Games to help children with maths

Dec 2011
Games to help children with maths
Improving your child's maths skills is as easy as playing games

Mathematics is normally the hardest subject to learn at school. Find out how to help your children improve in their maths knowledge and have fun at the same time.

While the numerical system comes as something totally new for children at early ages, becoming skilled and understanding the different mathematical operations can be even more baffling as children advance further on their school course.

Playing is most children's favourite activity, which comes as a natural thing to do at all ages. This is why introducing games that help children improve their maths comprehension, while having fun at the same time, is something most parents should try.

The following games could be a great help:

Guess my number
Basically, this is the numerical version of the famous "I spy with my little eye" game - kids are always very curious and just trying to guess something could entertain them for hours.

In "Guess my number" one player thinks of a number and the other player or players have to guess which one it is by asking mathematical questions such as: is it greater than...? Is it an odd number? If I multiply it by X is the answer X? Is it a decimal number? Can it be divided by X?

Questions could be as simple or as complicated as the level of the child. This game helps children to get used to numerical system logic and vocabulary in its different categories.

Shopping games
Children love to imitate adults. That is why they play 'doctors and nurses' or take care of their dolls as if they were their own children.

In this sense, pretending that they are shoppers or shopkeeper selling things to their "clients" is also a popular game to play at early ages. If your kids love "shopping" games, suggest that they create their own money too. This will help them make the game even more real, but it will also be a great opportunity for them to practise their maths when paying or giving change for a "purchased" good.

Ludo is a simple board game that can lead to hours and hours of fun. Children at early ages can start playing Ludo by themselves with their parents' help. With this game they will practise their adding and subtracting skills as well as their counting knowledge.

Families can spend hours playing Monopoly. This game requires having an advanced level of maths and will enforce strategic thinking skills into your children. Considering the different tactics to make the most of their "money" will help children improve their maths and critical thinking abilities.

PC games
Aside from these traditional games, if you have a strong interest for your children to improve their maths, there is a wide range of specific PC games available in the market for kids of all ages and levels.

Children love computer and videogames, and the creators of most of these programs make them attractive enough for younger and older kids to be interested in.