MAKE YOUR CHILD GO NUTS FOR NUMBERS! CHECK OUT THESE FUN MATH GAMES AND ACTIVITIES FOR WAYS TO ADD A LITTLE "MATH MADNESS" INTO DAILY PLAY! ADDITION AND SUBTRACTION WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!

MATH: MILTON-BRADLEY STYLE

Set aside time for a weekly game night and make math a family affair! Choose board games or card games that emphasize counting and problem solving strategy to help build your child's math skills. Game time should be a fun and comfortable environment, free of pressure and focused on enjoyment so children are willing participants in the games. If play is initiated by the children, they will be more open to trying different games that incorporate math and problem solving skills. Even the most reluctant number cruncher can't resist the lure of a good board game!

Not sure where to start? Most board or card games involve using some type of math skill, whether that be number recognition, counting money, adding and subtracting to keep score during the game or making deals and trades with other players, so do not feel like you need to rush out and purchase specific math board games right now. Wait for a few weeks! Use the games you and your family already own. Purchase math-focused games when your children have played through the games you have at home and are ready for some new choices. Click on the picture below and the picture to the left for a bigger selection of board games!

MATH WITH MANIPULATIVES

Counting, especially in young children, can seem like a daunting concept. Use manipulatives, or items like dry cereal, marsh mellows, matchbox cars or building blocks to demonstrate how to count and identify groups and specific quantities. Hands-on learning is much easier to comprehend for many children and will physically reinforce math concepts in a fun way! For the older child, manipulatives can be used to explain and practice mathematical operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Math is as easy as child's play when toys and everyday objects become effective learning tools!

NEW-AGE NUMBER GAMES

Look online for more exciting math games for your children! "Millie's Math House" provides younger children with plenty of opportunities to hone their math skills with activities that use sounds and bright colors to teach simple number and shape recognition. For even more online math games, suitable for a variety of ages and learning levels, head to coolmath-games.com or mathplayground.com by clicking on the pictures and links below and to the left. Count on having a great time!

Older children will love the exploring numerical operations and taking a fun look at more complex math concepts with "ClueFinders Math Adventure" software. Geared toward children between the ages of nine and twelve, "ClueFinders" tells the story of four teenage sleuths- Joni, Santiago, Leslie and Owen- who journey to a village in the Himalayas to solve a mystery about stolen treasure. Important clues surrounding the missing treasure are collected through games that test multiplication, division, problem solving and critical thinking skills. Fractions, decimal points, solving equations, word problems and early geometry are also introduced during the hunt for clues. Think fast and watch out! You might just run into the Yeti!

PUZZLES GALORE!

Bored with board games? Try printable math and logic puzzles for kids! Visit Puzzlechoice.com for a great selection of free, printable puzzles for your mathematician. The "Brain Box Logic Puzzles" will test your child's powers of deduction and critical thinking as they work out the clues to different logic puzzles. Check out the "Number Puzzles" and "Find the Numbers" to practice recognizing the relationships between numbers, multiples, and number patterns or use math facts knowledge to fill in crossword puzzles. Don't forget to print off some "Suduko" puzzles and try to fill in each block, row, and column with the digits from one to nine. Parents are welcome to puzzle too!

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