Playing games at home is a great way to help a child who is struggling with math skills. When we were children, we worked on our own math skills through rote practice with flash cards, work sheets, and memorization, but it’s now widely recognized that playing games is a fantastic addition to building those skills. Math games are a fun way to practice counting, number and pattern recognition, numerical strategies, problem solving, and decision making, while at the same time reducing math anxiety and having fun. Furthermore, players are less likely to worry about making mistakes or failing than they are in a pencil-and-paper environment.
Your child can also discover real-life and practical ways to use their growing math skills. They can learn from the other game participants by watching and absorbing the different strategies they use, they can explore math using formats they know and enjoy (like playing on video gaming systems), and they can try out new strategies and ideas without the pressure of being graded (a huge benefit when a child is struggling with math anxiety).
Playing math games together with your child also gives you the chance to learn what your child’s strengths and weaknesses are and moving forward, you’ll be able to concentrate on building skills where needed by choosing games that help to develop those particular skills. An additional benefit is that math gaming gives family members another opportunity to connect with each other, and that is always a good thing!
There are many different types to explore in the world of board games and video games. You probably already have long-time favorites like Uno and Monopoly somewhere in your home!
Go Fish and Dominoes help children with matching skills, set building, and pattern recognition.
Games like Clue and Guess Who? are fun mystery games that develop strategy by narrowing down options in order to find the correct answer.
Connect Four, Battleship, Chess, and Checkers ask players to move pieces around in order to block or capture other pieces, thus utilizing spatial strategy skills.
Uno and Mancala are both enormously fun games and require numerical strategy that involve removing, eliminating, or rearranging pieces in order to win.
Then there is the timeless Monopoly, which asks players to think about how they’re going to use their money or resources (property) in order to reach a goal that they set for themselves.
Computer games, video games, and the wide world of apps are also beneficial! Technology is a sure-fire way to grab your child’s attention, particularly your teen and tween.
Take a look here for a collection of some of the best math apps of 2019. There is something here for every age and interest:
Video games help teens and tweens build reasoning and flexible thinking skills, boost their memorization and problem-solving abilities, practice spatial manipulation and more. Try out SimCity, Portal, Minecraft, and The Legend of Zelda, all popular games that will have your child learning and developing important skills while having fun.
These suggestions should help you help your child practice important math skills. Make sure you join in on the gaming and have fun and productive family time as well!