There’s been a lot written recently about the importance of STEAM in education. If you Google it, you’ll find lots of useful stuff about trains – or you may even end up at one of our favourite-ever shops Steamer Trading. Of course, STEAM used to be STEM. The A is for art, added in to reflect the importance of design in technology and innovation. But here we’re looking at M for Maths, specifically games to help children with maths.
Can You Make Maths Fun?
For many, ‘maths’ and ‘fun’ are not two words that go together. But our children are growing up in a world dominated by technology and science. In order for them to get on, they need to learn how to explore and experiment in a scientific way, and for this they need good maths. One way to help develop their skills and aid understanding is make maths fun and engaging. Of course, helping them at home will build confidence in the classroom. Fortunately, there are plenty of games and other equipment out there. In case you can’t find any of these locally, we’re added links to Amazon.
Games To Help Children With Maths – Times Tables Place Mat
I’m a great believer in the benefit of the educational place-mat. It’s in front of them 2-3 times a day – an easy win.
Games To Help Children With Maths – Abacus
Sounds a bit old-fashioned but in fact, there are lots of visual patterns in maths. This simple tool aids adding and subtracting but also helps with colour recognition.
Games To Help Children With Maths – Magnetic Maths Toy
These magnetic wheels make a brilliant (and very cheap) maths toy. Children will enjoy moving them around to create and solve different sums. A good one for the car.
Games To Help Children With Maths – Orchard Toys Magic Maths
Orchard Toys has an amazing selection of educational games, many of which help with maths – and they’re all made in Britain. This one taps in to the whole wizard-y trend and is suitable for children aged 5-7 years, supporting their KS1 learning. Players take turn to solve the sums and fill their boards with yucky spell ingredients. Once you work out the answer, you rub the magical heat-sensitive patch to see if you’re right.
Games To Help Children With Maths – Sum Swamp
Sum Swamp is a game that help reinforce adding and subtracting for ages 5 years+. You can play with 2-4 people so it’s a good family game. You roll the dice, work out the sum and move according to the answer. First one to the end wins.
Wooden Number Puzzle
A good one for early learners. This wooden number puzzle from one of our favourite brands Melissa And Doug shows the visual representation of the number under the number itself. We had something similar when our children were small and it seemed to work very well.
ZooBooKoo Mental Maths Game
We saw the dinosaur version of this cute, carry-along mental maths game in action the other day. It’s a very simple, quick game which involves rolling the dice and completing the sum. You get a cupcake if you’re right – the aim is to win all three. This one supports KS2 but there’s others for KS1 too. It’s nicely made and easy to store in a handbag, if you’re on the move. ZooBooKoo does lots of other learning games and tools that might be worth exploring too.
4M Maths Magic
This is a nice set from 4M which would make a good gift for children aged 8 and over. It includes 15 fun maths tricks, games and puzzles. You can even learn how to read minds and it includes a calculator that can used as a key-chain. Hours of fun!
This is a fairly new maths game for ages 8+ from Looney Labs. There are lots of different Fluxx games (including a Doctor Who one) but what they all have in common is that the game seems to change all the time. It is a good maths challenge for children but adults will enjoy it too.
Anyone else find it hard to visualise 3D shapes? This is a brilliant set that uses hands-on maths to help kids learn about geometric solid shapes. There are 14 shapes in the set.
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