Updated: May 31
Learning in Maths doesn’t always need all the fancy resources. We love using everyday items and including them in our lessons. A simple deck of UNO cards can be used in so many different ways to create fun learning activities for kids.
We have put together 10 awesome ways you can use a set of UNO cards for learning (most of these activities would work with a standard deck of cards too if you don’t have access to UNO cards). We have arranged the ideas according to age (so if you are currently at home working with your kids, you can have different aged children working with the same resource but doing activities catered to their learning level!)
2-4 Years (Early Learners)
Colour sorting – Organise the cards according to colour. Put out coloured plates, bowls or paper to assist them in completing this independently.
Number matching – Sort the cards according to number. For example: Collect all the ones and put them in a pile, all the twos and so on.
Number-object match – The idea behind this activity is to choose a UNO card and then count out the number of objects that matches the card. You can use lego blocks, counters, pom poms or even food for this one.
Creating a number line – Either layout the numbers in a row or you can peg them up on a string in number order (using pegs is also great for fine motor skills). If children are young, lay the numbers out for them in order and then ask them to copy your number line.
5-7 Years (Beginning of Primary school)
Number-word match – Have the numbers 1-9 written in words on cards. Choose a card and then find the word to match. You can extend this activity by making 2-digit numbers (place two cards side-by-side) and get children to record the number in words themselves.
Uno card and domino match – This task develops a skill we call subitising. Match the number on the card to the number of dots on a domino.
Single-digit Addition and Subtraction practice – These cards are great, random number generators. Pick two cards and have kids add them together or subtract them.
Creating patterns – Make patterns with the cards. They can use the number and/or colours to make their patterns more complicated.
7-10 Years (Middle Primary school)
Times table practise – Choose two random cards and multiply them together. If the children are having trouble working on a particular times table, keep the second card the same and have them mix up the first number. For Example: 2 x 8 , 4 x 8, 7 x 8.
Two (or more) Digit Addition & Subtraction – Depending on how children are developing with their addition and subtraction skills, use the cards to create algorithms for them to solve. We like to use sticky notes to mix up the addition and subtraction signs.
Greater than or Less than – Again, sticky notes work great for adding greater than, less than or equal to signs in between each card. Work with single digits or place two or more cards side by side to make number sentences a little more complicated.
Play 21 – You will need a partner to play this game. The aim is for the cards to add to 21 or as close as possible. One person is the dealer, and the other is the player. The player asks the dealer to deal the cards and stops them before they hit 21. Whoever gets closest to 21, is the winner.
Place Value War – This game also needs a partner. Each player chooses two cards and makes a 2-digit number. The player with the largest number gets a point. The first player to 5 is the winner - children in middle primary love this game. You can make it more complicated by increasing the size of the numbers that the kids are playing with.
10-12 Years (Late Primary)
Multiplication fluency – Choose two numbers and multiply them together. The aim is to be as fluent as possible. Try timing how many questions can be solved in 1 or 2 minutes and then work on beating your PB.
Multiplication algorithms – Depending on how children are developing with their multiplication skills, use the cards to create algorithms to solve. Again, we like to use sticky notes to add in the multiplication sign.
Make Fractions – Place 1 card below another to make a fraction. You can do loads of tasks with fractions such as convert improper fractions into mixed numbers, add and subtract fractions or compare fractions with a greater than, less than or equals to sign.
Factor find – Choose a number and then find its factors using the UNO cards. They can make 2-digit numbers by placing two cards side by side.
All age groups
Enlarge UNO cards on the photocopier and use them as a resource. This is a super simple maths warmup or centre (and the novelty of the large UNO cards always get kids talking). Ask students to record number sentences where the answer is the number on the card. You could mix this up with various skills:
⭐️ Addition number sentences
⭐️ Subtraction number sentences
⭐️ Times tables (eg x8 on the 8 cards)
⭐️ Division facts
⭐️ Or anything they know about that number
Even better you could laminate or put them in plastic sleeves and use them over and over.
Ask your kids to create a card house. You could even hold a competition to see who can create the largest, tallest or strongest house.
Using everyday items can make learning a little bit more exciting for kids. We would love to hear how you go if you use any of these ideas in your classroom or at home! Connect with us via email, on Instagram or Facebook.