Learning math and numerical concepts can be a challenge for young children, but one early childhood professor is pioneering a series of how-to videos showing parents how they can use fun and simple games to help their preschoolers learn math.
“Pre-K is an extremely important time for young children,” said Charles Bleiker, an early childhood education professor at FIU’s College of Education. “Introducing math concepts in a fun and engaging way can lead to long-term success in math and science. This in turn opens up a whole world of possibilities in the emerging science, technology, engineering and math careers.”
The three videos highlight a few of the games utilized in Bleiker’s NumberWays program.
The games focus on teaching children four key concepts: number equating, number naming, number sequence and number writing.
- In the Bowling game, children learn number naming and number sequence.
- In Kitty and Bear, children learn number counting.
- In the Tracing Game, children learn number writing.
All three videos are available online at go.fiu.edu/mathgames
Bleiker first shared his research during a 2014 TEDxFIU talk, where he showed how 4-year-olds increased their math readiness after playing the games for at least 15 minutes at a time over the course of a few months.
“The results are nothing less than amazing,” Bleiker said. “We’ve been successful because games are the most powerful and natural way that young children learn. Our games are easy enough so that parents, grandparents and siblings can play these games with almost no cost and little effort.”