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.