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Active Maths

Maths is all around us. Not only does maths underline every process and pattern that occur in the world, but also, a good understanding will help us enormously in our everyday life. From reading the time, interpreting timetables, estimating distance, weighing ingredients, calculating money amounts and change due, measuring the area of a room that needs a new carpet, estimating capacity of containers, identifying patterns, using fractions to divide objects equally and the list goes on...

A key element of mathematics is problem solving...basically applying your maths knowledge to a real-life situation. Many maths skills can also be practised through games which can also be very sociable and fun. Here are some great games that utilise and develop some of your mathematical skills. Who says you need technology to have fun!

Chess/Droughts:

Did you know that chess is part of the curricula in approximately 30 countries and can in fact improve logical and mathematical skills! So what skills are needed to play chess well? Perhaps the most obvious ones are visualisation and analysis. Of course, there are other skills involved in chess, such as planning, the ability to adapt to changing situations and pattern recognition. There is one more essential skill: prophylaxis. This is the ability to see the game from your opponent's point of view, i.e. to create tactics and strategies on his behalf, as well as how to frustrate them. Children often surprise themselves by how much they actually enjoy this game and as with everything, the more practise you get, the more skilled a player you become. Droughts is another game along the lines of chess that children enjoy which has less complex rules.
   

Card Games/Dice Games/Board Games:
  • Decision making
  • Strategy
  • Mental arithmetic
  • Sequencing/Ordering
  • Pattern recogniton
  • Probability and chance
  • Prophylaxis (This is the ability to see the game from your opponent's point of view, i.e. to create tactics and strategies on his behalf, as well as how to frustrate them.)
  
 


Connect 4 or X&O:
  • Decision making
  • Strategy
  • Pattern recognition
  • Prophylaxis (This is the ability to see the game from your opponent's point of view, i.e. to create tactics and strategies on his behalf, as well as how to frustrate them.)
  

Lego, building and construction games:
  • Geometry (visualisation of shape and space)
     

Puzzles/Jigsaws:
  • Geometry and pattern recognition (visualisation of shape and space)
Darts:
  • Mental arithmetic skills are evident here - addition, subtraction, doubling and tripling. (Aside: Gross Motor Skills)
  

Pool/Snooker:
  • Mental Mathematics
  • Decision making
  • Judging distance, angle, spin, power of strike
  • Both sides of brain working together (right brain for visualisation, conceptionalising space and distance and perception. Left side of brain for logic, facts, semantic pieces of information.
  • Prophylaxis (This is the ability to see the game from your opponent's point of view, i.e. to create tactics and strategies on his behalf, as well as how to frustrate them.)
You don't need technology to have fun with Maths! Now go play, socialise and learn at the same time!
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