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Monkey Balance is designed to teach and reinforce counting skills and basic math. The game includes a scale, number blocks from one to 10, 30 double-sided question cards and 19 monkeys. Each number block has a different weight that is equivalent to the number of monkeys it takes to balance the weight of the number. The double-sided cards have just a number (and for these cards, kids count out the correct number of monkeys), or a simple addition or subtraction equation to solve and balance the correct answer. Other cards may have images of monkeys that children count, too. This game provides great opportunities to practice counting and math skills in a way that visually shows the values. Recommended for kids ages 3 and up.
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Plugo Count is a hands-on, app-based game. The app is free and available on almost all iOS, Android or Kindle devices, and the game set includes number blocks, operation blocks, a gamepad and counting spike. On the app, there are over 250 levels that progress in difficulty, so children start with the basics and work their way up at their own pace. The game will start with simple sequences and counting and work up to addition and subtraction problems before moving on to multiplication and division practice. Children use the counting spike and blocks to rewrite math equations and then solve them. Having the stories in the app makes math more engaging and exciting — which means kids are more willing to play and practice. This game is designed for children ages 5-10.
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With the Money Bags game, kids will learn the value of various coins and bills as they amass money and make their way to the finish line. Children are guaranteed fun while they learn how to count coins with the included play bills and coins. They’ll also learn valuable money management skills, which they’ll be able to carry over into real life as they earn an allowance. The durability of the board and coins contributes to its value, allowing everything to maintain its quality, while the vibrant colors keep kids engaged. The clear instructions and simple format make it easy for kids to play without a lot of adult assistance needed. The game is recommended for children ages 5 to 7.
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Using the cards to match equations to answers, children will learn and practice mathematics basics. Each time students make a match, they will boost their processing speed and memory. Parents can even time their children’s ability to match the pairs to track their progress over time. Cutting the deck in half will work as an introduction before adding in new equations as the child becomes more advanced. Kids are likely to be attracted to the bright colors and fun graphics included on each card. The thick cardboard is durable and doesn’t bend or tear easily. Another highlight of this game is the convenient carrying case, which is designed like a briefcase and includes a handle so kids can take it to school and on the road. This math game is made for children ages 3 and up.
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The Learning Resources Mathlink Cubes encourage kids to count up to 100 by ones and tens. The small shapes of the cubes can strengthen eye-hand coordination, color identification, motor planning and the ability to compare. The cubes are easy to snap together without a lot of strength. Children can use their imagination to create unique objects, characters and structures while also learning how to develop math skills. The holding power of the cubes doesn’t diminish over time as the pieces are connected over and over again. The colors and shapes offer hours of fun and keep it interesting for children with short attention spans. This game is designed for children 5 and older.
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Math for Love Tiny Polka Dot is a colorful deck of cards made to give children a love for math. The set comes with enough cards and the instructions needed to learn 16 different games. The games range in difficulty, beginning with simple games that encourage skills such as counting and eventually moving on in difficulty to teach skills such as logic. The cards feature fun designs to keep kids engaged and are well-made, ensuring they can stand up to plenty of use. This option is recommended for children ages 3 to 8.
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The Play Brainy Monkey Balance game allows children to learn about both weight and counting. A large numeral is placed on one side of the scale, at which point children must count out that specific number of monkeys to place on the other side in order to make it balanced. The colorful game is also effective in teaching children greater than/less than concepts. Kids will forget they’re getting an educational experience as they begin to recognize different numbers and learn to count, add and subtract. Although 65 pieces are included, it’s easy to set up and play in minutes. The durable cardboard box makes it easy to keep all of the pieces together. The game is made for kids ages 5 and up.
“Teaching and learning math can both be challenging, especially when a reluctant learner is involved. Games are a great tool to move the child away from the purely academic setting and nurture another environment for learning. I recommend the games match up with areas of interest for your child or student; in my experience, that has produced the best results.”