For our first podcast of the new school term, we are looking at ways to help children gain confidence with mathematical reasoning.
Mathematics requires a highly visual way of thinking.As children develop they move concepts they first learn with their hands, and eyes and bodies into pictures and concepts that they can manipulate to solve increasingly complex problems.
This step can’t be missed if a child is to grow into an adult who understands and is comfortable with mathematical thinking. Interestingly it has been found that children who at age 13 love spatially challenging activities are often at age 18 going on to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and even pure mathematics.
The world needs these thinkers for the challenges of tomorrow, but to get them there, they first need to play with these ideas in the three dimensional world.
In this podcast, I share 10 different types of games and puzzles that can provide children with some variety at all ages to extend the visual-spatial skills underlying mathematical thinking and play with basic operations in some cases.
Resources mentioned in the podcast follow:
Smess – a fun variation on chess where the position on the board determines how your piece moves. This link takes you to a site that describes the game in full and has free downloads for the rules.
Space Mines Patrol – an online game that exercises visual spatial working memory.
The Smart Parent’s Guide – here you’ll find our blog with in-depth independent reviews of games and activities that relate to foundational maths skills and more using the system from the book.
Puzzle Tips – Here Lisa outlines how we go about breaking down the steps to make do puzzles easier..