# Beyond Games: Make Real World Math More Interesting

Math is frequently reported as the most difficult subject for alternative learners. Many children simply don’t see the usefulness of acquiring mathematical skills for their day to day activities. They think math is boring and tend to avoid doing math homework or any other projects that require mathematical skills. But if you can find a way to make math more exciting and interesting, including using some of the video games and apps that we describe at LearningWorks for Kids, you might actually find that your child can enjoy developing the mathematical expertise. In this edition of our Beyond Games series, we’re providing a set of tips and strategies to make math more interesting for your child.

Playing video games can improve visuo-spatial skills. Good spatial skills are necessary for fully understanding and engaging with problems in geometry, such as manipulating and visualizing shapes, identifying points of symmetry, and comparing angles. The ability to rotate shapes in our minds is an important skill for complex mathematics, problem solving, and simple construction projects. Provide him with fun ways to develop his spatial skills through playing games such as Puzzlejuice and Tetris, which can be engaging activities that foster the development of improved spatial skills.

Make your own math problems. Individuals are more likely to enjoy a task when it pertains to things in which they are interested or when they feel a sense of ownership. Encourage your child to create her own math problems or come up with math activities that reflect her interests based on math skills she is currently learning. For example, she could write a word problem about her favorite animal: Four dogs were playing in the yard. Three more came to join in the fun. How many dogs were playing in all?

Here are some other ideas for analog math skill building:

Play darts and keep track of scores, or use a game of pool to prompt a talk about geometry.

Get an activity tracking wristband (like a Nike+ FuelBand or Adidas Fit Smart Band) and calculate progress.

Play a card game like cribbage, where many of the points come from combinations of 15 (you can even find some pretty cool cribbage boards to pique their interests).

Practice estimating; how many miles left to go before home, how many socks are in the laundry pile, how many minutes it will take to make the bed.

Talk about numbers at the grocery store by adding up prices, figuring tax, counting and weighing produce.

For more games like Tetris and Puzzlejuice, or to find and learn about other video games and apps that can help build academic skills, see our Playbooks and app reviews. To see why we mostly focus on children’s digital play, read about the science behind LearningWorks for Kids. Look for future posts that focus on bringing thinking and academic skills beyond video games.

## One thought on “Beyond Games: Make Real World Math More Interesting”

1. It’s clear that Cool Math games are totally suitable for kids at any age. The Math games with challenges, puzzle, math operations will help them love Math much more. Perhaps, they hate Math at their school, but their thought will be changed after they experience this game type.