Children Can Learn Math while Playing Board Games

Updated at: Nov 19, 2013
Children Can Learn Math while Playing Board Games

Children can improve their math skills by playing certain board games as long as they use a particular counting method, a new research has found.

Agency News
LatestWritten by: Agency NewsPublished at: Nov 19, 2013

If your child is bad at math, ask them to play board games and see how they improve at the subject. Certain board games like Chutes & Ladders require a particular counting method to be played, in turn, training the player at math- according to a new research.

child developmentChutes & Ladder require players to count out the spaces along which they move their token each turn. Some previous studies have also noted the benefits of playing games that require counting for young children.

"We found that it's the way that children count – whether the counting procedure forces them to attend to the numbers in the spaces of a board game - that yields real benefits in the use of numbers," said Boston College Assistant Professor of Education Elida Laski, a developmental psychologist.

"What's most important is whether you count within a larger series of numbers, or simply start from one each time you move a piece," Laski added.

Two counting methods were incorporated in the study. The first method was referred to as “count-from-1” required the children to start counting from the number one each time they moved a piece. The second method known as “count on” needed children to count on from the actual numerical place of their last landing spot in the game.

For example, if a child who had moved his piece 15 spaces, would “count on” from 16 during her next move. The children develop the ability to encode the relationship between numbers and spaces through the process. As a result, their power to estimate the size of numbers on number lines, identify numbers and to count-on improved.

The study was published in the journal Developmental Psychology.


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