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!
Make 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!
Connect 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.
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Roll 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 >>
Chutes 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.
Pizza 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.
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