Mathematics

The Value Of Simple Board Games For Young Children

Now that we’re not all dashing about with appointments and work commitments we’re all finding we have more time to do things.  And although Daisy’s Mummy and Daddy have plenty to do each day with their various schedules, taking turns to participate in Daisy’s home learning gives them more time with Daisy each day than they had when she went to her childminder.

They have had time, after Daisy has concentrated on her focused activities, to work on Duplo constructions together and join in the imaginary play. More recently, inspired by a gift from Daisy’s other Granny, they introduced Daisy to playing simple board games together.

In a previous blog I wrote about helping our grandchildren to master numbers and counting out loud together.  And a while back I wrote about sharing and taking turns.  Playing a board game brings together simple maths and social skills; it is the perfect opportunity for a young child to use mathematical concepts, gain confidence using numbers and practice the valuable skill of taking turns.

A young child playing a board game of snakes and ladders

We observed a delighted Daisy unpack a Snakes and Ladders board from its box and watch as her Daddy set the game up.  He showed Daisy the die with its dots on each surface.  Dice are already familiar to Daisy as we have some large foam dice that she enjoys throwing down our stairs before we count the dots together.  Understanding how to use the shaker and pour out the small die resulted in a energetic start to the game!

A pair of die or dice, yellow with red dots

Counting the squares and moving her counter was an opportunity for Daisy to see numbers in action.  She was happy to watch Daddy have the shaker for his turn and there was a general excitement as the game progressed.  There was fun at the consequences of landing on a snake or a ladder and an awareness that the game finishes when one player arrives at the last square.

Concentration, chat, counting and taking turns all inspired by a classic board game.

Granny Smith Says

I’ve been thinking that we might be able to play a game of snakes and ladders together, through the wonders of Zoom.  But I’ve discovered that we don’t have a Snakes and Ladders set in our toy cupboard!

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