For many children, math is neither fun nor easy. Many children find it difficult and uninteresting and unfortunately this attitude can lead to less chance of success and further distress. But changing a negative attitude towards math into a positive one can be as easy as making math more fun.
One of the best ways to do this is with the use of math games. Fun math games can be used in all areas of math and they are a great way introduce math concepts and to practice basic math skills.
If you choose the right math games they won't be complex to play or to learn, or time consuming. There are many simple, quick math games that can be played with little or no equipment.
Many math games can easily be adapted for the classroom or for use at home. Some of these games can be used to teach or practice different math concepts and can be used with different ability levels.
The following is an example of a fun math game that can be adapted for different skills and levels.
This math game is very simple to play but requires skills in different areas. Students must have a concept of number order and place value to give the answer higher or lower and to provide guesses that are appropriate for the clues given.
Higher or Lower
To begin select the upper and lower number limits, e.g. between 10 and 100.
One player selects a number and records it on a piece of paper.
The other player/s guesses what they think the number might be. For each guess the first player tells if the chosen number is higher or lower. Play continues until the number is guessed.
Variations of Higher or Lower Math Game
This game can also be played in more advanced varieties to develop skills in ordering larger numbers, decimals or fractions. See the examples of more advanced games below.
- 3 digit number between 300 and 600 (e.g. 345)
- 4 digit number between 2000 and 4000 (e.g. 3027)
- number with 1 decimal place between 6 and 9 (e.g. 7.3)
- number with 2 decimal places between 4 and 5 (4.87)
- fraction with single digit numerator and denominator, between 0 and 1 (e.g. 4/5)
This math game can be played with two people so it is easy for a parent to challenge a child or it can be played by a whole class. In the classroom, the teacher can select the number and challenge students to guess it or a student can select a number between the given limits.
The game can be played with each guess being recorded and H or L written beside each guess. A more advanced version is to play orally which requires players to remember the previous guesses and answers.
So if you really want to make math fun for children, math games is the answer. The games don't need to be complex and often you don't need any special equipment.
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Teresa Evans is a teacher and parent who uses math games to get kids excited about math. At MakingMathMoreFun.com she shares her favorite math games including board games, card games and game sheets.