One of the best times to play math games with a young child is while riding in a confined space. In a car on an uncrowded highway, an adult can concentrate on the road and still converse with a child passenger. Since the child should be using a seat belt, active play is not appropriate, so a quiet game is perfect. Travel by train, or plane, also provides this time: use it to the child's advantage but also claim piece and quiet for yourself.

      Though the opportunity exists, DON'T PLAY A GAME EVERY CHANCE YOU GET. Traveling can be boring and playing these games may be tempting. Resist sometimes. Sing, talk, don't just play math games. Rhyming games, guessing games, and many other mental activities are appropriate. But, when you do choose to play, or even better, WHEN YOUR CHILD CHOOSES TO PLAY, enjoy!

      Of the games collected in this section, there are really only two different games. STONES ON MY LEGS, HOW MUCH IS ...?, WHAT COMES AFTER ...?, and WHAT'S THE ...? are question and answer games using addition, subtraction, number order, and mathematical terminology as vehicles for mental problem solving and computation drill. The different names emphasize different levels of difficulty and types of problems. I'M THINKING OF A NUMBER, the other game type, teaches number order and question asking.

      Each of these games can be enjoyable and valuable but care must be taken not to push a child too quickly or hard. DON'T PLAY A GAME UNTIL A CHILD IS READY.

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