Math is a crucial skill for kids to learn. It’s used everyday, from problem solving to computations. However, many parents believe that math is dry, dull, boring. What many people (and some curriculums!) don’t realize is that math can be fun – and I’m not talking about just for those kids that enjoy doing math problems just to see if they can get the correct answer!
Over the past few years, I’ve learned that my son learns best by playing games. In fact, the way he learned how to recognize those dreadful teen numbers was by playing a game. Games provide a fun environment that allows the child to work on social skills, communication skills, and problem solving. An added bonus is if the game is educational (and especially if it helps with math skills. *wink *wink)
There is something about playing games that makes kids learn the material – and quickly. We recently changed curriculums to RightStart math for the sole fact that almost all of the computation tables are learned via games (and the abacus, but that’s a different matter!). Within the past 2 weeks, Aikman has gone from not wanting to talk about addition to begging to play another round of “Sum to 10.” (We use this kit for the games.)
You don’t have to buy an expensive kit, like RightStart. In fact, we have made games ourselves from a standard deck of cards, and even using Uno and Phase 10 cards. We’ve even used a simple box and 5 little items/counters to practice learning the addition facts to 5.
Games are so versatile that many can be used for different subjects. I’ve seen all over the Internet where teachers have changed Candyland into a sight word game. Oftentimes, I’ll take a game and tweak it so that it fits our needs, which includes games Aikman seemingly has outgrown. For instance, when I wanted to teach him how to read the number words (one, two, etc.), I made some cards that had the number words on them from 1 to 10, and played Chutes and Ladders with our new cards rather than using the spinner. (See post for free printable.)
So, what games do we recommend for teaching math?
Here’s our list of the top 25 math games for kids!
Jenga, Don’t Break the Ice, Kerplunk, and other balancing/topping games
Blokus and Tetris Link
Set -- PERFECT for kids ages 8+, especially for middle school and high schoolers!
Do you have a favorite math game? Please tell me about it! We are always on the look out for more great games!
Note: Games above are linked to my Amazon affiliate code. The very small amount of money that I make on Amazon is used to support our curriculum needs. Photos are taken from Amazon.