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Learning through play is a term used in education and psychology to describe how a child can learn to make sense of the world around them while playing. Playing can help children develop cognitive and social skills, emotionally mature, and gain self-confidence required to engage in new experiences and environments.
 
Key ways that young children learn include playing, being with other people, being active, exploring and new experiences, talking to themselves, communication with others, meeting physical and mental challenges, being shown how to do new things, practicing and repeating skills and having fun.
 
 
Here are a few examples of numeracy games aimed at teaching teaching basic numeracy skills.
 
Skipping ropes: 
 
count in 3’s, 4’s while jumping
Counting while skipping forward and backward
 
Tennis balls
 
Counting – throw and catch in air, to and from a partner, against a wall
Count in multiples of 2,3, 4 …
Throw and clap their hands as many times as possible
360 degree turn and catch
Ask a simple sum : 3+4 and learners bounce the answer
Use a variety of balls, beanbags and quoits to practise counting and estimating skills.
Tasks could include:
Count how many times your partner can catch a ball without dropping it.
Predict how many times you can bounce and catch a ball in a minute.
Can you and a partner roll a ball 20 times between you in a minute?
Who can throw and catch a ball in the air the most times without dropping it?
 
 
Games with bigger balls
 
Divide the group into two or more teams of about 8-10 kids in a group. Each team needs to stand in a straight line one behind the other with their legs wide so that it forms a tunnel through their legs. The kid in front has a ball. This ball needs to be passed backwards either by passing it over the head and the next person passes it through their legs and then the next kid passes it over his head again or it can be passed from left form the first kid to right from the next kid and then to left again. When the ball reaches the last kid he/she needs to crawl with the ball through the legs to the first person again. When he/she gets there you ask them a sum either verbally or they pick one from a box of maths cards. Only when they have answered it correctly may the start moving the ball backwards again. The game ends when all the children have had a turn to crawl through the legs.
 
Another ball game also in a circle is where you stand in the middle and ask a sum like 23 - 5, you then throw/kick/volley the ball to any player and when they catch the ball they need to give you the answer 18. You can also do this for addition, multiplication and division depending on the ability of the kids.
 
With the little obstacle course games you can have a "maths" station where they need to answer a sum before they are allowed to move on with the course.