Playing number-based games can be much more than just a fun time. A recent study revealed that this also helps children develop and hone their early math skills. While many previous studies have shown that games are efficient tools to boost kids' reading and literacy abilities, it appears that board games and card games promote their math development, which is just as important.

According to Dr. Jaime Balladares, a psychologist and the study's lead author from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago, "Using board games can be considered a strategy with potential effects on basic and complex math skills. Board games can easily be adapted to include learning objectives related to mathematical skills or other domains."

Indeed, number games - board games and card games in particular - allow children to discover and thrive in multiple areas, above all in mathematics. For instance, they are useful for learning to count, performing basic operations such as addition and subtraction, and recognizing and comparing numbers.

The researchers pointed out that children benefit from playing board games a few times a week under the guidance of a teacher or a trained educator. Of course, the support of dedicated parents or caregivers can also yield excellent results.

The performance of the children involved in the study was assessed at the beginning and end of the experience in the following four categories:

  1. Their ability to name numbers

  2. Their basic number comprehension (e.g., between 5 and 7, which number is less, which one is greater?)

  3. Their abilities in addition and subtraction

  4. Their interest in math

Picture: SUMUP Tournament 2023 (AELF)