Possible game styles for math games

Many researchers and educators support greater invovlement with math concetps in the preschool years through activities that are hands-on, natural, have meaning for children, and come from everyday life. Rather than teaching math skills by drilling and rote memorization, teachers can plan rich environments and offer developmentally sequeunced opportunities that alow children to explore math concepts in the context of play.

Many children’s books provide a natural, meaningful path for exploring and exchanging ideas about math concepts. Also, as children often read favourite books again and again, if a math activity is based on a familiar story line, the math experience can be recalled as the book is being read, providing a powerful mental connection for remembering concepts and skills.

Moving from space to space along a game board supports one-to-one correspondence and rolling dice allows for counting with meaning. Spinners allow for numeral recognition and counting practice.

Many different types of games can be developed for preschoolers and children.

Lotto allows children to use their matching skills, practice one-to-one correspondence, and build early counting skills.

Short path games such as the Snail’s Pace Race game have only 10 to 20 spaces but provide children with initial experiences in turn taking as they follow a pathway with a counter. Following a path requires more abstract thinking than collecting and matching game pieces during a lotto game.

Circular path games allow for turn taking and following the rules of a game, without the distracting element of competition. Instead of moving to the end of a path, children move their counters in a circle around the board and play until they have achieved the goal of the game.


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