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Board game maths – learning through play

Playing games is one of the easier ways to support maths learning at home.

Many of the board games you may have at home support maths learning, either through exploring concepts such as shape and number, or developing skills like logic and perseverance. If you want to take it further, you could ask children if they can spot the maths in their favourite games. Or to help children who aren’t confident in maths, you could use the fact that they are enjoying playing these games to help them realise that they can happily do maths, often without realising! 

Check out the hidden learning in these classic family favourites.  

Ludo 

Numbers to six
Counting and adding, if played with two dice.
Strategy – Which counter should you move?
Probability – Will a six come up?

Snakes and Ladders

Numbers to 100
Number relationships + patterns – Which is higher/lower.
Number patterns – Find the 2, 5 + 10 times tables on the board.
Counting and Subtracting – How far will that ladder or snake take you?

Scrabble

Addition
Multiplication  

Monopoly

Handling money
Addition and Subtraction
Probability and Strategy – How likely is it that you’ll land there? Where do people land the most? Is it better to spend all your money on one big property or buy several small ones? 

Chess and other Checkerboard games 

Movement by rule in 2D – Creating patterns and making transformations. 
Strategy and Abstract Thinking /Visualisation – Thinking several moves ahead. 
Logic

 

This blog was adapted from Where is the maths in family games you play at home? a list developed in 2014 by Maths on Toast and Bletchley Park Trust with help from #TMWYK (Talk Math with Your Kids) on Twitter.