# Which Board Games Can Help Students Learn Real Math?

If you're looking for board games that will teach your child math or help improve her math skills, you have several options: you can buy them, download some from the Internet or make games yourself. Keep reading for ideas!

## Math Board Games

Most traditional board games involve some math. At the very least, games like Sorry and Chutes and Ladders require kids to count out a certain number of spaces, which can be helpful for young children. Monopoly is an even better game for reinforcing basic math skills, since it requires players to count money, make change and perform multiplication with multi-digit numbers.

If your child is older, you can also use traditional board games as an opportunity to teach him about probability. For example, you can have him calculate the probability that his dice roll will produce a certain desired outcome, or that he will land on a certain space on his next turn.

You can also purchase a game called Quizmo for your child. In this game, which has rules similar to those for Bingo, one person calls out math problems and the players place a marker on their boards if they have the answer there. The game is available for different skill levels.

Some websites offer free or low-cost downloadable math board games online. Before you search, though, it's a good idea to ask your child's teacher for suggestions. You can also visit state department of education websites to look for resources. For instance, Virginia's Department of Education offers instructional resources on its website that contain printable math board games.

### Games You Can Make

#### Fun with Factors

Create Bingo-style boards for each player with the numbers 1-12 randomly distributed on the boards. Then, call out the answers to the basic multiplication facts (ones through twelves) and have your child and her friends mark one factor of that number on their boards, if they have one. Continue until one of the players has a vertical, horizontal or diagonal line of spaces completely filled in with markers.

#### Inch by Inch

Tape together several sheets of white paper end to end to create a long game board. Then, lay a yardstick along the board and tape it down so it doesn't move. Create a deck of cards with fractions on them, like 1/2, 3/8, 2/4 and so on. Each fraction should have 2, 4 or 8 as a denominator, or it should be equivalent to a fraction with one of these denominators. Give each player differently colored writing utensils.

Your child and his friends will take turns drawing cards and moving the specified distance along the game board, marking their progress as they go. For instance, if your child has already moved 1 1/4 inches along the board, and he draws a card that says '2/4,' he will reduce this fraction to 1/2 and move 1/2 of an inch along the board to 1 3/4. The first player to reach the end of the yard stick is the winner.

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