Pairs Math Game is a free paper based math game designed using LibreOffice Calc spreadsheet for printing in landscape format on 11 x 17 (tabloid) paper --- or on legal size paper (8.5 x 14 inches.)  This game was developed as a side project at the Takoma Park Maryland Library.   It is mostly suitable for 8 to 12 year olds, although older and younger students might well enjoy it, too.  It might also be a fun mental activity for residents at assisted living facilities. This game may be freely photocopied under a Creative Commons - Attribution - Noncommercial license. 

At the bottom of this web site is another recreational math project of mine -- "Coin Questions at the Public Library."  This project is intended to help children (and adults) develop a greater love of thinking. When you love to think, so much more becomes possible in your life. 

To get a quick sense of the game, here is a video tour I recently created with my smartphone. 

The Object of the Game

The object of the game is to find two numbers in a column that together add up to 100.   For example, 92 + 8, or 80 + 20, or 45 and 55, or 10 + 90.  The more you play this game, the faster these "pairs" jump out at you. When you see a 90, you quickly scan a column (or row) to find a matching 10.  If you don't find a matching 10, then you move on to looking for another pair.

Every column has at least two numbers that add up to 100.  Some rows may have such numbers, but I do not guarantee that.

The rules of this game can be made up to suit the needs of any family or classroom. This game could also be used for visual discrimination where students are asked to count how many number 50's they can see in the table of numbers. (That is to say, although this was designed as a math game, it might have some uses for literacy purposes.) 

Pairs Math game -- on legal size paper  (8.5 x 14 inches) (PDF)

Pairs Math game -- on tabloid size paper (11 x 17 inches) (PDF)

Pairs Math game - random numbers - tabloid (11 x 17 inches) (PDF)

Invent your own rules to this game.  Maybe suggest to students that they see how many pairs they can find in five minutes. If they find twelve pairs this week, then they might find fifteen pairs next week.  Let students feel their skill level rise.

For the Little Ones -- on legal size paper (8.5 x 14 inches) (PDF)

For the Little Ones - on tabloid size paper (11 x 17 inches) (PDF)

Adjacent ascending and descending (8.5 x 14 inches) (PDF)

Numbers Banner 1 -- on legal size paper (8.5 x 14 inches) (PDF)

Numbers Banner 1 - on tabloid size paper (11 x 17 inches) (PDF)

Numbers Banner 1 - 3 feet by 8 feet - 8 MB JPG - for printing on HP DesignJet T630 printer (or other compatible wide format printers)

Banner viewable on wall at Takoma Park Maryland Library, 7505 New Hampshire Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912.

Grateful thanks to Irma Nalvarte, Assistant City Clerk, City of Takoma Park- Shawn Long, Library Director, Ste. Genevieve County Library

My library co-workers Elizabeth Ferry, June Collins, and Jessica Jones for their ideas, encouragement, and support on this project.

Aman Abdelkadir -- for fruitful conversations on pedagogy related to this project. 

Robert Lipman -- for his insights on matters of design. 

Zufan Reddae - for sharing her perspectives as a Montessori teacher.

Rachel Heckscher and Eric Olson - for beta-testing and early encouragement on this project.

Kelly and Marcos Vaena - for beta testing early versions of the game.

Although the current math games I've desiged are addition oriented, I'm thinking about designing some games with multiplication orientations. I applaud all who celebrate multiplication.