· By Jeanie Mehran
5 WAYS TO BOOST KIDS MATH SKILLS WITH GAMES
Have you ever purchased a math game that sounded like the perfect way to improve your kids’ math skills? Then…your kids saw the word “math” on the box and quickly lost interest. Don’t give up! Go ahead—open that box and set up the game. When you use these simple tips, your kids will enjoy and request that math game!
1. A Sense of Humor
Your child wants to share happy moments with you. Silly animated comments like “Oh no!’ or “No way” or “What!?” can start the giggles. Kids mirror their parents’ emotions. Have fun and your kids will too!
Happy experiences also create happy memories. Even the thought of a happy activity can make kids feel good. Linking math with happy emotions increases the likelihood that kids will actively pursue other types of math in the future.
2. The More the Merrier
Bring in other family members. There’s no better way to liven up a game than to include a mix of players. Grandparents are perfect to share the fun and are not too offended when they lose.
3. It’s Not about Winning
Is your child sensitive about losing? Downplay the scoring. Emphasize the action, fun, and surprises in the game. For really young kids pair them up with an adult or older sibling.
4. Find Their Sweet Spot
It’s best to play at an easier game level and work your way up. Mastery comes from practice. Kids should have a preliminary understanding of math before playing the game. If the math is too difficult, the fun factor of the game is lost.
A solution for young beginners is to start as an observer. It’s surprising how quickly the little ones learn just by watching others have fun.
The idea is for your kids to want to continue improving their math skills. If kids add incorrectly the first time, RELAX! Simply correct them without much drama. They’ll get it right the second and third time. But if they’re embarrassed or unhappy, they won’t want to play again.
If you feel your kids have mastered the skills in the game and they still want to play it again—great! Many kids will read a favorite book again and again, even after they’ve learned all the words. Allow them to enjoy a math game for the fun of it. They’ll think of math as a fun, useful skill and they’ll move on to more challenging games when they’re ready.