Board games plus children add up to a winning equation. Research has determined that number board games can increase a child’s ability to learn necessary math facts that enable them to get a solid head start in this vital subject. Preschoolers who played a board game with a spinner for 20-minute sessions over a two-week period demonstrated a greater capability to count, identify numbers and conceptualize the value of those numbers.
Educators and parents are recognizing the importance of using games to teach key facts to young children. There are many fun and exciting games to choose from, and this quick overview of some of the more popular ones can help in the selection process.
Chutes and Ladders is perhaps the best known of the bunch and has brought a lot of laughter and learning to children. Recommended for children ages 4-7, this action-packed game uses a spinner to advance. No reading is required, although the players will be introduced to simple counting.
Tip Top Tally Game made by Purple Pebble Games is geared for ages 4 and over. Friendly penguin characters lead players across the board, while trying to avoid the Slippery Slide and Icy Icicle. Children will use math concepts to add and subtract the numbers on the dice. The game is competitive enough to keep the interest of the players while encouraging them to use numbers.
Math Animals Game, by Aristoplay, is recommended for ages 5 and over. The very colorful game board and the animal playing pieces raises the interest level. Players roll the dice and move around the board in an effort to land on the animal that represents the highest number. Math skills like addition, subtraction and multiplication are introduced.
Totally Tut Board Game from Learning Resources is best played by children 6 years and older. Players move through rows of pyramids by using number and operation triangles to solve math problems. Basic math skills like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are used. Children must also guard against their opponents which also introduces strategic thinking.
Head Full of Numbers Game is also created by Learning Resources and the recommended age is 7 and older. This fast-paced math games involves dice and a race against the clock. Players roll the dice and have to create math equations using those numbers. There is a high level of competition involved which provides an exciting encouragement to develop math skills.
Counting and Numbers Quizmo by World Class Materials can be used by children ages 3-8. Young players will be introduced to a variety of game experiences to help them associate the numbers one through ten with both their names and their values. To conceptualize the value of these numbers, the game uses concrete and abstract methods which significantly improves the child’s ability to understand the meaning of these numerals.
Sum Swamp Math Board Game is produced by Learning Resources and is best played by children ages 5 to 7. Players journey through the swamp by adding and subtracting the numbers rolled on the dice. The Crocodile Short Cut and the Endless Loop add a level of danger and excitement and keep the players’ interest.
Conceptual Money Bingo Game uses math skills to recognize the value of money in dollars and cents. Addition, subtraction, counting and story problems help players understand the concepts of money in a fun and meaningful way. The game is recommended for children over 5 years old.
Smath Board Game, for players 6 and up definitely makes math fun. This crossword puzzle type game uses numbers in a clever way, while encouraging children to succeed with bonus point squares. The players start with what they know about math, and easily add to that knowledge as they go along.
Hi Ho! Cherry-O Board Game is for younger children, ages 3 to 6, and this time-tested game introduces and reinforces counting. No reading is required and children have been enjoying this game for over 30 years.