Traditionally and even today, the words “mathematics” and “game” have been practically conceived as antonyms. Therefore, we are surprised to read and think that they have more similarities than we think.
Let’s put ourselves in a position to start playing a new game. We are all restless trying to discover how it works. We investigate the different elements that we find when opening the box until someone decides to read the instructions. And so all games follow a very similar procedure. First, different rules are introduced, and then we are presented with the correct use of the different objects and tiles, whose function is linked and defined by the rules of the game.
Now, let’s transfer this example to mathematics. When we are presented with a mathematical theory, it is also introduced by explaining a set of rules. Furthermore, it is made up of different elements (generally numbers or data ) that these rules must follow. Therefore, our function is to try to familiarize ourselves with all these elements until mastering them.
Who among you would need to read the Parcheesi game rules before playing? Unconsciously, we incorporate these rules until we can play or perform a mathematical activity mechanically and instinctively. The challenge is that this incorporation process is not tedious or meaningless for boys and girls.
Fear of mathematics can negatively affect your children’s perception of it. One way to mitigate or even prevent that fear is to use math games for children.
We have compiled a list of fun as well as interesting math games for you to spark your children’s curiosity:
With the help of a sheet of tangrams, your children will have fun reproducing with the pieces different shapes, such as squares, triangles or rectangles, for example. On the Internet, you can find countless examples with which to start playing.
Connect the dots
Help your children improve the fine motor skills by playing to connect the dots with this useful sheet. Take turns connecting two points with a vertical or horizontal line. Every time one of the players closes a square, write inside his initial: he will have an extra turn. Once you have joined all the points, count the number of squares that each one has obtained.
Use coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents to exercise your children’s mathematical skills: the goal is to reach 1 euro. Another possibility is to play in the stores and ask them to buy toys and trinkets with those coins. Besides, you can also teach them how to calculate probabilities by tossing a coin. Throw one or two at the same time and write down with paper and pencil how many times heads or tails come out.
Exercise your children’s math skills (addition for the youngest and multiplication for the oldest) by rolling the dice. If you want to increase the difficulty, roll at least three dice instead of two.
It is a very funny dice game, ideal to exercise these skills. With this game, they will not only learn to count but also develop critical thinking skills.
Count from 2 to 2, from 3 to 3, from 4 to 4, etc
If your children have mastered the basic skill of counting, encourage them to do “multi-number to multiple” or to count 2-by-2 or 3-by-3. This activity will help them learn to multiply.
Ask your children to write a number from 1 to 30 and try to guess it by asking them if it is odd or even or less than 10. When you hit it, you can change the roles: ask them to try to guess the number you are thinking of you.
Each player must roll a die; You will receive the number of cents indicated by the die. When the child gets 5 or 10 cents, he can exchange the smaller coins for one of that value. If you get 20 cents, you win.
Children must take turns picking a card from any standard deck (numbered 1 through 6 are used) to form three two-digit numbers. Each time they withdraw a card, they will decide whether they want to use the number that represents their value in the tens place or the one’s place. When they have taken 6 in total (they will have formed three two-digit numbers), they must add them to try to reach 100 without going over.
What time is it?
Invite your children to practice their math skills with an analog clock. Ask them to figure out how much half an hour is, how many minutes an hour is, and how many minutes three hours.
This is a fun activity that can be practiced outdoors: ask your children to count the number of bubbles you make and how many can explode. Increase the difficulty by asking them to guess the number of bubbles that will form and how many will explode.
How big is…?
Using a ruler and several small objects, ask your children to tell you how tall they are. Record the answer with a pencil and paper. When you have finished, suggest that they compare the measurement of each object.
Use coins, toys or prizes to practice division in disguise: ask your children to distribute them equally among the players.
We have already arrived?
If your children are always asking you if you have already arrived, the next time you go on a trip play this fun activity. Ask them to guess how long it will take you to arrive and calculate how long it took you with a timer or stopwatch. In this way, they will discover how accurate they have been. If they are not very small, ask them to calculate the average kilometers per hour (km / h) of the trip, dividing the number of kilometers traveled by the time it took you to reach your destination.
Ask your little architects to build a tower with as many blocks as they can in 60 seconds. When the time is up, count the number of blocks that make up each tower.
Which of these fun math games are you going to choose for your children?