In a world where sedative lifestyles are taking over, playing gives children a much-needed fitness boost. It’s no secret that it also helps them grow socially – communicating, co-operating and competing with their peers.

But what about Maths? As a core subject, it’s at the top of all schools’ list of priorities. But does playing have a role in mathematical development? Read on and explores the link between the two.

How Playing Develops Mathematical Skills
Building blocks

Why is mathematical ability so important? Quite simply, because it extends to so many parts of life as children grow up. And this starts to manifests itself in things they do from an early age. Playing with building blocks, for example, encourages children to match, count and sort. Also, as blocks usually come in various sizes, they can stack them in many different arrangements – a fantastic way to introduce the meaning of big and small, as well as half and whole.

The strong correlation between play with building blocks and mathematical ability was demonstrated in a 2013 study. They separately assessed over 100 three-year-olds, finding that those who were better at copying block structures were also better at Maths. The researchers concluded that such simple play activities improves children’s spatial skills, which then supports the development of problem solving in later life.

 Problem solving

It’s not the first time play is linked to children’s problem-solving abilities. It’s known to develop their capacity to think independently, improvise and become confident in the decisions they make. Playing also allows children to experience concepts relating to Maths, such as weight, dimensions and order.

On top of that, it gives them an understanding of outcomes and the notion of consequence. They get experience of calculating risks and assessing situations – essential parts of their mathematical development.

Maths through play

Play naturally develops children’s capacity for Maths, but there’s also ways to incorporate Maths learning into play more explicitly. Using mathematical expressions and asking children questions is a good way to emphasise the mathematical aspects of their play: Who got the highest? Who did it quicker? How many steps did you climb up?

Purpose-designed play spaces are another great way to boost mathematical development. Numbered surfaces and puzzle areas are just some of the options for schools looking to improve children’s development as they play.

A space for development

To make the most of their potential, children need the right space to develop. Playcubed provide tailored playgrounds and play facilities for schools and public areas across London and the South East. Our process covers all bases with consultation, design, proposals and installation to ensure we meet your needs down to the finest details. Get in touch today to arrange your free consultation.

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