Playground maths games allow students to sharpen their skills in a non-threatening environment, and can help them stay on task longer. However, it is important to choose engaging games that teach appropriate skills for the student level. Games that solely rely on memorization or recall of facts can be discouraging for students who need to think through the process to get to an answer. This type of game also encourages the incorrect assumption that being “smart” in mathematics means getting the right answer quickly, rather than through the careful use of related concepts.
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Using the same game over and over can also become boring. The best math games include an element of luck or chance so that even the highest math students do not always win. A common way to incorporate these aspects into a math game is by including spaces on the game board that direct students to move ahead or back a given number of spaces, and question cards that vary in how many spaces a student can move forward if they answer the question correctly.
The website Math Playground features an extensive collection of educational games that cover a wide range of topics from basic addition and subtraction to complex multi-step problems and graphing. The games have cheery cartoon graphics that appeal to children, and are designed to be engaging for a variety of learning styles. Some are even mobile-compatible, making them accessible for student practice on the go.