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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December 29, 2020
Whether teaching in-person with social distancing or online, the number one question we hear from teachers is how to adapt preschool math games for remote learning. Here are some game ideas that work equally well in person or online.
En Español También. Quantity is a particular amount of something, expressed as a number. Quantity cards for young children can have pictures of small sets such as dots, finger patterns, or 5- or 10- frames. The ones we have available on our site use a variety of pictures or "suits," since matching quantities such as fingers and dots can help develop ideas about equivalence.
En Español También. Card games provide meaningful practice of the basic number combinations. These common card games that children learn in school or at home can be revisited many times and can be adapted to children’s own math skills as they develop over time.
En Español También. Do you remember enjoying fingerplay songs like 5 Little Monkeys or Un Elefante Se Balanceaba when you were young? You may not have realized that sharing these songs is a great way to bring math to life.
En Español También. Path games are fantastic ways for families to spend time together and have fun while doing math. Path games develop number sense, counting skills and, depending on children’s ages and the tools you use, computational fluency.
En Español También. Language and math have a lot in common! For example, every time you describe something—as red, tall, sticky, or loud, for example—you are helping to define and categorize things. And defining and categorizing is huge in mathematics!
En Español También. Jigsaw puzzles are a great way for children to develop their spatial thinking and problem-solving skills. Children enjoy doing all kinds of puzzles and making ones from materials found around the house keeps it fresh and new.
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.
En Español También. 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, composing and comparing numbers, and allowing them to subitize.