress tracking and individualized analytics

As mentioned, Math Playground is a use-as-needed resource without user accounts and so lacks the ability to track student progress or report on their learning. 

Those looking to reduce screen time 

Math Playground is, for the most part, an online, game-based practice resource and so can increase the amount of time students will spend staring at and concentrating on a screen throughout the week. 


Note: Prices correct as of writing, all prices in USD.

As of writing, Math Playground is free to use.

Is It Worth It?

On the whole, we feel that Math Playground can be a valuable resource for homeschooling families.

The site is free to use, is easy to use, well laid out and can provide students with much-needed practice on specific math skills through its various online games and puzzles..

These games are highly varied in style and gameplay and tend to focus on important, standards-aligned skills in math, allowing students to practice key concepts without endless drills or exercises. 

More than that, however, the educational games featured on the site are actually fun and engaging for students to play.

Whether students are shooting down UFOs, racing motorcycles or blasting through space, there’s a lot for students to do and many ways to help them hone key skills without becoming too bored or frustrated. 

Bottom Line

Free to use, standards-aligned and with a wide range of fun and interesting educational and casual games to play, the Math Playground website can be a great way for students to get important practice without the stress.

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About the Author

David Belenky is a freelance writer, former science and math tutor and a tech enthusiast. When he’s not writing about educational tech, he likes to chill out with his family and dog at home.