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Games To Develop Numeracy Skills In Children
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Games To Develop Numeracy Skills In Children

Numeracy is defined as mathematical skills required to help us perform calculations, solve problems, make logical deductions, process information and interpret data. It is a basic life skill as we use it in our daily lives, be it in the supermarket, in school, at the office, at home, just about anywhere! It is hence, an important subject for children to pick up. But how should we teach our children Mathematics? I found that games are a great way to develop numeracy skills!

Teaching Children Mathematics In A Fun Way

In order for a child to learn, the best way is through play. When a child is playing, she doesn't realize she is actually absorbing information without any extraneous effort. After going through my daughter's numbers (1 to 100) flashcards, we followed it up with a "Look for the correct number" game. A game of "Hide and Seek" could also be used to enhance the learning experience, by hiding numbers 1 to 10 around the house, and getting your child to search for them!

Books with audio CDs are another great way for children to learn Mathematics in a fun way. I had got a "Times Table" book with audio CD for my daughter, and she loved it very much! The catchy songs from the CD takes the stress off learning Mathematics, and in fact, she was having fun singing along to the CD on times tables. It is a good way to learn, as it is multi-sensory, she is learning through her senses of sight (by looking at her book), sound (by listening to the audio CD) and taste (not literally, but through the experience of singing the times table).

Games to Develop Numeracy Skills

Board games are also good to develop numeracy skills in children, especially those who are just learning numbers 1 to 10. A few of our personal favourites are:

1. Ludo

The players choose a colour each, and have to ensure their colour counters reach their respective "Homes" first. They do this by rolling a dice, then moving forward based on the number on the dice. A child would be able to learn to identify numbers 1 to 6 based on the number of dots on the dice, and also learn to count 1 to 6 when they move their counters forward.

2. Snakes and Ladders

The objective of the game is to reach the 100 mark first. If players happen to land on the bottom of a ladder, they get to climb up the ladder, hence getting closer to the 100 mark. If on the other hand, a player lands on a snake's head, she would have to slide down all the way to the snake's tail, hence getting further away from the 100 mark.

In addition to learning 1 to 6 (the numbers on the dice, and the number of steps to move), a child would also learn the numbers 1 to 100, which are displayed on the Snakes and Ladders board. A parent could ask "Which number are you at?" to help the child remember her numbers, even as they are playing the game.

3. Monopoly Junior (Princess)

Players get to build castles (by paying money) and gets to collect rent if the opponent player lands on her castle. The first player to be bankrupt loses the game.

A very interesting way to introduce children to the concept of buying properties and collecting rent as passive income. Children also learn to handle money and addition and subtraction along the way!

What are your favourite games to develop numeracy skills in children? What other activities do you engage in to develop a love for Mathematics in your child?

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