Saturday 1 March 2014

Maths Games for Younger Children

 I want to help my children like maths and mathematical concepts. 

These are games, suitable for children aged up to about 7, which my younger two have enjoyed. Please do comment with other maths games for this age group.

Games when out and about
These games need nothing more than a child and a parent and are ideal for journeys.

  • Counting games: How many red/yellow cars? How many Christmas trees? The latter is not so useful in March! How many step? How many cows? The variety is endless.
  • House numbers: one of my children learnt his numbers from the numbers on gates. House numbers are also particularly helpful for the concept of odd/even. Beware of roads where the odd and even numbers don't match properly!
  • Shapes: hunting for shapes while out and about. Extra shapes can be made with twigs.
  • Fizz/buzz. This makes tables fun. The multiples of one number are designated as fizz and those of another as buzz. For example, multiples of five are fizz and multiples of two are buzz. Counting then starts taking turns to count so counting from one to ten would go
fizz buzz
 Obviously, other tables can be used or more added with different sounds. 

Games at home
These are games that my children have enjoyed.
  • The Spotty Dog game (Orchard Toys.) This game works on counting, number recognition and correspondence to six. A very neat and well designed game for younger children.
  • Ten Green Bottles (Orchard Toys) is another counting game but works on numbers to ten.
  • Various number puzzles.

  • Tell the time (Orchard Toys-I don't have any financial interest in this company!) helps with early time telling skills. It uses o'clock, half  past, quarter past and quarter to.

  • Pop to the Shops(Orchard Toys) uses toy money in a buying/selling game.
  • Playing shops and restaurants. My children have had hours of fun with these games and learn about money at the same time.
  • Sum Swamp (Learning Resources) was recommended by another home educator. We bought it for one of the children recently and have played it many times a week since. This game uses addition or subtraction using two dice and a plus/minus dice. Additional extras are the odd/even squares. This has been useful for number bonds and speed of working. A plus for me is that the game takes about 10 minutes so it is easy to fit in a quick game at the end of the morning or before bedtime.
  • Months puzzle: for some reason, learning the months isn't always easy but we have found this puzzle helps.
  • Geoboard: not really a game but something my children enjoy for making shapes. I have a large and a small board. The large board is better and easily used with the endless supply of rubber bands that seem to come via the postman.
  • Duplo/Lego: the possibilities are endless. We use this for patterns, counting, working out addition and subtraction, modelling multiplication, demonstrating graphs.
Over to you. Which number games do you play with your children?

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  1. I am so glad you listed Fizz, Buzz -- we played that in our CC group (the teacher was from the UK) and the kids loved it. Math games -- we have math puzzle here. I honestly don't remember what other math games we have as they are in storage.

  2. Fizz, Buzz is fun. I haven't heard of Math Puzzle before.

  3. Yes! Fizz, Buzz is very interesting. I think younger children like to play games and now math games and other subject like English etc. games are also helpful in study.