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Parents see the value in  math  games to help their children get a jumpstart on learning. I can attest to the value of using games for kids early on, even before they start pre-school or kindergarten, as a way of teaching  math  concepts (counting,  money , addition, and subtraction).

Age Levels Not Always Correct

One of the frustrating things that parents run into when trying to buy games for their children is finding games that are age-specific and difficulty-level appropriate. This can be particularly difficult when a child  does  not meet the age specific expectations as specified on many board games. Your child may be either especially exceptional or not as good in working with the skills involved in the game that is being played.

Kids Want to Play Other Games

At Kindergarten age, I remember demanding to play Monopoly, Risk, and even Chess with my older brother while my parents expected me to play Chutes and Ladders or Candy Land with my younger sister. I really liked these games. It was just rolling the dice and pushing the pieces around as many children do in play. On the other hand, I found jigsaw puzzles, specifically those with landscape type pictures, particularly difficult even when they were specified as appropriate for my age group.

Skill Appropriateness

Wouldn’t it be easier for parents if games were ranked in regards to skills appropriateness?

Parents need to be able to purchase and download education games that are “ability appropriate” instead of “age appropriate.” It would be much easier if games could adjust in difficulty to accommodate the skill level and needs of the child playing them.

With some notable exceptions, board and card games had very few alternatives to adjust the games skill difficulty. Board games  do  not allow for increase in difficulty without purchasing additional materials or pieces. Even new applications require new downloads. To increase difficulty, you are required to purchase new modules and cards.

Solution for the Future

One has to ask, “is this the best way?” Have we not learned that children are unique and that one size  does  not fit all? When will  math  games start reflecting the needs of our children?

Since education is taking a forefront in the minds of the country, educational games needs to change. Games are no longer for entertainment purposes only.  Math  games, reading games, all educational games should be based on the skill levels needed to complete the games and not on the “age” or “gender” set forth by the makers.

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