Promoting broad and stable improvements in low-income children's numerical knowledge through playing number board games

Child Dev. Mar-Apr 2008;79(2):375-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2007.01131.x.

Abstract

Theoretical analyses of the development of numerical representations suggest that playing linear number board games should enhance young children's numerical knowledge. Consistent with this prediction, playing such a game for roughly 1 hr increased low-income preschoolers' (mean age = 5.4 years) proficiency on 4 diverse numerical tasks: numerical magnitude comparison, number line estimation, counting, and numeral identification. The gains remained 9 weeks later. Classmates who played an identical game, except for the squares varying in color rather than number, did not improve on any measure. Also as predicted, home experience playing number board games correlated positively with numerical knowledge. Thus, playing number board games with children from low-income backgrounds may increase their numerical knowledge at the outset of school.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mathematics*
  • Play and Playthings*
  • Socioeconomic Factors