If your child is still using their fingers to add and subtract numbers in Maths then here’s a simple game that can help them improve their number skills the very first time they play it.
Adding Numbers Without Using Fingers
The game will give your child confidence with numbers and start the process of improving their number skills.
To play the game you choose a number between 1 and 10. You say the first number and your child has to say the number that will add together with your number to equal the number that you first chose.
For example if you choose the number 5 and you start the game by saying 2, then your child needs to say 3 to get the correct answer since 3 + 2 equals 5, the chosen number.
If your child says the correct number you say a different number or the same number again and they have to say the correct number that will add with yours to equal 5.
If your child doesn’t say the correct number then you wait (without saying anything) until they guess it. They can have as many guesses as they need until they get it.
The Idea Of The Game
The idea of this game is for them to learn the pairs of numbers that add to a certain number. By knowing these pairs of numbers your child will be able to build on their number skills more easily – without knowing these numbers they may have to keep using their fingers to Add and Subtract numbers.
Most students who struggle with Maths don’t know the pairs of numbers that add to the numbers between 3 and 10 and by playing this game they start to learn these pairs of numbers and their confidence builds as they learn them.
So when you start a game and your child takes a while to figure out the correct number you can say the same number again and see if your child remembers the correct answer or has to figure it out.
If you keep saying your number eventually they’ll remember the correct answer and then you can say another number then come back to that number (the one they had trouble remembering) and see how long it takes your child to get the correct answer.
It’s best to play the game for a few minutes or so because it will take a lot of concentration from both of you and it will also help to clear your child’s mind of any negativity or resistance to Maths while they’re playing the game.
When To Play The Game
It’s good to play it when they’ve been struggling with homework and need a break. I play it in lessons with students who really struggle with Maths and it gives them the break they need before they go on with the rest of the tutoring lesson.
Most of my students like this game because it’s fun and they get better at it quickly the first time they play it.
Once you both know how to play the game a good thing to do is ask your child to choose the number that both numbers have to add up to.
They will usually choose a number that is at the right level of difficulty for them to start at.
Be warned – you can both have a lot of fun and end up laughing after playing this game for a short time.