Playing games is an engaging, developmentally appropriate way to support children's mathematical learning.
Games are motivating. They provide meaningful contexts for children to apply mathematical ideas and skills while reducing the fear of failure and error, since children can always play again.
One of the most powerful things we have done in our classroom to help children enjoy math is to play math games. Because playing 'memory' with dot cards is fun, kids want to do this on their own, and I have seen their fluency with number composition—the idea that four can be one and three or two and two—increase.
Games can increase children's access to mathematics. Most games have few language barriers. And, children operating at different levels of thinking can play together and learn from each other.
Another benefit of math games is how they can build home/school connections when families are encouraged to play games at home. Share the fun today!
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September 11, 2019
Books, games, and routines are a natural entry point for math fun in the early years. A new book tells how to tap into children's curiosity to explore the math that is found in everyday life and in play.
Families play a fundamental role in shaping children's interest and skills in math. Schools can help connect the math that exists both in and out of school and nurture families' positive relationship to math.
Here you can download cards and simple-to-learn game ideas to help young children build their understanding of early math concepts such as cardinality and composing and comparing numbers.
This bingo-like game allows children to think about numbers in different ways. It focuses children on the attribute of quantity of small sets and helps them build a more robust number sense.
This game played with a hula hoop and bean bags demonstrates all the math that can be explored with a simple tossing game. Each round gives children practice seeing and naming smaller parts of a total number in a variety of ways.
Halla Jmourko discusses two innovative instructional tools for integrating language and math concepts in the classroom, The Cubing Game and Three Way Tie.
Creating grid games from classroom materials can be a great opportunity for fun and mathematical discussions involving small sets.
Grid games can be some of the earliest experiences children have with board games. And they can be both fun and mathematical.
Instructor Lisa Ginet explains how to make tangram puzzles, an ancient Chinese game made from seven shapes cut from a square. Over 6500 different arrangements can be made from these seven simple shapes!