3rd Grade Math Probability Games and Activities

For many kids, learning is more fun when games and activities are incorporated. Help your 3rd grader increase his or her understanding of mathematical probability in a fun way by using the following educational games and activities.

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How to Help Your Child Understand Probability

Probability refers to the mathematical likelihood that something will occur. It is most often measured by a percentage, but it can also be expressed using a fraction. For 3rd graders, you may want to simplify probability by using words like 'likely' or 'unlikely'. Real-world examples of probability include the weather forecast and the odds of the lottery. Each of the activities below will help your child understand the factors that affect probability.

Sum Rolling

This game of odds only requires you to have two dice. During each turn, players will roll the two dice and add the numbers together. Before rolling the dice, each player should predict which sum they expect to roll most often. Take turns rolling both dice and recording the sums that are rolled. In order for this game to work, you must roll the dice numerous times. As an extension to this game, you could have your child create a pie graph depicting the results of the game.

Coin Toss

For this 3-player game, you will need to make a table with three columns. The columns should be labeled as A, B and C. Each of the players will be assigned one of these letters. Take turns tossing two coins. If both coins land on heads, player A receives a point. If one coin lands on heads and one on tails, then player B gets the point. Player C receives the point if both coins land on tails. The first player to earn ten points wins! In order to receive an accurate representation of probability, be sure to play several games.

Golden Ticket

For this game, you will need candy with colorful wrappers, such as gold and silver. Place one gold candy and three silver candies in a paper bag. Have your child randomly draw a candy out of the bag and record its color. After recording the color, the candy should be placed back inside the bag. Discuss with your child the likelihood of drawing out silver candies versus gold candies.

A real-world connection to the lottery could be incorporated into this game. Point out how a person's odds increase based on the number of tickets he or she purchases. A pictograph can easily be created from your results.

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