Numeracy – it’s often not the easiest of subjects to teach, even when you have all the passion in the world.

Engaging children in numbers can often feel one of the toughest of all teaching nuts to crack. If this sounds familiar, games could well present the answer.

Does gaming help to increase numeracy?

Game-based learning can, in many ways, be considered the Holy Grail of numeracy skills; research has shown that students who play computer games in maths lessons can skip forward three months in their learning.

This same study, also found that gaming increased student motivation and interest in the subject matter.

Further research that backs this up, is a study from Stanford, which found 10 minutes’ play a day, three times a week, achieved a 20.5% improvement in numeracy results after just two hours of total play.

A further study did, however, underline the importance of having both the right game and the right context – which are used alongside good teaching (New Philanthropy Capital).

So, the case is made for using games to help increase numeracy, now you must discover the right games to play so that you can rise to the challenge of teaching numeracy!

Create your own number games – Three Ideas

  1. Choose an existing game and introduce new materials. Take Go Fish, as an example; you can use the same rules, but can instead use cards that feature multiplication questions.
  2. Choose a board game and attach math challenges to it. This could be any number of traditional board games, such as Checkers, racing games, Ludo or Snakes and Ladders.
  3. Get your children involved and ask them to create their own games. Arrange your pupils into small teams and task them with making up their own numeracy game. Provide them with a choice of materials, topics and board game kits. Just be sure that they set out their plan, and get approval, before moving onto their game customisations.

Online resources for numeracy games

You can find some games on the Top Marks website, which features ordering and sequencing numbers games.

Also worth noting is Education.com, where you’ll find pages of number games, including number comparison; 1 to 10 photoshoot; numbers memory match; higher numbers card game and swamp subtraction, amongst others.

Should you use iPads in the classroom, popular numeracy apps worth exploring are: Mr Thorne; Let’s Do Mental Maths; Operation Math and YodelOh Math Mountain School Edition.

Don’t forget that you can also get a free trial of our own online gaming platform, EDArcade, which has a wide range of number games with monitoring and tracking reports for assessment and attainment.