Who said maths can’t be fun?
One of the best ways to make learning engaging for children is to make it fun. Making the learning process fun helps children focus and encourages the information to sink in a lot better. It also helps children develop a healthy relationship with learning, as rather than thinking of it as something they have to do that sometimes isn’t fun, they associate learning with fun.
Maths can be one of those subjects that some children really don’t get along with because it can often be an area of difficulty. So when children are getting really frustrated with their maths learning, the best thing you can do is take a step back and think of a way to make maths fun for them.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this handy guide of great maths games and apps you can play with your children to get them having fun with maths.
Maths game apps
So many of us have access to smartphones and tablets now, which means we can use apps to play maths games!
Maths game apps are great for keeping your child’s attention, helping them through maths concepts that they’re struggling with and also teaching them how to use smartphones and tablets. So why not look at some of these maths apps and see which one your child likes the most?
This maths game app combines learning maths with adventure and storytelling, with a bright and vibrant world and characters. Your child can even play with their friends in a safe and secure environment! You can find Prodigy Maths on the iOS App Store or Google Play Store.
This app features colourful characters and an easy-to-use interface. It's sure to keep your child entertained as they learn about numbers and basic mathematics. You can find Math Kids on the iOS App Store or Google Play Store.
This app tests children with brain teasers and puzzles, helping them to start thinking logically. They’ll even be able to create their own character, so they can get creative while they learn! Find LogicLike on the iOS App Store or Google Play Store.
Best fun maths games for children
Even without apps, making maths fun for children is super easy. Our favourite maths games can be played at home, out and about or even in the classroom!
Here are our top five fun maths games for children.
1. Maths twister
Twister is still a favourite game among children. It gets them thinking about their bodies, works on their coordination and flexibility and, with a simple twist, it can get them thinking about maths too! Either use a traditional Twister mat with number labels on the circles or just make your own number labels and place them on the floor like a Twister mat.
The great thing about maths twister is you can easily adapt it to the level of the children playing. For young children just learning numbers, tell them to put a hand or foot on a number and see if they get it right. As children get better with maths, get them to work out the number with a sum.
For example, you could say, “right hand, 7 + 3” and your child would have to work out that they need to put their right hand on 10.
You can make the game even more complicated by adding multiplication and division as children get older and more experienced with maths.
2. Addition or subtraction bingo
Normally when you think of bingo you don’t think of children, and yet children surprisingly seem to love this game! One great thing about bingo is that you can make it about maths.
Like with maths Twister, you can start off simple with bingo. You can just start by playing bingo as it is, getting younger children used to numbers and seeing if they get the right ones when you call out the numbers.
As children get older, you can start giving them sums instead of numbers to work out which number they should choose on their bingo cards. As they get even more confident with maths, you can change it to multiplication and subtraction bingo, making the sums more challenging for them.
3. Jump on the answer
This one is best played on the patio or the playground, so it’s a really great maths game to get your children outdoors. Using chalk, write out a lot of numbers and put a big circle around each one. Like with the other games, you can start this as basic as you need to for your child’s age and maths ability.
For young children, just shout out the number and see if they jump on the right one. For children that are getting better with maths, shout out a sum and see if they get it right with the answer they jump on. As they get more skilled, move on to subtraction, multiplication and division.
Top tip: leave LOTS of space between each number so you don’t have multiple children trying to jump into a small space. Maths should be fun and not something that causes injuries!
4. 101 points
This one works best with more than one player to make it into a competition and encourage quick thinking. Give each player, or team if there are lots of you, a dice. Each of you takes turns rolling the dice with the goal of adding up to 101 without passing it!
To add a little thinking into the game, and make it more than just a game of chance, players can choose to multiply the number that they get on the dice by 10, or leave it as it is and add it to their total. The first team to get 101, or the team that gets closest to 101 if another team passes that number wins!
You can change up the rules of this game by changing the goal number or changing the multiplication rules (so multiply by 2 or 5 instead of 10 for example or even switch to division) so that children’s maths skills are tested in a different way each time.
5 - Shape scavenger hunt
This last one can be played anywhere where you can find shapes! Either at home, in the classroom or outside. The rules of this one are simple. Just name a shape and get children to find that shape in the space around them, and get them to tally up how many times they can find that shape.
This is a great way to get young children thinking about geometry, as well as counting and organising as they find more of the same shape. This is also a perfect game to play outdoors if you want to get them thinking about maths on the go.
At home or in the classroom – maths games can be played anywhere!
Maths is such an important part of any child’s education and an important part of their everyday lives. Making learning maths fun early on is the best way to ensure children do well with maths. And the best part is that you can teach them maths anywhere, whether that’s at home or in the classroom. Always be on the lookout for maths in your own life, so you can give your child real-life examples of maths, like if you’re cooking or buying something in the shops.
Our maths games are great to teach children in a fun way wherever you might be, so try them out and see if your child can have fun with maths.
If you want more educational tips to make sure your child gets the most out of their education, take a look at our other content.
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