I used to teach fact families in a standard way, thinking to myself that fact families are like a grammar lesson for math. But more recently I have added various games and activities to make learning fact families fun as well as adding in some pattern thinking and persistence. So rather than spending a day going over the routine, we spend a couple of weeks doing various fun games. This one I created is one of my students’ favorites. You can use a standard deck of cards, but remove the face cards. Shuffle them and create a 3 x 3 grid of nine cards. Students then call out “Fact Family” if they see three cards that make a family (either +/- or X/÷).

And then they take the three cards if everyone agrees. (2-4 players can play.) Also if everyone agrees that there are no fact families, the dealer can add three more cards. The person with the most sets at the end of the game wins.

Standard cards work fine, but the cards run out, the fact families are limited to ten and under, and the numbers don’t match up to well when using multiplication/division facts. So I worked out my own set and the game lasts longer as more sets are made.