Math Wheels for Note-taking?

Practice Math Facts with Ping Pong!

Have you ever thought about how the game of ping pong helps kids practice math facts? I’m guessing the answer to that is “no” – but you should! Ping pong is a great way to dive into math facts and help students build a stronger understanding of multiples of 5.  Keep reading to find out more! 

Practice math facts with ping pong! A fun and engaging way to use games to help kids learn math skills.

Why Ping Pong?

I love playing ping pong! As a kid, I played it a lot. And I even play occasionally as an adult. I would never claim to be a SERIOUS player, but I’m not bad!

I was playing with my daughter the other day, and it occurred to me that playing ping pong is a great way for younger children to practice their addition facts and some multiples of 5 (good for older kids too, if they don’t know these facts very well).
Now, this idea is based on the “serving rules” that we used when I was growing up. It appears that these are not the official rules anymore. Since I’m not a professional, I’m ok with playing by the unofficial rules!  The way we played is that the server switches every 5 points, and we played to 21 points.

Ping Pong and Math Facts

So, here’s where the math comes in….when you’re playing, you need to know when to switch who’s serving, so you need to know what adds up to the multiples of 5.
  • When the score is 5-0, 4-1, or 3-2, serving switches.
  • To switch servers at 10 points, players need to know that the score would be: 10-0, 9-1, 8-2, 7-3, 6-4, or 5-5.
  • When serving switches at a total of 15 points, the score possibilities are: 15-0, 14-1, 13-2, 12-3, 11-4, 10-5, 9-6, 8-7.
  • At 20 points, the score would be: 20-0, 19-1, 18-2, 17-3, 16-4, 15-5, 14-6, 13-7, 12-8, 11-9, 10-10.
Over the years, I have noticed that students seem less aware of, and less automatic with, the digits that will add to 10. Playing ping pong is a great way for kids to practice these facts. This is great for parents to do with their kids. But. . . a mini ping pong table in the classroom sounds like fun too!!

Engaging Kids with Games

The repetition of these facts through ping pong and many games can really help kids learn them. And. . . it makes learning fun.
Looking for more ideas on engaging kids with games? Whether you want to practice math facts or explore new concepts, check out these:


Welcome to Cognitive Cardio Math! I’m Ellie, a wife, mom, grandma, and dog ‘mom,’ and I’ve spent just about my whole life in school! With nearly 30 years in education, I’ve taught:

  • All subject areas in 4th and 5th grades
  • Math, ELA, and science in 6th grade (middle school)

I’ve been creating resources for teachers since 2012 and have worked in the elearning industry for about five years as well!

If you’re looking for ideas and resources to help you teach math (and a little ELA), I can help you out!



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