Skip to content

Games Are Good For You

Scientists say playing board games can help kids with their math skills.

Three elementary school kids sit at a table playing a board game.

© diane39—iStock/Getty Images Plus

Do board games help kids learn math? Scientists say yes!

Board games are games in which players usually move pieces around a board while following a set of rules. Some examples include Othello, Monopoly, and Chutes and Ladders (called Snakes and Ladders in the United Kingdom). Scientists studied children aged 3 to 9 to see if playing board games would have any effect on their math skills.

Scientists started by testing the kids on certain skills, like numbers, counting, and addition and subtraction. Then they divided the kids into groups. Some kids played games that required them to use numbers. For example, some games required counting or addition. Other kids played games that did not require them to use numbers. And some kids didn’t play any games. The kids played the games a few times a week for about six weeks. After that, the scientists tested the kids’ math skills again.

What did they find?

Scientists found that the kids who played board games improved their math skills. They improved much more than the kids who didn’t play games. And the kids who played number games improved more than the kids who played other kinds of games!

NEWS EXTRA!

World Cup Winners!

Women in red, yellow, and black uniforms pose and cheer with their arms up as one woman holds a trophy.

Catherine Ivill/Getty Images Sport

Ivana Andrea of Spain lifts the FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy as her team celebrates their World Cup win.

Spain has won the 2023 Women’s World Cup! On Sunday, August 20, the Spanish team scored a 1-0 victory over England, thanks to Olga Carmona’s first-half goal.  

It was a comeback story for Spain. The team lost to England at the 2022 European Championship. 

“I think all of us, we felt that this team had something special,” Carmona told the Associated Press. “We’ve been fighting until the end. We never stopped.

Fun Fact Icon

Fun Fact

© lunx/stock.adobe.com

How long have people been playing board games? A game called Go was invented in China about 4,000 years ago, and people still play it today!

Make Your Own Game!

Four kids play a game involving cards and a path on a large homemade board.

© Sergey Novikov/stock.adobe.com

You can invent a board game! Start by thinking of the board games you know about. What are these games about? How do you play them? How do you win? What do the game boards look like?

You will notice that there are all kinds of games. There are word games, number games, games where you are in a story, and much more. See if you can come up with your own idea.

These are the things your game will need:

  • A theme. What is the game about?
  • Rules. How do you play the game?
  • A goal. How do you win the game?
  • Equipment. What do you need to play this game? Are there dice? Cards? How about a spinner?

Next, it’s time to make your game. You’ll need these supplies:

  • Paper or posterboard
  • Pencils or markers
  • Craft materials, depending on what your game will be. If you need game pieces to move around the board, try pennies or bottle caps. To make a spinner, cut a small piece of posterboard in the shape of an arrow and draw the choices for each spin on another piece of posterboard. Then straighten a paper clip and poke it through the two pieces to hold them together.

Math Magic

© Archivist/stock.adobe.com; Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Think of all the things we would not be able to do without math. Did you know that math was invented thousands of years ago?

You can learn more about math at Britannica School!

Word of the Day Icon

Word of the Day

numerical

Part of speech:

adjective

Definition:

: of or relating to numbers or a system of numbers

Definitions provided by
Merriam-Webster Logo
Game Icon

Play

Wordrow

O
O
O
O
O

In Case You Missed It

An effort to raise money for charity put Jace Weber’s name in the record books.
April 18, 2024
Children with disabilities can enjoy all the rides and attractions at Morgan’s Wonderland.
April 15, 2024
The Course des Cafés race tested restaurant servers’ speed and skill.
April 10, 2024
At an animal shelter in Spain, gentle dogs called greyhounds are teaching lessons in kindness.
April 8, 2024