Math may not be the coolest subject in school. The stereotypes of those who enjoy it are endless–math geeks, math nerds and math dorks. But math is the foundation to success in many future careers and fields. Encourage a love for math among your kids with games that will get their brains working and challenge their math skills.
When developing math games for your family, page through your child’s math book and the worksheets he brings home. Keep the games relevant to the concepts he is working on at school. Pay particular attention to the areas he struggles in. His tests may reveal weaknesses with fractions or multiplication. Focus on those areas to help him gain a better grasp of those concepts. Intersperse some questions or games that focus on his stronger areas as well to help him gain confidence and have fun with the games you present.
If your kids are all at different stages of academic development, don’t frustrate them with games that simply test math knowledge. You may choose to play a quiet game with your older children while your younger ones nap or have quiet time. You can play another game with the younger ones while the older ones read a book or play outside. If you are playing as a family, assign one adult as a captain of each team. Direct certain questions or problems at the respective age group.
On the Go
Math games are a convenient way to entertain kids when you are on the go. Many websites offer free downloads of puzzles and games that you can print and add to a binder. A simple game requires a grid of dots. Players take turns drawing a line between dots. Whenever a player closes in a square or other geometric shape determined by the players, he gets a point.
Some games specifically test your child’s arithmetic. These often require him to work out and answer certain equations or to come up with equations on his own. You can play hopscotch requiring kids to come up with equations, answering a number they have rolled or called out. You can also call out an equation, and ask children to come up with the number. Play fast-paced games by calling out a long equation and seeing which child can find the answer first.
Sometimes, kids need to reinforce their math concepts, not necessarily basic arithmetic. Puzzles help them with spatial awareness and geometry. Games, like Monopoly, require them to count and keep track of various items. Talk with your children’s teachers to find out which concepts your child needs to work on.
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