We all know how much fun games are for children. What if I told you that you could teach your children math while they are playing their favorite games? It sounds strange, but it’s true. Many mathematical concepts can be taught to children through various board games, card games, and puzzles. Furthermore, learning math through games can pique their interest in the subject.
How Effective are Board Games in Teaching Math to Children?
Board games are a fantastic way for children to learn math, and it’s not just us saying so. Several research studies have been conducted to see if this practice works; tand the results have been positive. One study discovered that interactive board games can help preschool children can learn math early on. Learning math becomes easier, more effective, and enjoyable for children when parents, teachers, and families play board games with them.1
Another study published by Geetha Ramani, a professor at the University of Maryland, and Robert Siegler, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, found that linear number board games improved the math skills of pre-schoolers coming from low-income family backgrounds. Apart from these studies, the International Journal of Progressive Education’s volume 15, number 5 contains a research study that looked at the impact of board games on cognitive development of second and third graders in primary schools.
8 Board Games to Playfully Teach your Kid Math
With numerous studies1 demonstrating the significant capability of board games in teaching math to children, here are eight games you should play with your children to help them learn mathematical concepts in a fun way.
Monopoly is one of the board games enjoyed by people of all ages. It hasn’t gone out of style, considering how much math children can learn while playing. The game is fun and teaches the concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication, percentage, and probability. Furthermore, it is an excellent way for children to understand the value of money and the concept of sequencing. With different game versions available and multiple player support (2–10), children above 8 years can quickly learn math while playing monopoly.
Related math concepts: Simple Calculation, Probability, Sequencing, Percentage, and Money.
- Sequence Numbers
Sequence Numbers, as the name suggests, is a great board game to teach addition and subtraction to young children. The board game is fun and indulges children in learning patterns and sequences while exploring their way by using cards, solving equations, and finding answers. Sequence numbers support 4–6 players and is ideally suited for children aged 8 and up, . However, children older than 8 years can also play this game to hone their calculation skills. So, take some time out to play this board game with your child to help them improve their addition and subtraction skills.
Related math concepts: Addition and Subtraction.
This board game, which is a classic and family favorite for most of us, is suitable for players of all ages. Young children can use it to practice counting and addition. Furthermore, a large part of winning Yahtzee is based on strategy and reasoning. At its core, this board game teaches probability as players attempt to create combinations with the dice that will allow them to score the highest point. This game requires two or more players and is designed for children aged 8 and up.
Related math concepts: Counting, Probability, Addition, Strategizing, and Reasoning.
Qwirkle is the perfect choice for teaching shapes and patterns to children aged 5 and above. The game is straightforward and can be an excellent place for your child to develop planning and problem-solving skills. It also works well for practicing spatial recognition since tiles have to be matched to earn points. By playing Qwirkle, your child will quickly learn how to think critically and understand reasoning and strategy over time.
Related math concepts: Shapes and Patterns, Addition, Critical Thinking, Counting, and Spatial Recognition.
If you want your child to be good at strategizing with numbers, Rummikub is the best board game to play with them. It is a classic numbers game that supports a range of 2–4 players. To win the game, players must arrange number tiles into sets or runs; by doing so, your child will learn sequencing and patterns subconsciously. This game will also teach your child about colors and the importance of planning ahead of time.
Related math concepts: Patterns, Sequencing, and Strategy.
- Sum Swamp
Sum Swamp is a beautiful board game that can teach your child about addition, subtraction, and simple counting. Designed for 2–4 players, the aim is to cross the swamp with the help of the boulders. Your child can practice and get better at adding and subtracting numbers while solving math equations using the outcome from the three dice. One dice is dedicated to math symbols, and the other two assign numbers. children aged 5 or above can quickly learn math by trying to figure out the spaces they need to move across the board.
Related math concepts: Addition, Subtraction, and Counting.
- Prime Club
This board game can be called a hybrid of Ludo and Snakes and Ladder. Requiring 2–4 players, Prime Club can be won by landing your gaming pieces at the center of the color-coded spaces. Math is ingrained in this game as players need to roll a dice and then add, subtract, multiply, or divide the outcome to move spaces on the board. There are also negative points that can make players go backward by several spots. Thus, in addition to practicing math, your child can learn to think critically by playing this game.
Related math concepts: Addition, Subtraction, Division, and Multiplication.
Equating is a game about assembling tiles with numbers, fractions, and mathematical symbols to form proper equations. Quite similar to Scribbles, this board game needs 2–4 players over the age of 8. Extra points can also be earned by landing on “double equation” or “triple symbol” spaces. Playing this game will help your child develop logical thinking besides practicing.
Related math concepts: Simple Calculations, Counting, and Fractions.
Teaching math through games can also help your child understand simple mathematical concepts that they have trouble grasping. Thus, playing board games is definitely a good way to teach math to your children.
Play these board games with your child and let us know what they learned in the comments. And, if you enjoyed this article and want to read more like it, go to BYJU’S FutureSchool blogs.