Mental Math Games (part 3 Of 3)

In the preceding article, involvement in ‘real world’ games, sports and recreational activities was advocated as a way of improving a kid’s mental math skills. As there as so many sports and games to choose from which involve some form of mental math based scoring, it’s almost impossible not to find activities that kids will engage with and enjoy. The advantage of this approach to developing mental math capabilities is that playing sports and games is a social activity which will develop a kid’s mental math and interpersonal skills in tandem. One of the most important lessons a kid can learn is how to be a good loser; board games provide a perfect preparation for the highs and lows of real life. The one serious disadvantage of using involvement in sports and games to improve mental math skills is that it can put great demands on a parent’s or sibling’s time. While you always want to encourage your kids in everything they do and to avoid saying ‘no’ to family activities, there are occasions when settling down to a four hour game of Monopoly would be too disruptive to your home life. In such circumstances, it is important to have a suitable alternative to group activities which will engage and entertain a kid on their own while at the same time developing their mental math skills.

Online Math Games
Online educational resources have developed rapidly over the course of the past decade and there are numerous online math games and activities from which to choose. Many educational sites are free to use, although the payoff is often intrusive including sometimes inappropriate advertising, whereas some sites charge a modest monthly or annual subscription. It’s also worth bearing in mind that some websites offer only math games, whereas others offer a range of games and activities across the whole breadth of the curriculum. So how do you choose a website that will benefit your kid educationally, while being sufficiently engaging that they will want to use it on a day to day basis? The first thing to do is to ascertain which eLearning software is used at school and what your kid thinks of it. If your kid is generally approving, try out the software yourself and form a general view of its educational and entertainment value. It’s worth noting that the majority of subscription services allow you a completely free trial of their software for a couple of weeks, so you’ve a chance to try some alternative providers before taking out a subscription. The ideal is to use the same software both at home and at school, so that your kid remains familiar with a single screen environment and set of characters. However, if you’re unsure about the software used at school you should try alternative software providers until you find something that both you and your kid are happy with. You’ll know if you’ve chosen suitable eLearning software for your kid because they’ll badger you each day to be allowed to play the online math games, rather than you having to coerce them into playing. And, as your kid plays, their mental math skills will benefit immeasurably.