Well designed games for learning maths are so much fun – they don’t have to be computer games (contrary to popular belief), children love all games.
Here’s why they BOOST learning:
- Games help children practice maths in a fun way which helps memory retention. Countless studies have shown that having fun boosts memory and cognitive function (conversely stress diminishes memory and cognitive function).
- Boredom busting practice. You have to do a certain amount of repetition to learn – the amount a child has to do depends on the individual and their ability to remember. Often, children don’t associate games with learning in a negative sense. What do you think your children prefer, repetition of a worksheet or repetition of a game?
- The thrill of winning can boost a child’s motivation and confidence. (But be careful – see WARNING below)
- Games can teach important social skills:
- Taking turns.
- Learning how to cope with losing; learning that losing is ‘okay’ and you can learn how to win from losing.
- Help isolated shy children come out of their shells.
- Help tune disillusioned children back on to learning.
- Improve fine motor skills using counters and dice (can be useful for children with fine motor Dyspraxia
- The competition aspect of games can be a bad thing for some children and could turn them off learning. Remember: stress diminishes memory and cognitive function. Be careful who they partner up with to play games or play 1 player maths games instead.
- Many maths games that you can buy children actually NEED to know the maths to play which is pointless and will deflate a child who is struggling.
- Computers have been shown NOT to improve learning – although extremely helpful to assist special needs children. They can be as much of a distraction as they are a help. Use computer games wisely.
Let Me Learn maths games have been designed specifically for children who struggle with learning and importantly they don’t have to be good at maths to play. This is because the games have Training Cards. This is like a Football Coach coaching you to improve football skills. Every team has a coach so why not when you’re playing a game? The Training Cards help children learn as they play – all the answers are either on the Training Cards or there’s a way to help work them out.
For example the times tables games have all the answers on. It’s okay, its not cheating and really important to tell children it’s not cheating if they think it is because when they learn the answers from the Training Card they’ll be so proud, they won’t need to use it they’ll be pushing it away telling you they don’t need it because they know it.
They are great for Teaching Assistants to use because you can simply give them a game and you won’t need to spend your valuable time explaining what to do – they can read the instructions themselves.
Perfect for children with reading difficulties /dyslexia and for homework. Out of 101 games I’ve made only 2 games have words on apart from of course the instructions. Although I’ve watched children play the games with out reading the instructions and they’ve managed to work out most of the rules by themselves).
Good for children’s self esteem because many games they won’t win because they are good at maths, they win by chance from the odds of winning or the luck of rolling the dice. So a child who isn’t good at maths playing against a child who is good at maths can win a game without being top at maths – a great moral boost!
You can give a non-reader, a foreign language child or a Dyslexic child a maths homework game without any words and without the need for copious lengthy writing – games are good news and exciting!