Number games, magnitude representation, and basic number skills in preschoolers

Dev Psychol. 2008 Mar;44(2):588-96. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.44.2.588.


The effect of 3 intervention board games (linear number, linear color, and nonlinear number) on young children's (mean age = 3.8 years) counting abilities, number naming, magnitude comprehension, accuracy in number-to-position estimation tasks, and best-fit numerical magnitude representations was examined. Pre- and posttest performance was compared following four 25-min intervention sessions. The linear number board game significantly improved children's performance in all posttest measures and facilitated a shift from a logarithmic to a linear representation of numerical magnitude, emphasizing the importance of spatial cues in estimation. Exposure to the number card games involving nonsymbolic magnitude judgments and association of symbolic and nonsymbolic quantities, but without any linear spatial cues, improved some aspects of children's basic number skills but not numerical estimation precision.

MeSH terms

  • Aptitude
  • Association Learning
  • Child, Preschool
  • Color Perception
  • Comprehension*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mathematics*
  • Mental Recall
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Play and Playthings*
  • Problem Solving*
  • Set, Psychology*