Encourage Mathematical Thinking With These Board Games for Little Kids

Photo: Amazon The best way to help young kids understand math concepts isn’t by standing in front of a white board and rattling off multiplication facts. Rather, it’s by letting them see math in action. Board games are a great way for little learners to get a grasp on skills such as pattern recognition, spatial reasoning, problem solving and visual perception. Here are some of the best board games for kids under 8 that encourage mathematical thinking, according to math educators and parents. Note: The ages listed are from the game creators. Kids can often start playing earlier if they show interest, or you can make modifications to games such as playing on teams, playing cards face up or eliminating the time component. Rush Hour Jr. Rush Hour Jr. presents kids with a true dilemma: The ice cream truck is stuck in traffic. To get it out, they must shift…

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Stop Teaching Your Preschooler How to Read

Michelle Woo12/08/17 4:00pm Photo via Shutterstock My daughter is onto me. As I read bedtime stories to her, sometimes I’ll stop, point to a word, and in my most convincing voice, and say, “Hmm, I don’t know this one. C-A-P? Can you help me?” The almost-five-year-old, not falling for this nonsense at all, will then say to me, “Mom, just read it.” And I’ll keep reading. Like a chump. I am fully confident she will learn to read when she learns to read, but as a parent, I sometimes wonder if I should be trying to speed up the process. I’ve followed the advice of friends and purchased BOB Books for beginning readers, and I often prompt her to sound words out. I can tell that she almost gets it, but I can also tell that I’m not much help. So when Daniel T. Willingham, a professor of psychology at…

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Why You Should Stop Giving Your Kids So Many Toys

Photo by Timm Schamberger/Getty Images In a new study by researchers at the University of Toledo, toddlers who were given fewer toys played more creatively and were more engaged in their play than those who had many toys available. Moms and dads, this might be the time to remove that chicken robot, mustache plushie, emoji bingo set, and Spider-Man drone from your Amazon shopping cart. I’m sorry. Researchers placed 36 children between the ages of 18 and 30 months in different open play sessions, one with four toys in the room and the other with 16 toys. The toys varied—some were battery-operated, some had wheels, and some were made to teach a concept such as shapes or counting. In the environments with four toys, kids engaged with the toys 108% longer, and played with them in a greater number of ways. Their play was deeper, more sophisticated, more imaginative. When…

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