8 Fun Simplifying Algebraic Expressions Games And Activities

Simplifying equation is a crucial component of teaching learners how to operate and make sense of algebraic expressions. It is primarily crucial to comprehend the meaning of combining like terms, how to use the order of operations, and how to work with variables and coefficients when simplifying expressions.

The otherwise tedious concept can be a lot of fun if you incorporate activities into your teaching. Therefore, in this article, we have included some fun and engaging activities that will help the child learn more about simplifying expressions and in turn, enhance their learning process.

Activities & games for learning algebraic expressions simplifying in a fun way  

Mentioned below is a compiled list of simplifying algebraic expressions activities and games that can help kids practice the concept in a fun and engaging manner. 

1. Roll the dice and determine the “n” value

 Roll the dice

Roll the dice is a group puzzle game that a group of children can play together. It entails rolling dice to find the value of an algebraic expression that is stated on the puzzle. Here all the child needs to do is roll the dice and the number they land with determines the ‘n’ value. The player must then choose any puzzle piece with the equation mentioned on it and solve the equation using the value of ‘n’ they obtained from the dice. At the end of the game, the student that is able to solve puzzle pieces wins. This classroom exercise does not just ensure that the child understands how to simplify expressions but also allows students to interact and have fun while sharing a small number of resources.

2. Building block 

Represent equation using blocks

Employ your child’s building block set and mark each of them with different numerical values. 

Create two piles and mark one pile as x or y and the other one with numerical values. Then, write an equation on the board and have kids represent the equation using blocks and learn the different sub-parts of the equation with which an equation is formed.

For instance, you give an equation 5x=10; here, you can ask the child to present it by putting five variables and ten numerical blocks. Simplifying means breaking it into its smallest part and this activity will help kids know and understand various small elements that make up an expression.

3. Flashcard 

algebra flashcards

Math flashcards are generally created for students to practice their math facts, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. They can be extended to other math concepts, such as algebraic expressions. For this activity, divide the classroom into teams. Provide them with flashcards with constant values written on them. After that, write an equation on the board and ask the kids to find the answer. The team that gets the maximum number of correct answers wins. 

Another variation of the same can be having two different teams and pitting them against one another. Provide two sets of flashcards, with one having questions such as half a number m and the other with answers such as m/2. Flip a coin, and the winner gets to use question flashcards. Here all the child needs to do is find the flash card with the correct answer. 

4. Pyramid


Make a pyramid structure and write different algebraic expressions on them. To better understand the activity refer to the illustration above. Start with the basic expressions (y+1 and y+6) and ask the child to write the sum of the equations in the one above it (2y+7). Similarly, when you are done with one set of four expressions, you will have a little complex set of three and then of two. Mention the correct answer on one of the boxes as we mentioned (11y+29) so that the child knows he/she is on the right track. If you appoint this activity in your child’s lessons they will learn how to rise and simplify equations with different difficulty levels which will widen their learning curve. 

5. Chits game 

You don’t always need hard activities to teach kids complex concepts; sometimes, the classics can help like none of the others can. So, write an algebraic expression with two variables on the board and make a number of chits with different values for just one of the variables, and put them in a bowl. Divide your class into two teams, randomly calling onto one by a coin toss and asking the team member who comes to represent the team to solve and simplify the expression on the board and find the value of the other variable. If they attempt it correctly, they get a star and it’s the next team’s chance to earn one as well. In the end, the team with the most stars is declared the winner. 

6. Crosswords puzzles 

Algebra crossword puzzles

Another such classic activity can be crossword. Draw or print a blank crossword sheet and then write different equations in the across and down section. Call any child randomly and ask them to find the solution. The students need to write the answer using names. You can even make it a group activity and ask kids to collaborate and simplify/ solve the equations. Students can also create their own set of crosswords and include different equations for their peers to solve. This way they will learn how to form an equation and then simplify it for a better learning curve.  

7. Hurdle tiles

Algebra tiles are a widely recognized and employed method of teaching and learning algebra. For this game, the teacher will have to make two identical sets of algebra tiles. Then the class will be divided into two teams and both will be given their own individual sets. 

Using these tiles, one team will create an algebraic expression and challenge the other to solve it. If the other team is successful, this would be considered a point in their favor and it would now be their turn to create an expression as difficult as they can using the set of tiles they have. After 5 to 8 rounds, whichever team has the highest points can be declared the winner.

This game will not only help the students in learning how to solve the expressions but also give them insight into how they are made. This will be useful in reverse engineering the expressions as well as in further algebra lessons when they’ll be required to write their own equations based on the available information.

8. Solve and paint

Solve and paint

This activity will combine the fun of painting with the educational component of solving algebraic expressions. The teacher will have to print out a scenery with no colors for every student. Write the algebraic expressions in the different parts of the scenery. Design a color key in which answers to the algebraic expressions are associated with a color. The task of the students will be to solve the expression to find a number and fill the empty space with the color associated with the number in the color key. 

These activity sheets with equations in empty spaces and color keys can easily be made on MS paint or any other drawing and picture editing tool. This activity will encourage the students to solve their expressions as quickly and accurately as possible so that they can begin with the enjoyable part of the coloring.

Final thought 

For kids who find math challenging to learn, learning a difficult idea like algebra for the first time might be scary. As a result, when teaching a new topic in class, teachers must create an engaging environment that inspires students to overcome hurdles, participate actively in class, and improve their Math skills.

The best way to do so is to utilize different learning techniques to teach and practice. One can create their own algebra games for the classroom with conveniently accessible materials to make the session more interesting! Or go for the ones we mentioned above. The silver lining, however, still remains the same regardless of whatever technique you select you need to make it fun and engaging otherwise no matter how much effort you might put it will go in vain. 

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