Stealth Teaching: Great Math Games 4 Kids Using Board Games as Teaching Tools
In the first part of this series, we discussed math games for kids of preschool and Kindergarten age.
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In this instalment, our expert math tutor, John McArthur, presents his choice of board games to teach kids grades 1-3 essential math skills, before they suffer the same deficiencies he sees in children he tutors right up to the end of High School.
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To avoid confusion for non-North American readers, we're talking about kids aged 7-9 years now. John believes that there will be a common 'problem area', which he sees in kids right through high school, which can be solved with a very simple board game!
"Get your grade 1-3 kids playing Battleship," John advises. "I've had to spend more hours tutoring kids having problems with co-ordinates than almost any other subject. I mean, it's not really surprising: how often do we use grid references in everyday life? But in Battleship, that's what the entire game consists of! And you can play it for free with a couple of pieces of squared paper."
Suffering a child who thinks Battleship with a pencil and paper is boring? BoardgameBeast.com recommends theElectronic Battleship Fleet Command PC game, a computer game that will keep older grade 1-3 kids entertained for hours, yet still teach them co-ordinates in a stealthy manner!
Time For Monopoly?
It's about grades 1-3 that most board game addicts cut their Monopoly game teeth. Of all math games 4 kids, this one has the most potential to teach them multiple life lessons.
John thinks grades 1-3 could be the perfect age to start them off, though you should supervise early games to ensure they understand the concept of cashflow.
"Little kids don't really 'get' money, though if they have an allowance it's a big help," John comments. "A few games of Monopoly will cure them of the cashflow ignorance! You might want to remove the element of mortgages and auctions at first to simplify the game a little."
If the original version is a little dull, or too much reading, for your kids, we recommend Monopoly Junior. Alternatively you could keep their interest by purchasing one of the licensed spin-off versions, such as Monopoly: The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror edition. Either of these make great math games 4 kids.
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