This is a re-post of Oct 28-2015 article from ParentEdge magazine.
The Numbers Magician: Teaching Children Maths Skills through Board Games, Part 2
Last month we learnt about introducing ‘Singapore Math’ and ‘Hands-on Math’ concepts to toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners (Age 2 to 6 primarily).
Today we shall explore some excellent board games for ages 3/4 to 8 years that teach kids geometry and algebra while also being fun. The games and books I mention here are just a few examples to explore from an array of options available in the market today. My daughter has played all these games, and hence I can assure you of their usefulness from my own experience.
If your child has a good understanding of numbers from a young age, you can introduce this fun card-game. Kids are required to match the numbered card with the equivalent picture card. Numbers go up to 15. You can also play ‘memory’ or ‘treasure hunt’ with these cards. Better still, carry them in your purse while travelling long or short distances and play even while you are waiting for traffic to clear!
Ludo is a traditional and popular game. Kids learn to roll and read the dice, and count the number of spaces to play and move. They learn to follow a certain direction for their player to move forward. Directions like these help us understand the physical world of math around us.
GAME: Crystal Climbers
This is a wonderful geometrical game. There are different shaped crystals made from plastic. Kids much match pieces to each other to make numerous designs or objects. This game improves gross motor movements and eye-brain co-ordination as well. You can teach children, in a hands-on way, about 3-dimensional shapes like cube and 2-dimensional shapes like circle and triangle.
GAME: Cash Register
The Cash Register is an addictive toy for many kids. They fancy being able to scan items and collect money especially if they repeatedly ‘witness’ their parents paying the cashier at different shops. Younger kids may tear the paper notes or swallow coins. You can laminate paper notes and keep the coins away until age 5.
The register can be used to ‘simulate’ a shopping experience. Let your children set up a soft-toy shop and you can go buy something from there. Allow them to do a simple transaction. Teach them to scan, open and close the cash box. As they grow older, you can teach them about currency and do several types of money transactions which involve addition, subtraction, etc.
(E.g.I have Rs. 20, if I have to pay you Rs. 10, how much will you return?)