Dad dot info
DAD.info form. Ask questions, get answers

Young children can use fingers to boost their maths skills, say researchers

It’s a tried and tested method for counting, and now research has found that using fingers can help young children with their maths

 

A new study suggests that playing finger games – such as holding up a certain number of fingers – alongside number games like dominoes boosts youngsters’ results in counting and simple arithmetic.

Researchers said the findings could be useful for teachers in developing children’s understanding of numbers.

The study, involving 137 children aged six and seven, saw pupils divided into five groups.

One was given finger training exercises, the other played number games. Two other groups did both finger training and number exercises and the fifth was a control group that was given its usual maths lesson.

The finger training games included numbering fingers from one to five and matching them with a finger on the other hand and tracing coloured lines with a particular finger, while the number games included dominoes, playing with dice and snakes and ladders.

Researchers found that the two groups which did both types of games (finger and number) did around twice as well in tests after the experiment as the other groups.

Overall, these groups saw their results – in basic number skills including adding and subtracting – go up by around 20 points, while the other three groups combined saw results go up by around nine points.

Study author Professor Tim Jay, of Sheffield Hallam University, said: “This study provides evidence that fingers provide children with a ‘bridge’ between different representations of numbers, which can be verbal, written or symbolic.

“Combined finger training and number games could be a useful tool for teachers to support children’s understanding of numbers,”

“Research is showing that fingers are an important part of children’s thinking and learning,” he told the Press Association.

Prof Jay went on to say that even in adults, there are suggestions that when someone thinks about number, the part of the brain that deals with finger movement is also activated.

“If you were to ask ‘how many months to November?’ many people would use their fingers”, he added.

Related entries

Your Guide to the European Championships

Your Guide to the European Championships

Like it or loathe it, the next few weeks are going to be all about football. If you want the basics to keep up with your footy crazy kids we’ve compiled this handy guide to give you an overview of the upcoming European Championships. UEFA.com What are the European...

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcome a new baby girl

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcome a new baby girl

Welcome to the world Baby Lilibet. The Dad.info team loves a baby and the new daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is just the good news we need. https://twitter.com/RoyalFamily/status/1401614927236841474 Named for her grandmother and great-grandmother, Lilibet...

We Support The Parents Promise

We Support The Parents Promise

More couples discuss what they would do if they won the lottery than how they would co-parent their children if they separated.  87% of couples have talked about how they would spend a lottery win. Just 5% admit to having discussed potential parenting...

Latest entries

Your Guide to the European Championships

Your Guide to the European Championships

Like it or loathe it, the next few weeks are going to be all about football. If you want the basics to keep up with your footy crazy kids we’ve compiled this handy guide to give you an overview of the upcoming European Championships. UEFA.com What are the European...

ASK DEBBIE- I AM A DAD WITH 50/50 SHARED CARE

ASK DEBBIE- I AM A DAD WITH 50/50 SHARED CARE

Dads, do you struggle sometimes? Who do you reach out to for help? Debbie Pattison, a qualified counsellor at Fegans can answer your questions. Send them in to Ask Debbie at info@dad.info and if she can she will answer. Today’s question is from a dad who shares care...

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcome a new baby girl

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcome a new baby girl

Welcome to the world Baby Lilibet. The Dad.info team loves a baby and the new daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is just the good news we need. https://twitter.com/RoyalFamily/status/1401614927236841474 Named for her grandmother and great-grandmother, Lilibet...

Pin It on Pinterest