Recommended age group: 5–11
Time required: one 45–60 minutes session
Equipment: Number Crunching for Rio presentation, internet for research (optional), materials to create own games.


Before the activity

If you would like the children to consider in greater depth how good teams work, before they begin their own team challenge, work through the ideas in the ‘What makes an effective team?’ lesson and complete the ‘What makes an effective team?’ activity sheet.

Before putting the children into teams to make up their number games and puzzles, you could show them the Celebrating Rio assembly, which provides useful background on Rio 2016, to help inspire them to think about the numbers involved.

Main activity

  1. Take the ‘Number crunching the Games’ quiz as a class, or use the Number Crunching Rio activity sheet. These both include lots of numbers you could discuss together to tune the children in to the kinds of games and questions they could produce themselves. You can print out and use slides 2–3 to support the younger/less able – as these use smaller numbers. The full presentation can be used as a source of numbers for older/more able children to work with rather than searching for their own.
  2. Put the children into small teams of 4–6. Each team then discusses and decides what they want to make, e.g. a board game, a quiz sheet a puzzle page or a game of ‘numeracy mastermind’, etc. They also discuss and decide on who is going to do what within the team, e.g. they could have researchers, designers, and a project manager to co-ordinate the process and make sure everything is completed on time.
  3. Once the teams have completed their number challenges they can try them out on other teams in the class.


  • Younger or less able children can work with numbers up to 20 (slides 2–3). They might also enjoy teaching the game to a friend or younger child.
  • Older or more able children can use bigger numbers to create their number challenges and may also be able to take more responsibility for specific roles and tasks within the team and generally organise themselves more independently. Team roles could include Games number researchers, project managers (to help bring all the ideas together), designers and makers of the final products. The ‘Number crunching for Games' presentation provides bigger numbers the children can use, in addition to their own.


  • Invite other classes, parents or members of the community to play the games and/or complete the number challenges.
  • Have a vote to decide the best three games, which could then be laminated and made available for children to enjoy during wet playtimes.