Board Games Are Boosting Math Ability in Young Children

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by ScienceDaily.

Board games based on numbers, like Monopoly, Othello, and Chutes and Ladders, make young children better at math, according to a comprehensive review of research published on the topic over the last 23 years.

Board games are already known to enhance learning and development, including reading and literacy.

Now this new study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Early Years, finds, for three to nine-year-olds, the format of number-based board games helps to improve counting, addition, and the ability to recognize if a number is higher or lower than another.

The researchers say children benefit from programs — or interventions — where they play board games a few times a week supervised by a teacher or another trained adult.

“Board games enhance mathematical abilities for young children,” says lead author Dr. Jaime Balladares, from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, in Santiago, Chile.

The findings are based on a review of 19 studies published from 2000 onwards involving children aged from three to nine years. All except one study focused on the relationship between board games and mathematical skills.

All children participating in the studies received special board game sessions, which took place on average twice a week for 20 minutes over one-and-a-half months. Teachers, therapists, or parents were among the adults who led these sessions.

Results showed that math skills improved significantly after the sessions among children for more than half (52%) of the tasks analyzed.

Source: ScienceDaily

Help us reach the next generation of families

Back to Top

[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns, HomeWord seeks to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches. Learn More »

  • Support Our Mission

    HomeWord is non-profit, donor supported ministry. If you would like to partner with HomeWord in our effort to help more parents and families you can make a donation. Your investment will allow us to expand this ministry by offering more resources to families and churches in need.

  • Contact Information

    • HomeWord
      PO Box 1600
      San Juan Capistrano, CA

    • Send us an email

    • 800-397-9725
      (M-F: 8:30am-5pm PST)