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## Educational Math Board Games – The Fun Way to Learn Math

Educational math board games have long been used to foster children’s academic and social skills through a fun and engaging approach. Learning basic math skills like addition and multiplication tables, or even adding fractions and long division can be a bit tedious and even downright difficult for some. Since most expert educators agree that children tend to learn and retain new concepts better when material is presented in a fun and engaging way, educational math board games provide great opportunities for students to succeed in math and even experience a greater appreciation for a subject that is feared and hated by many.

Higher education math board games help students stay engaged and interested in math and retain the concepts learned even after the game is over. These games will achieve many of the following: increase students’ enthusiasm for mathematics; improve students’ skills in counting, recognizing numbers, comparing numerical values, and estimating numerical values; reinforce basic math skills; reinforce concepts in a valuable and enjoyable way; and, be geared towards developing ever more refined tactics for success (or winning the game!)

As you prepare to determine if a math board game is right for your students, you should consider the following:

- Does it allow sufficient maths practice and revision at the desired level?
- Does it require excessive speed that could be detrimental to some students and advantageous to faster performing students?
- Does it seem simplistic enough for beginners while still providing opportunities for critical thinking?
- Do you find the game interesting?
- Does it just take chance to succeed or is there a strategy involved?

Most people are familiar with the popular board game, Monopoly. Yes, Monopoly is a great educational math board game for youngsters! It consists of a board, 2 dice, tokens, 32 houses and 12 hotels. There are Chance and Community Chest cards, a property title card for each property, play money and a banker’s tray. The goal of the game is to become the richest player by buying, renting and selling properties. This game allows children to practice counting as they move their tiles around the board; they learn to estimate the number of spaces to move when the dice are thrown; and they practice making purchases and making changes during real estate transactions. There’s a chance, but there’s definitely a lot of tactical and problem-solving skills involved in doing well in this game.

Another educational math board game is Blokus which consists of a 400 square board and 84 tile pieces of four different colors (21 pieces of different shapes per color). These include: 1 piece made up of a single tile, 1 piece made up of two tiles, 2 pieces made up of three tiles, 5 pieces made up of four tiles and 12 pieces made up of five tiles. The object of the game is to get the highest score by placing the most tiles on the board and preventing other players from placing all their tiles on the board.

Each player chooses a color and play follows this order: blue, yellow, red and green. After each player has played a piece from their respective corners, each subsequent piece must be played to touch only the corners. This strategy game focuses on patterns. Additionally, players must try to anticipate their opponents’ moves and try to thwart their efforts to put their larger pieces on the board. The game ends when all players can place no more pieces. The score is calculated using positive and negative numbers. They then determine the total area of all unused tile pieces.

Math Smart is an educational math board game that helps kids easily start mastering basic math skills. There’s a smart math game for each of the following: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions. Each game plays like a domino and teaches like a tutor. There are 100 durable cards in each game. Each card has a math problem on one half and a circled answer to a different math problem on the other half. Players match the correct answer to the matching problem while forming domino-like patterns with the cards. Math Smart is a simple and fun way to engage kids while helping them master basic math skills.

When children play these and similar types of games, they are able to practice many fundamental math skills in a fun and interactive way. When they enjoy what they’re doing, they’ll want to play longer and more often. Games are a fantastic response to a child’s desire to play meaningfully and creatively, as evidenced by their degree of concentration while playing. They offer a varied way to deepen and reinforce mathematical skills other than through the conventional way of worksheets. Using quality educational math board games allows you to practice and introduce a wealth of math skills in a concrete and engaging forum.

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