Today, let me introduce you a simple, fun, and engaging game that can improve your kids’ math stills, and I call this game “24”. Don’t get confused with the famous TV show “24” and it has nothing to do with it.

Here is how to play the game “24”:

- Randomly pick (or find) 4 numbers between 1 and 9
- Find a way to make 24 out of the 4 numbers by using addition, subtraction, multiplication, or/and division.
- Each number must be used once and only once
- Only the aforementioned arithmetic operations and parenthesis are allowed

For example:

Given 2,3,4,and 5, you can make 24 as this: 4*(5+3-2)=24

3,4,5,and 9 ==> 3*(9-5+4) = 24

This game is suitable for kids from the upper level of elementary school to adults. I introduced this game to my daughter when she was in the third grade and she could do many simple ones. It will be a little bit challenging in the beginning, but with enough practice, kids can master the game and sharpen their math skills while having fun. For example, you can use a deck of poker cards (number cards only between 1-9) to randomly draw four cards, then try to make 24 out of them; or when you are driving, look for license plates with numbers, and then use those numbers to make 24. This is especially fun when you are on a long drive and want your kids to stay away from their electronics for a while, just ask them to pay attention to the license plates of the cars that you pass by, and if there are enough numbers on a license plate, then the whole family can start playing the game. Sometimes, you will find that there are multiple ways to make 24 for a given set of 4 numbers, so as an extra challenge, you can ask older kids to find out all of the possible ways.

Here is a list of numbers that you can use for this game (and if you want to know the solution, just highlight the area after ===> to reveal it) and I will keep updating this list, so make sure to check back here for more.

Beginner level:

2,3,4,8 ===> (4+2-3)*8 = 24

2,3,4,9 ===> (2*9/3)*4 = 24

1,2,3,4 ===> 1*2*3*4 = 24

1,2,3,5 ===> 2*3*(5-1) = 24

1,2,3,5 ===> 3*(1+2+5) = 24

1 3 5 6 ===> (3*6)+5+1 = 24

2 4 5 8 === 8*(5-4+1) = 24 or 2*4*(8-5) = 24

2 5 5 7 ===> (2*7)+5+5 = 24

1 5 7 8 ===> 8*(1+7-5) = 24

2 2 6 6 ===> (2*6)+(2*6) = 24

1 1 5 7 ===> (5+7)*(1+1) = 24

1 2 6 8 ===> 8*(6-2-1) = 24 or 6*(8/2)*1 = 24

1 2 8 9 ===> 8*9/(2+1) = 24 or 9+(8*2)-1 = 24

Intermediate level:

1 4 5 5 ===> (4*5) + (5-1) = 24

1 3 5 6 ===> 5+(3*6)+1 = 24