*Site contains affiliate links - please see our full disclosure for more info & thanks for your support!

Learning Numeracy Skills Through Play

Easily Teach Numeracy Skills Through Playing Board Games!

Numeracy skills are necessary, life-long skills that everyone needs and playing board games is a fun and easy way for children to learn.  Parents can play an important role in helping their child develop these essential skills by giving them a head start in learning through play.  One of the best ways is through board games.  Almost every board game has some form of numeric skill to be learned – such as counting spaces in a move and spots on a die.


Learning Numeracy Skills Through Play



In a study conducted by Geetha Ramani and Robert Siegler, they found that the mathematical ability of young children is attributed to their informal learning activities such as playing board games in their pre-school years. This means that young children who play board games early in life gain the numeracy skills that they need for the rest of their life.  Children can begin to participate with board games, on average, as early as 3 years and parents can tailor the game to suit individual needs.  Playing a board game with a young child may seem like just a fun and simple activity where you spend time together, but really, you’ll be giving them a lifetime of important and valuable developmental skills.


Numeracy Skills Learned through Board Games:

  • understanding that numbers represent amounts
  • understanding numerical order
  • recognizing numbers and amounts
  • counting skills
  • adding skills – such as if using 2 die
  • subtraction skills – such as having to go back a space


Additionally the child’s skills will only improve, continually, as they play board games more and more, and as they get older and are playing more challenging games, their skills will increase even further.  It’s amazing how much children learn just through playing!


The Struggling Learner

In playing board games, struggling children can gain new confidence learning through play.  Often a struggling child essentially “shuts down” when presented with overwhelming homework or tasks.  Often parents and educators see this as “daydreaming” or “not paying attention”, when it’s really that the child is having anxiety problems because they haven’t grasped the concept at hand.  Instead of labeling them with a learning disability to carry with them for their lives, a better idea might be to get a variety of board and card games to play regularly with the child.  In doing so, not only are you building important communication skills and bonding with your child, (which may actually be the root of the problem), but they’ll be learning valuable skills and logic that will help them with their schoolwork.  Children will often approach the playing of games with much more enthusiasm and zest which will greatly reduce their anxiety level and increase their motivation in learning.


The endless number of studies on child learning all points to one simple fact – young children learn best through play, so as parents and educators it’s our job to equip them.

Share the Fun!