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5 Math games for kids

Elaina is a Phoenix-based freelance writer, blogger and co-founder of the Kidlee baby book app. Check out her blog, Fun Finds For Mom, for product reviews, recipes and fun activities for moms and kids.

Math made fun

If you want to give your little ones a jump start on math, try these five games and activities. You’ll be surprised how a few simple games will help you teach your little ones the fundamentals of math. They may think they're playing a board game, but they’re actually beefing up their skills in numeral identification, counting, number-line estimation and numerical magnitude comparison. Let the brain-building begin!

Kids playing snakes and ladder

1Make a counting book

Grab some stickers and staple ten blank pages together into a book. Help your child write a number on each page, 1-10. Hand your young mathematician their shiny new stickers and let him peel and stick the corresponding number of stickers on each page to make his own counting book. Your child will be learning number correspondence, and will have a special new book to show for it!

2Connect the dots

Dot-to-dot puzzles are excellent tools to help teach the basic math skill of counting to young children. Have your child say the numbers out loud as they connect the dots. If your little one has mastered 1-10, choose dot-to-dot books that go up to higher numbers. Help your kids by saying the numbers out loud if they're unsure of the larger numbers.

Download free connect the dot pages here >>

3Roll the Dice

Have your kids roll two dice and practice addition and subtraction based on the numbers rolled. When the dice have been rolled, have the kids determine which number is greater, then they can subtract the smaller number from the greater number. If you're playing with older kids, give each child a set of dice and have them roll, add the two numbers and subtract the sum from 100. The first child to get to zero wins!

Does math scare your youngster? Help them overcome their fear of math >>

4Chutes and Ladders

To parents, the classic board game Chutes and Ladders may seem a bit boring (not a whole lot of strategy involved), and frustrating (darn chutes!), however, kids who play preschool math games with consecutively numbered squares, like Chutes and Ladders, have been shown to improve their math skills as a result. In fact, a 2008 study conducted by Ramani and Siegler showed that games like this improve kids' ability to identify numbers, count, mark the location of a number on a line and choose the greater of two numbers. Those who played games with colored squares, however, showed no improvement with these skills.

Learn six tips to make math more fun >>

5Pizza fractions game

Fractions are most easily understood when they can be seen – or eaten! Pizza slices are an engaging way to teach kids fraction fun. You could use a real pizza and a pizza cutter to demonstrate, or check out this pizza fractions game from eeBoo. It's recommended for ages 6 and up, and teaches simple fractions and strategy using a pie chart technique.

More ways to make math fun

Meal time math: 5 quick math lessons for the breakfast table
Fun activities for your kindergartner to make learning fun
Game sites your kids will love but will actually help them with math

More tips for parents of teens

How to help teens adjust to a new school
What to do when a teen loses a friend
Helping teens form real friendships

 


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